Tantalising Taant – the forgotten fabric.

Have we forgotten the Taant? I don’t think so. I certainly do not hope so.

Taant means Handloom in Bangla and is an every-woman and everyday saree. I have grown up seeing my Mom, and Aunts and Grandmother wearing the taant on a daily basis.

Whichever way you pronounce it – Taant or Taat or Tat, they are the most popular kind of saree in West Bengal and Bangladesh.

Speaking of West Bengal, amongst the 39 completed handloom clusters, almost all of them weave the taant in their homes.

In my last few posts, I have touched upon how saree can be the ultimate work-wear. And when it comes to work-wear, taant sarees, which are traditionally Bengali, are an everywoman saree.

In the hot and humid weather of Mumbai, the taant can be the ultimate comfort-wear.

Taant sarees have been a resident in my wardrobe for many years, but like I had confessed in one of my earlier posts, I was not the saree enthusiast as I am today…now, I wear a saree whenever I get an opportunity to…and I have, re-discovered taant.

ShantiPuri taant

The comfort of this saree is incomparable. And if you have not considered it hitherto, then maybe you should consider it pronto.

To enlighten urban dwellers and saree-wearers, and those for whom comfort is paramount, a tant saree is a must-have. Unfortunately, it hasn’t enjoyed ant popularity in the Western and southern states of India. Even amongst those who are from my generation haven’t really explored the taant saree to the fullest.

This post is for women like me, who have probably relegated their tant saree to a part of the cupboard that’s rarely looked at. Although I can safely say that subsequent to me rediscovery of this saree, I have increased more of these in my wardrobe.

Taants are a hundred percent cotton. They are light, breezy and super-comfortable to drape.

Tants are stiff when you wear it for the first time. The super-starched look might make you feel uncomfortable for the first 10 minutes – the more it interacts with air, the softer it gets.

Minimalistic appeal of a taant

If you are working from home and spending your time in zoom calls and also doubling up with household chores, taant is the ultimate fabric. And if I have succeeded in convincing you to wear a taant, I should also share a few words of wisdom:

  • A brand new taant is heavily starched, so it may not feel supple at first. But, as it interacts with air, it will get more and more malleable. By the way, taant maintenance is extremely easy. The softness of the saree post wash brings such a cosy feeling, it’s indescribable.

Some women will not agree with me, because this exact limpness is what deters people from wearing taants for occasions. Taants are regular-wear – your ghar-ki saree.

So coming back…

  • Second, it is cotton, so yes, it will wrinkle by the end of the work-day. There is no way around this. So your subsequent wear will have to be post an ironing. Although, if you neatly fold it and keep it underneath your mattress, you will not need to iron it. The creases will even out and it can be worn again.
  • Third – Pleat them up well…Taants are thin and light. They have a papery appeal, so you might need to pleat the saree all the way to the selvedge, possibly manually or you might need to resort to some help in doing this. A good idea (rather a modern idea) is to use your hair straightening device to flatten and neaten the pleats.
  • Taants are humble and basic, so I wouldn’t over-accessorise the outfit. Keep the earrings and necklaces simple. Like I said before, the basic-ness of the saree doesn’t find huge audience. It is considered vanilla.
  • The best taant looks are those which use the matching blouse. Many saree bloggers perpetuate the anti-match look, but when it comes to taant, the matchy look is what I like best. Sure, you could play with blouse designs, but when it comes to colour of the blouse, I would choose it from the colour pallete of the saree. Although I think, even if you did jazz it up with a random blouse like I did, it works too.
  • Lastly, finish the taant look with a moderately sized red bindi. I would suggest you gauge for yourself the shape and size as per your facial structure. I am a lover of big red bindis. They somehow accentuate my face more. But then that’s my aesthetic.

The only point that I want to leave you with is that invest in a taant. They are inexpensive. You will find a pretty taant in under 1000 rupees.

Hope you enjoyed reading this blog as I enjoyed writing it and reminiscing about my own experiences.

The opinions shared in this blog are my own.

Picture copyright – Six Yards of Finery