Balaposh or silk quilts are steeped in history and deft craftsmanship, with Balaposh of Murshidabad being one of West Bengal’s finest creations that has travelled near and far and has won appreciation for the sweet scented warmth – spread by a layer of attar-scented cotton wool between two layers of silk cloth, using no quilting stitches at all apart from the stitches on the edges.
It is said that a single sheet of Balaposh would cost thousands of rupees during the rule of the Mughals; if converted this would amount to millions of rupees in present times, thus proving the exquisite nature of these traditional works of art.
Balaposh typically has contrasting coloured borders and is made from the finest silk, but these days cotton fabric has replaced the silk, and quilt stitching is used to hold the layers in place.
These indulgent creations find a ready market in cities like Kolkata as they are perfect for use in the winter season, owing to which, Balaposh enjoys a coveted spot in handicraft exhibitions.
The mild scent of Balaposh - that wafts through the quilted layers and lures one in, is often its main attraction, and the government is taking active measures – such as training to the younger generation of weavers, to ensure that this art is kept alive.
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