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Tant sari is a traditional Bengali sari, originating from the Bengal region in the eastern part and usually used by Bengali women. Tant sari are woven from cotton threads and distinguished by its lightness and transparency.
The term “tant” refers to the handlooms in Bengal that are used to weave cotton sarees along with dhotis and other garments. The earliest record of handloom saree weaving in Bengal can be traced back to the 15th century in Shantipur (in the Nadia district of West Bengal). The art continued to flourish during the Mughal rule (16th – 18th centuries), when it received extensive royal patronage along with muslin and jamdani weaving. While the fine muslins adorned the royal class, cotton sarees or tants were used for draping by the common folks. This weaving tradition continued during the British rule and the decades prior to independence witnessed an inflow of modern weaving techniques in Shantipur such as improvements in the handloom and introduction of the jacquard loom that is still used today.