This type of saree hails from Bangladesh originally, though it is now made in Bengal as well. Named after Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, the craft is called Dhakai, while the unique hand technique used in this weave was called Jamdani in the olden times. Both names refer to the same type of saree. For the heaviliy-embellished ones, we refer to them as Dhakai Jamdani. The inspiration for these designs was taken by the artisans and weavers from life around them. Taking motifs from simple things like combs, nature, birds and boats, to lofty things like stars, the solar system and plants, Dhakai is truly an art form of the sensitive artist.
Typically, these sarees are made on muslin or fine cotton, largely sheer fabrics with geometric or floral motifs that use a thicker thread. This type of saree is well known for its transparency and the delicacy that it exhibits. The aanchals of these sarees often have metallic accents defining a decorative look. Feather light and sheer, the Dhakai have fine cutwork motifs woven all over the body which give the saree a luxurious and grand finish that is undeniably elegant. These sarees are steeped in rich history and are designed with the loving care of its artisans, making for one of the finest clothing options.
The older designs were on cream or beige bases, however, nowadays Dhakais come in every colour possible, from turquoise and aquamarine to purple and fuchsia. There are simple Dhakais as well as the more richly-worked ones, which are preferred options during weddings and Durga Puja. Every Bengali woman surely has a few Dhakai sarees in her closet.