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West Bengal Textile Tour Exploring Stitch Fabric
This unique textile tour takes us to some of the less developed parts of this less economically developed country. Some of the road journeys are long and in many parts the road surface can be poor. Western tourists are rare, hotel accommodation is limited and some of the hotels are less comfortable than some may prefer. This tour ventures along the road less travelled and may suit those who have some experience travelling in less economically developed areas. That being said, with an open mind and an adventurous spirit. , there is much to be gained from stepping off the beaten track to explore this beautiful and fascinating country.
West Bengal is a destination not common as a holiday destination. However, there is a wonderful wealth of authentic Indian culture to be experienced here. Starting of in Calcutta, you will get to explore and discover experiences that you had no idea existed and these moments will open your eyes to the history and culture of textiles in this area.
Learn about the history of West Bengal
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Kantha Stitch Embroidery Textile Tour
12 Nights/13 Days
London – Kolkata – Kalna – Murshidabad– Shantiniketan – Kolkata – London
Come and join in on our kantha stitch embroidery textile tour of West Bengal to learn about Indian heritage, hosted by our Colouricious representative. During your textile holiday you will be exploring the Indian traditional techniques of kantha stitch, block printing, batik, macrame, embroidery and textiles, and many more truly unique experiences, many of which will be in remote villages, off the beaten track.
Highlights of the Tour:
Need to know more…
Batik is a wonderful technique for designing textiles. It’s uses a resist method to dye silk, cotton and other pure fabrics traditionally with geometric patterns. It requires a tool called the ‘cap’ which is a copper head on a wooden block. The copper rods are around 1.5 cm in width are used to apply a dye proof substance to create the design. The fabric is then dyed and the areas remaining covered with the hot wax retain its colour but the uncovered parts obtain the chosen colour of dye. This process can be repeated several times on the same fabric to create beautiful and unique textile designs. Once finished the hotwax is removed the cloth is ready to be sold. Batik is a great design method due to the varying materials you can use to create a bespoke piece from different wax and dyes to fabrics. Different wax blends tend to crack allowing dark dye lines to enter/penetrate the resisted spaces, another design strength. Batik fabrics are also known for their durability with colours less likely to fade as they have a higher resistance to wear compared to painted fabrics.
India has long been famous for its continuing wooden block printing tradition. The ‘blocks’ are kind of hand-carved stamp which is dipped in dye and applied, again and again, to a silk, cotton or linen fabric to make a pattern. It can be very simple or extremely ornate, depending on the tastes and the exact tradition of the artisan.
This is an excellent opportunity for you to learn the technique from traditional craftspeople, and make it a part of your own work.
Kantha Embroidery Workshop
This traditional kantha workshop is an opportunity to learn the traditional kantha techniques which informed the more modern, mass-produced West Bengali kantha techniques that have become so popular worldwide recently. The opportunity to learn this ancient textile art from practitioners who have learned it from their mothers, grandmothers and a line of women going back into antiquity is not to be missed! As sarees, dhotis and even bedding become torn or too worn to use, they are layered together, and yarn or cordage salvage form other pieces are threaded between the layers, binding them together in a unique ‘crinkly’ manner. This Kantha stitching is used to decorate the new textile pieces with large, repeating motifs of various kinds.
Zari work is often the intricate embroidery designs you see on Indian garments especially saris. Zari is made from fine gold or silver thread which is woven into fabrics, mostly silk, to create stunning textile designs. Nowadays, Zari is not made of real silver & gold, but has polyester or cotton yarn at its core, wrapped in silver/golden metallic yarn. Zari work is regarded as one of the most elaborate ways of doing embroidery with metal threads. West Bengal is famous for it’s Zari work. Mostly done by the women in rural Bengal villages, each design contains hundreds of stitches. It has now been recognised by the Government of India as one of the most ancient forms of handicraft. You will see the amazing skill & needlework that is required to create such beautiful and rich Zari work as these artisans sit on the floor behind the equipment working on a piece of saree which could be for days depending on the piece.
DAY 1 Depart London
- Depart London
DAY 2 Arrive Kolkata
- Arrive Kolkata by 9W 623 at 1535 Hrs [Room on immediate occupancy].
- Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel.
DAY 3 Kolkata – Panchla – Kolkata
- After breakfast drive to Panchla to witness Zari work. [35kms / 01hr. approx]
- Lunch will be at local restaurant [Haldiram’s] on direct payment basis.
