Wedding shopping in West Bengal can be a delight for brides-to-be! Bengal has a lot to offer from Kantha embroidered sarees and bedsheets to lovely starched cotton sarees in fresh pastel shades for casual wear. Bengal has a rich tradition of weaving splendidly patterned cotton sarees in fine texture and contrasting colours with heavy borders. The cotton sarees from Bengal are a timeless beauty.
Another traditional weave, very unique to Bengal is Kantha embroidery. This embroidery is done on raw silk sarees and traditionally involved a very limited range of colours. It started on white background accented with red, blue and black embroidery but today, colours such as yellow, blue and green are also used. This embroidery is also done on bed sheets apart from sarees and they are a good buy to dress up your home.
Another famous art from the region is comes from a small town called Baluchari. The sarees are not only richly woven, but their pallus narrate stories from the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. This art form was developed 200 years ago but remained undiscovered for a long time. The pallus of the sarees have intricately carved terracotta temples and the weavers draw inspiration from the local culture.
Also the batik work bed sheets from Shantiniketan are very popular and can be a unique gift for close family members. Some of the other famous items are the terracotta crafts. You can pick from a range of intricately carved vases and pots and decorative items.
Bengali brides do not apply henna; instead they put something called as alta. You might want to pick up some just for fun. As a tradition, Bengalis also apply it during festivals.