West Bengal

The varieties of world renowned handicrafts from India are many. Khesh weaving originated in the Birbhum district of West Bengal. It is made with recycled saris and is one of a kind. Khesh is an attempt by the artisans towards eco-friendly techniques.

The khesh weaving process is simple. The warp is made of new yarn and the weft is made of thin strips of cloth obtained by tearing old saris lengthwise. Many years of khesh weaving tradition in Birbhum district have grown a market in Amodpur, where old saris can be bought by weavers in bulk.

Many weavers also have their own suppliers who gather old saris from the rural areas, wash them, and sell them ready for tearing. Other weavers depend on householders to give them saris for a fee. Khesh fabrics are used in saris, kurtas, bedspreads, dupattas, upholstery, bags and a pool of trendy fashion accessories. A weaver needs six saris to make a single bedcover and ten saris for a double. The old saris have to be made of cotton in order to tear them easily.