- Afternoon, enjoy visit to Gariahat Market which sells whole array of items ranging from clothing to crockery to fashion accessories and so on.
- Overnight at your hotel in Kolkata
DAY 4 Kolkata – Kalna – Nabadwip – Krishnanagar [Total drive 140 kms approx]
- After breakfast drive to Kalna [100 kms / 03 hrs. approx]
- Afternoon visit Muslin spinning and weaving further to Nabadwip [24 kms / 01 hr. approx] to see cotton spinning from seed to yarn.
- Later continue drive to Krishnanagar [16 kms / 40 mins. approx]
- Overnight at Hotel Haveli at Krishnanagar.
DAY 5 Krishnanagar – Murshidabad [90kms / 3hrs. approx]
- Start @ 0800 hrs from Krishnanagar and drive straight to Sericulture Institute to see silk production followed by visit to places where spinning and weaving is done.
- Check in to hotel in Murshidabad will be after covering all the activities.
- Overnight at your hotel in Murshidabad.
DAY 6 Murshidabad – Shantiniketan [115kms / 04hrs approx]
- Breakfast + check-out and sightseeing tour of Murshidabad covering Hazarduari Palace, etc.
- Later drive to Shantiniketan.
- Overnight at your hotel in Shantiniketan.
Day 7 At Shantiniketan
- After breakfast, you will visit a village [58kms / 1h30m approx] small vehicles and participate in block printing workshop.
- Packed lunch will be arranged on direct payment basis from hotel.
- Afternoon Kantha weaving workshop near Sri Niketan [18kms / 30min approx]
- Overnight at your hotel in Shantiniketan.
Day 8 At Shantiniketan
- After breakfast, you will enjoy half day Macrame workshop.
- Lunch will be on direct payment basis during the workshop.
- Afternoon, participate in Batik workshop.
- Overnight at your hotel in Shantiniketan.
Day 9 Shantiniketan – Bishnupur
- After breakfast, leave by 0800hrs and drive to Bishnupur [120kms/3h30m approx].
- At Bishnupur you will witness Baluchari saree weaving along with and conch shell products being made by the artists. Later check in and lunch at tourist lodge.
- Post lunch you have the option to either drive to Panchmura [40kms one way] to see the various terracotta products being made by artists OR do local sightseeing in Bishnupur to see some spectacular 18th & 19th century terracotta temple.
- Overnight at Tourist Lodge in Bishnupur.
Day 10 Bishnupur – Kolkata
- After Breakfast, drive from Bishnupur to Kolkata [160kms/4h30m approx]
- Upon arrival check in to your hotel in Kolkata.
- Lunch will be at your hotel on direct payment basis.
- Evening is at leisure for Independent activities.
- Overnight at your hotel in Kolkata.
Day 11 Kolkata
- After breakfast, enjoy workshop at Kasba Weaver’s Studio to experience the local art of block printing and fabric dyeing.
- Lunch will be arranged at Ballygunge Weavers Studio on direct payment basis.
- Post lunch, indulge in some retail therapy at Ballygunge Weavers Studio.
- Overnight at your hotel in Kolkata.
Day 12 Kolkata – Shantipur – Phulia – Kolkata
- After breakfast, enjoy full day excursion to two Shantipur & Phulia [95kms/03h30m one way] which are known handloom saree weaving centres.
- Packed lunch will be arranged on direct payment basis from Haldiram’s.
- Overnight at your hotel in Kolkata.
- After breakfast drive to Gurusaday Museum.
- Lunch will be arranged at local restaurant on direct payment basis.
- Afternoon, visit Dakshinapan Market consisting mainly of various types of State emporiums from all over India.
- Overnight at your hotel in Kolkata.
Day 14 Kolkata – Onwards
- After breakfast participate in Kantha weaving workshop at SHE – Self Help Enterprises.
- Today, at an appropriate time, you will be transferred to Kolkata International airport to connect with your flight 9W 628 at 2115 Hrs.
Please read these booking conditions carefully as they form the basis of your contract with Colouricious Ltd Holidays. Once you secure your reservation with payment of a deposit or the full amount, we enter into a contract. We assume that you, and any other person on your booking form, or subsequently added to your booking form, have read these Terms & Conditions and agree to them.
