Traditional Saris Still an Eid Favourite
Saturday, 21 August 2010

The sari market, this Eid too, is seeing a steady rise in demand for traditional locally made saris.

Markets are livening up with the approaching Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations, and even though sales are yet to hike up, buyers are crowding the markets to catch a glimpse of the new wears on display.

Visits to the market have found huge crowds shifting through the shops at Mirpur's Benarasi Palli and the Dhanmondi Hawkers' Market.

Most of the buyers are sorting out the special clothes they will buy after receiving their salary and Eid bonuses.

Women and girls have been seen crowding fabric shops to buy the materials for clothing accessories to wear with their traditional saris.

Kazi Shah Alam, owner of Mohammadi Silk House at Benarasi Palli, told that buyers were coming to find out about the new saris on offer this Eid. "The demand for traditional designs, like all other times, is strong," he said.

Alam continued that he would be displaying traditional Katan, Jamdani and hand-loom saris. "We have various types of Katans for the Eid, including Soft Katan, Jute Katan and Mirpuri Katan," he added.

"Prices of the soft Katans, woven in Tangail, range between Tk 2,500 – 8,000," Alam said. Soft Katans are treated as a speciality because of the 'Butis' – intricate small designs – woven into the body of the sari.

Alam explained that the raw materials for these saris were sent to Tangail, as workers there are more proficient in creating the designs.

"Jute Katans range between Tk 5,000-7,000, Dhakai Jamadanis cost between Tk 2,500-8,000, hand-loom cotton saris are priced between Tk 100 – 1,200, and Katans made in Mirpur or Mirpuri Katans range between Tk 1,500 – 4,000," he added.

Noushin Intekhab Dinar, a student of Eden University College's English department, had come to Swarna Benarasi Sari house for an Eid-find.

She vents her frustration that traders were not putting up their new designs onto the displays yet and opined that they were keeping them in store for after the last weeks of Ramadan. "There is such a rush of buyers then, it becomes nearly impossible to have a close-look before buying."

Rafique Azam, the salesman at the shop, laughs away the accusation pointing out a lot of customers just come to the shop in the first half of the Ramadan to glance through the saris, "however, they do not buy anything and come around at the later half of the month to finish their shopping."

Jamdani-traders in the market, however, claim that sales have already started in the market.

Saiful Ahmed, a salesman at the Jamdani Sari Kutir, said that since there can only be design differences in Jamdani saris, "those who want a exclusive design for the Eid tend to shop early and pick up an intricate and beautiful design."

Ahmed continued that their shop boasts Jamdani saris ranging from Tk 1,200 to Tk 25,000. They also have saris from Tangail and cotton Jamdanis to add to their traditional sari stock.

In addition, Tissue Katan and Georgette saris, which were immensely popular last year, is also dominant supply-wise in the market. The saris had gained popularity because of the beautiful sequential designs that adorn the body of the saris.


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