Murshidabad Silk to Buy

Hand woven, heritage quality, undyed silk cloth from India.


 

Email sales@kinetika.co.uk to order.

A piece length is approx 12m x 1.2m wide, cut lengths are available.

Price: £20 per metre (+VAT and postage). Min order is 1 metre.

Or only £15 per metre (+VAT and postage) if buying a whole piece of 12m x 1.2m (total cost £180 +VAT and postage)

Kinetika is the exclusive importer of this heritage-quality hand-woven silk from West Bengal.  Sales support Kinetika’s charitable work and help the weavers to continue their skilled craft.

Murshidabad silk is now our preferred choice when making batik flags due to its ability to hold bright dye colours and the soft but durable texture,

Quality control is monitored locally by the Crafts Council of West Bengal, which ensures that weavers are appropriately paid and can respond to meet the demand of a global world.

 


 

Tech Spec:

  • Colour: Light creamy white.
  • Type: Mulberry silk
  • Weight: 10mm-12mm
  • Width: 120cm
  • Piece length: 12 metres
  • Shrinkage: Expect 3-8%
  • Prepped for dye: The silk has no starches, sizing or finishes on it and has been degummed at source. It should be prepped for dying like you would any other silk.
  • Suitable for digital print? No, it is not coated for digital printing and is better suited for dying.
  • Please note, there may be slight variations in width, texture and colour between pieces due to the hand-made nature of the fabric. These are not considered defects of the fabric.

Origin

  • The silk yarn used to make this cloth is from Maldah, West Bengal.
  • The cultivation of mulberry silk and its weaving is carried out in the plains of West Bengal.
  • This cloth is hand woven by 14 families from Dangapara, Murshidabad, West Bengal.

 


The Discovery of the Silk

Kinetika is internationally renowned for creating stunning large-scale hand-painted silks, using the process of batik to make beautiful flags, costumes and products for the last 25 years.  While developing the Silk River project in India, Kinetika was introduced to a very fine, high quality 100% hand-woven silk from Murshidabad, a district in West Bengal.

They learnt that in the 18th century Murshidabad was world- famous for the heavy, durable but amazingly supple silk that was worn by the Moghul nobility and exported across the world by local merchants and traders to the South East Asian markets. The silk travelled to Europe, exported by the French and subsequently the British East India Company.

However, in recent times, there has been very little demand for producing the heavy silk cloth known as dotari/ teentari.

Kinetika were very keen to work with this exquisite silk and through the Crafts Council of West Bengal (CCWB) were able to connect directly with the local weavers who still had the old looms and the required level of skill.

As a result, 158 square metres of this unique silk was hand painted for Silk River, making 22 huge silk scrolls in all. The closely-monitored dying process revealed how wonderfully this fabric retains the colours of the dyes and how soft it is against the skin.


With this discovery, after 20 years hand painting on Chinese habotai silk, Kinetika has now switched to using hand woven Murshidabad silk for the majority of its projects.

Realising that the weaving skill required for this heritage fabric is in danger of being lost, Kinetika is now working closely with Ajoy Kumar Saha, a local silk merchant and CCWB to make it available in the UK to silk painters and lovers who will appreciate how unique it is.

The silk is woven in Dangapara, a small village in Murshidabad by 14 families of weavers who are the last generation who have this skill. Kinetika hope that by creating a new demand for this silk, they will encourage this community to continue this ancient tradition.

The Crafts Council of West Bengal said:

It turned out to be a great revival project as the weavers were contacted, convinced through a series of negotiations that it would be a wonderful opportunity to recreate the superior quality silk on a pilot basis for an international project. The weavers rose to the challenge and the silk for the scrolls was woven on looms that had not done so in recent memory.

The success of the Silk River scrolls in telling the story of the British connection to India, from the past to the present will restore Murshidabad’s place in the history of Empire – as a centre of trade and a producer of exquisite silk.