- The holiday will include accommodation and meals as described on the website at the time of booking.
- Any flight and transfers details when not available at the time of booking, will be confirmed as soon as available.
- All tours and visits as described on the website at the time of booking.
- Travel arrangements are planned many months in advance and it may, very occasionally, be necessary to make changes to, or cancel completely parts of the itinerary. Therefore we reserve the right to make changes after we have entered into this contract. This includes the hotels and other accommodations.
- Although your confirmation and subsequent invoices may show the latest flight timings, these are subject to change at the will of the airline. We will inform you of any flight changes at the earliest opportunity. We do not take any responsibility for flight changes outside our control. When a change is a significant change (such as an alteration to your flight time by more than 12 hours, or a change to a lower standard of accommodation for the whole or a major part of your holiday), we will advise you as soon as is reasonably possible. You may then either accept the change, or take an alternative holiday (paying or receiving a refund / credit in respect of any price difference), or withdraw and accept a full refund.
- If your tour director is, for whatever reason, unable to travel with your party, we reserve the right to provide a replacement of similar professional expertise or a local professional guide. This will not be a significant change.
- If you book your own flights you should be aware that the land only component of your holiday may not be ATOL protected. Colouricious Ltd will not take responsibility for any problems, delays or expense you encounter with your own travel arrangements. Colouricious Ltd will not take responsibility for any failure by you to arrive at the destination and agreed meeting point in time to join the tour.
- If your tour director/guest artist/host is, for whatever reason, unable to travel with your party, we reserve the right to provide a replacement of similar professional expertise or a local professional guide. This will not be a significant change & the holiday will proceed.
Reservation & Payment
- We have an online booking system, however we are pleased to receive enquires via telephone, email or post. When you reserve your place on one of our holidays, you will be asked for payment of a deposit Payments can be made by credit/debit card online or on the telephone by direct bank transfer or by cheque.
- The balance must be paid at least 12 weeks prior to departure. If you are booking less than 12 weeks prior to departure the full amount is payable. If the monies are not paid in time, we reserve the right to cancel your holiday and apply the cancellation conditions as set out in clause 7 below.
- We have a deposit of £1,000 to cover the cost of booking a flight & reserving accommodation. We book our flights as early as possible to enable us to offer a competitive package. In common with most tour operators we do not offer a monthly payment system. We have a reputable agent in India, our holidays run with and without a UK representative. All our package holidays are guaranteed by the Civil Aviation Authority administered ATOL scheme. Our ATOL Licence No. 10830
- We reserve the right to increase our prices at any time, if costs rise due to unforeseen events such as government action, currency movements, or if fuel costs increase or other unexpected price rises occur of which we were unaware at the time of booking.
- Any increase in price will be limited to the net cost to Colouricious Ltd.
- In the event you wish to cancel your holiday you must inform Colouricious Ltd in writing immediately. Cancellation periods are calculated from the date Colouricious Ltd receive your written notification.
- Cancellation Charges
- 52 weeks or more : £100.00
- 16 Weeks – 1 year. £1,000.00
- 6 – 16 Weeks – 75% of total holiday cost
- Less than 6 weeks – 100% of total holiday cost
- NB. If you have upgraded your flight the cost of the upgrade will be in addition to the cancellation charge
- It may be that it is possible to transfer your holiday to another Colouricious Holiday. In additional to any price differential & ticketing costs, an admin fee of £50.00 per person will be charged.
- Colouricious Ltd requires a minimum number of guests for us to operate a holiday. In the unlikely event that we cancel a tour for this or any other reason, we will notify you at the earliest opportunity
- If we do have to cancel your holiday for any reason, before the date of departure, you will have the choice of taking an alternative holiday (paying, or receiving a refund, in respect of any price difference) or accepting a full refund of all monies paid to us.
- We cannot be held responsible for any additional services or products which you purchase outside the terms of our itinerary or our brochure or website. Please note this includes any flight costs for flights that were not booked for you by Colouricious Holidays. If you are flying independently of Colouricious, do not book your flights until we have confirmed that the holiday will operate.
- It is a requirement that all clients have suitable travel insurance.
- You must provide us with the name of your insurers, the policy number and emergency contact number before you travel. Colouricious Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.
