Tant sari is a saree generally made up of Pure cotton or pure tussar depending upon the place of manufacture. It is generally referred as traditional Bengali Saree, originating from the Bengal region in the eastern part of the India which is currently know as West Bengal. The Saree is usually used by Bengali women.It is traditionally made by the weavers from almost all over West Bengal in places like shantipur, Nadia, Fulia, Murshidabad, Nadia, and Hooghly. These Places are very famous for the hand weaving of the Tant Saree all across india. Because of the humid climate of West Bengal people generally tend to wear tant sari which is woven from cotton threads and distinguished by its lightness and transparency. It is considered to be the most comfortable sari for the hot and humid climate in the Indian subcontinent.
Tant saree was firstly woven as Muslin Tant Jamdani which was very famous in Dacca which is now the capital of Bangladesh and it was also used in West bengal. This art of producing the weaving saree was prevaling from the Mughal Era some 1800 Ad. After many years of existance the British government tried to destroy this art to protect the textile industry of their countries, but the tant culture managed to survive.
With the division of bengal some tanti ( the Karigars) went off to Bangladesh and some remained here in West Bengal to carry on the legacy of the Tant Saree in India.
Weaving of a Tant saree involves lot of effort and patience along with practice. It is an old age art of making Tant saree in Bengal. Where the Tanti uses two shuttles ( knows as Taana and Baana ) left and right along with their legs to adjust the weave pattern in order to craft a beautiful Tant/ Tangail Saree.Traditionally the process was totally driven by a person sitting on the machine which was totally hand operated, but now as the demand of the tant sarees are increasing day by day the same has been replaced by machines where by the machine designs all the tanna and baana to create a beautiful taant saree.
Themes and motif
The typical Tant sari is characterised by a thick border and a decorative pallav, woven using a variety of floral, paisley and other artistic motifs. Some of the popular traditional motifs are: bhomra (bumble bee), tabij (amulet), rajmahal (royal palace), ardha-chandra (half moon), chandmala (garland of moons), ansh (fish scale), hathi (elephant), nilambari (blue sky), ratan chokh (gem-eyed), benki (spiral), tara (star), kalka (paisley) and phool (flower). Printed, hand-painted and embroidered patterns are also used to get a larger variety of designs. Different motifs including floral element, solar element and recently even modern art are depicted in this sari. Tant Sari comes with colourful design and borders are made thicker because it is subjected to tear easily.
Along with ordinary Bengali women of Bangladesh and West Bengal, many prominent Bengali female personalities also prefer to wear tant sari as their regular outfit. Bangladesh prime minister Seikh Haseena, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee are notable among them.