Everyday fashion is all about comfort. In countries like India where the weather is hot and humid, a cotton saree is a suitable form of clothing. Tant sarees are cotton drapes, woven typically in the Indian state of West Bengal, and India’s neighboring Bangladesh.
Tant are typically Bengali Sarees – and constitute everyday drapes as well as the ones worn for special occasions. So, they are made in a large variety – and are an indispensible part of every woman from North East India as well as from the states of Bengal and Bihar.
These somewhat sheer, light weight saris are ideal for wearing in hot and humid weather – which explains why they are a staple in a place like West Bengal, where the weather calls for airy and comfortable clothing. Tant Sarees, also known as Taant, tat or taat are relatively low priced and ideal for everyday-wear as well as work wear. These drapes are so comfortable and many of them are so reasonably priced that many women working in farms and involved in manual labor also wear these sarees.
Characteristics of Tant Sarees
These pretty and popular cotton drapes are characterized by a thick border and a decorative pallu. Flowers, paisley, half moon, animal figures and other patterns inspired from nature are usually printed, painted or embroidered over tant sarees. Saree.com has a lovely collection of Tant sarees for your everyday wardrobe as well as special occasions.
Tant saris are made in the entire spectrum of colors – from the really bright ones to the subdued ones. The bright, heavier tant saris are worn by women for Durga Puja, Diwali and other popular Indian festivals. They also make for interesting and much loved Indian wedding gifts. Brides in Bengal, Bihar and Assam also receive ornate and heavy Tant Sarees in their trousseau.
Traditionally, Tant sarees were woven only on handlooms. For handloom weaving, cotton threads from mills are first washed, dried in sunlight, bleached and then dried again. The threads are then dyed by dipping them in boiling coloured water and starched to make them stronger. These threads are then wound onto bamboo drums to feed them into the loom for weaving. The entire process for a single drape takes 10-12 for a simple sarees to 5-6 days for a heavy one. These days, power looms have taken over the hand-woven counterparts of the drape and offer more supply with intricate patterns precisely woven into the fabric.
These drapes are woven in popular weaving centers of Murshidabad, Nadia and Hoogly in West Bengal. Dhaka – the capital city of Bangladesh is also one of the most famous Tant weaving centers – and so is the nearby town of Tangail – also known for the eponymous Tangail Cotton saree.
Care and Maintenance of the fabric
Since tant sarees are made purely from cotton and are very thin, they are prone to tearing easily. Such sarees should be washed with a mild detergent, followed by starching and then hung in a shaded area for drying. Soak the garment in a mixture of lukewarm water and rock salt before washing so as to avoid colour-bleeding.
Simplicity has its own beauty and when combined with comfort as well as the richness of the Indian culture, makes Tant sarees, the right pick for your ethnic wardrobe!