- You are responsible for repaying in full any losses or expenses incurred by Colouricious Ltd arising out of your failure to take out adequate insurance cover
VISA, Passport & other documentation
- It is your responsibility to ensure that you have all the necessary documentation to complete your journey. Be aware that some countries require a passport to be valid for 3-6 months after your holiday. Whatever your nationality you should check with your relevant embassy for visa and other requirements.
- Colouricious Ltd will not be responsible for any visa or other immigration matter, nor any costs incurred as a result of such matter.
- We require full passport details no later than 4 weeks prior to departure for airline bookings.
- The names that appear on your booking form MUST be the same as the names in your passport. If the names on the booking form is not the same as on your passport you will be responsible for any costs incurred.
Health & Accessibility
- It should be noted that many of our itineraries include visits to less economically developed countries and that the general levels of comfort and services in some destinations are lower than would be found in the UK and the EU. In particular pavement and road surfaces can be broken and uneven.
- The dust, heat and exhaust in big cities of LEDC’s may occasionally be troublesome for people with breathing issues. Be assured that providing you are reasonably healthy you will be able to take part in any of our holidays.
- If you have any special needs or medical condition that you consider (or some other person may reasonably consider) may impinge on your participation of the holiday, you must inform us at the time of booking so that we can advise you on the suitability of the holiday. We will strive to include everyone in every part of our holidays but in visiting LEDC”s some of the sites that we visit or stay, are not necessarily equipped for wheelchair access or other special needs.
- Dietary requirements should be advised at the time of booking.
Your Financial Protection
- When you buy an ATOL protected flight or flight inclusive holiday from us you will receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you and who to contact if things go wrong.”
- “We, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL Certificate, will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate (or a suitable alternative). In some cases, where neither we nor the supplier are able to do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder may provide you with the services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances the alternative ATOL holder will perform those obligations and you agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract to that alternative ATOL holder. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under the ATOL scheme (or your credit card issuer where applicable).”
- “If we, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL certificate, are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ATOL scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit you assign absolutely to those Trustees any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us, the travel agent (or your credit card issuer where applicable). You also agree that any such claims may be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ATOL scheme.”
- Colouricious will always strive to act in the best interest of the client to ensure the best holiday experience possible. It is essential that any complaints and or problems are notified to us at the time so that the matter may be addressed at the earliest opportunity.
- If your tour leader is unable to resolve the problem to your satisfaction, you should write to firstname.lastname@example.org at the time. Colouricious will do our best to investigate and resolve the matter as soon as practicable.
- All matters arising from your contract with Colouricious Ltd are governed by English law and are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Court.
Online Booking & Payment Terms
Please book your holiday online – the booking form is found at the top of this page. Once you have submitted your booking form and made your payment, you will be sent a confirmation note and if appropriate an ATOL certificate.
Upgrading your flight?
If you are considering upgrading your flight we will be pleased to assist. Please call us on 0203 362 4114 or email us at email@example.com at the time of booking for a quote.
Not coming from the UK?
Then it makes sense for you make your own way to Jaipur and meet us there.
Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you the details.
Book your own flight and pay the land only price without flight
Don’t want to book online?
If you do not wish to book your holiday online, then please contact us on 0203 362 4114 or email us at email@example.com and we will arrange it all for you and advise you of the ways you can make your deposit payment.
“Both Sheila and I had a wonderful adventure with you and everyone on the trip, we saw and visited some remote and wonderful places, learnt a lot, not just about Sari weaving and weavers way of life, but also how people with so little can produce such a lot of fantastic stuff! It was a wonderful, colourful (in more ways than one) friendly, well organised experience, Sheila and I can’t wait for our next adventure with you!! – Jacqui
“About the trip.. It was so well planned and facilitated that nothing could be improved. We were cosseted with water, bananas and hand cleanser at every turn. The visits to outlying villages were eye opening in a positive way. The workshops were well prepared and easily followed, even if our results were not perfect! The Indian staff included a tour guide, a lecturer, a driver plus his assistant were all friendly and efficient. I would go again tomorrow. Thank you.” – Jan
“I wanted to thank you for the wonderful trip to India. I can hardly believe I was there and then I look at the photographs and it comes flooding back. I will never forget it and the joy of being in a band of “sisters” – you have a great talent in organising our trips, knowing what we need and letting us experience so much. Being a lovely person to be with is a joy for us too.” – Liz