A mark of tradition and good luck charm in Bengalis, Laal Paad sarees are a calling for new beginnings and joy. There are numerous places in and around Kolkata where these are woven mechanically or by hand. I chanced upon this small village near Kolkata, Chakda weaving this enchanting story in red and white. On a personal note, I had fallen in love at first sight (along with my Bengali beau!) with these beauties!
Some years ago during my random visit to the villages around Kolkata I came across this village where every house had a loom weaving only these Laal Paad shada saree. Most of these weavers were supplying it to the local shops in Kolkata, at very meager prices just to make their ends meet. Each of these sarees take about 5-8 days if only one person is weaving, but generally it is the whole family doing it. With very poor returns, some of them had already moved to the city in search for better jobs and opportunities or moved to power looms for a faster turnout. Initially it was a challenge to be able to convince them to do what I envisioned. If you have ever worked in Kolkata and you are not a Bengali, and not speaking Bengali you’ll know what I mean! Anyhow, I speak as fluent Bengali now like any other born Bengali would 🙂 We worked closely with the weavers getting them back to what they did best and created this collection of Laal Paads which stand apart with their Satin Silk borders . On a regular basis the Laal Paads are woven in all kinds of fabric bases like silk, cotton, chanderi etc. with plain and myriad weave patterns. We wanted to create a range which had the lightness of cotton but with the richness of silk. The body of the saree is in Bengal cotton and the borders are in satin weave with the silk coming on top adding the sheen to the neutral off white base. The temple and floral motifs and a splash of gold zari here n there highlight the uniqueness of the saree. The combination of block prints on the saree is like a confluence of two unique styles of adornment.
For me these sarees are like my first love, quite literally! Discover them yourself, make your own stories with them, make your own conversations because there is always a little bit of You that you imbibe when you wear a saree.
Go on, make conversations!