A Paradigm of Global Fashion from Sylhet

Hand woven textiles have long been an important part of Bangladesh’s heritage. Each tribe or community in Bangladesh’s northeast has its own distinct designs and motifs. Manipur has a unique position among our country’s textile zones. Weaving is a traditional skill practised by women in Manipur. Since time immemorial, Monipuri crafts have been intertwined with their culture and spiritual beliefs. However, traditional hand-woven textiles from Manipur are few and few between, and they are fast evolving in terms of designs, motifs, yarns, and techniques as a result of social changes combined with contemporary technology. The primary goal was to document Manipur’s handwoven textiles. The Manipuri tribe of Bangladesh mostly live in Sylhet division and possess a rich culture, history, and tradition. But nowadays, there is an excellent interaction between Manipuri and mainstream Bengali culture, such as; Manipuri traditional clothes (Sari, Blouse, Chador, Scarf, Muffler etc.) have gained huge popularity among common Bangladeshi people.  Monipuri saares have a great reputation like Dhaka Jamdani, Tangail Jamdani, Rajshahi Silk and Mirpur Silk. Though there is a huge potential of Manipuri garments in Bangladesh as well as abroad, its market size is very small and not much available due to some socio-economic and technological problems. However, there are not many more initiatives to search for the hindrances and opportunities of this sector.  The purpose of this study is to find out the promotional activities of Manipuri garments retailers in Sylhet city and their perceptions about the effectiveness of different promotional elements.

Hand-loom woven clothes are famous among Manipuri women. They have their own looms for weaving cloth, which is how Manipuri sarees are made. Manipuri sarees are woven in Bangladesh’s Sylhet, Srimangal, and Moulvibazar regions. Manipuri sarees are in higher demand in Dhaka and other parts of the country than in Sylhet. Tourists visiting Sylhet would at least once look in shops offering Manipuri sarees.

The uniqueness of this comfortable and light-weight saree has made it popular. However, there is insufficient supply to match the demand. This is due to a lack of support for the Manipuri loom business.

Cotton Monipuri Saree:

The most traditional garment of Manipur is the cotton saree. These sarees are made entirely of cotton and are woven on throw and shuttle looms. The designs of those sarees in Manipur are a mix of hill tribal textiles with floral motifs, for example. Most designs are woven with a traditional temple design in the border and a floral design in the cross border.

Silk Monipuri Saree:

Manipur’s silk sarees are woven on fly shuttle and throw looms and are made from 100 percent Eri silk. These traditional sarees have floral, religious, and tribal motifs.

Traditional Manipuri sarees come in two styles: 

Moirang Phee:

Moirang Phee is a Manipurese traditional textile fabric with a unique design known as the “Moirang Phee Yin,” which is woven successively on both longitudinal edges of the cloth and orientated towards the middle with cotton or silk threads. This design on a Manipuri saree is protected under the Geographical Identification Registration, and it was originally a Moirang village product. The thin and pointed teeth of the “Pakhangba,” the Pythonic God in Manipur mythology, are said to be represented by the “Moirang Phee Yin” design, called in local language as Yarongphi (‘ya’ means “tooth,” ‘rong’ means “long”), which is woven over the traditional Moirang Phee fabric. This motif, which is woven sequentially on the longitudinal border of the fabric woven during the primary stage, has a sharp edge at the highest point and is arranged in varied steps on the longitudinal border of the fabric woven during the primary stage to give the saree an artistic aspect. The triangular shaped design elongates in odd numbers of steps (such as 3, 5, 9, 11, and so on) towards the middle of the saree on which it is woven, and is parallel to the weft threads.


In terms of true handloom weaving, Leirum is one of the most revered traditional designs. When a Leirum pattern cloth is given to someone, it is thought to represent the Meitei tribal community’s highest admiration and respect. The parents must gift their daughter with Leirum Phee, which is an important customary component of Meitei marriage. The bride must carry Leirum Phee, a coarse cotton, to the bridegroom’s home. The bridegroom’s pillow and mattress are traditionally wrapped in Leirum-phee.

However, the Leirum design has been seen on a variety of garments, including sarees, over the years.

The classic design of the Leirum consists of red, black, and white stripes. Because the white rows are in the centre, separated by short black lines, the opposite sides alternate between black and red rows. The black rows appear to be little black and white boxes arranged in a chess board layout.

Demand for saris, shawls, bedcovers, bedsheets, women’s three-piece clothing, scarves, and bags rises in the run-up to Eid.

Women were spotted making clothing and handloom items to suit demand during a recent visit to Lamabazar and Mashimpur in Sylhet city, as well as Kamalganj and Sreemangal upazilas in Moulvibazar.

According to traders, a sari costs between Tk 1200 and Tk 6,500; an orna (long scarf) costs between Tk 850 and Tk 1,800; a gamchha (long, thin cotton clothing with a plaid pattern) costs between Tk 850 and Tk 1,700; a shawl costs between Tk 1,100 and Tk 2,000; a muffler costs between Tk 400 and Tk 600; and a bag cost between Tk

Ethnic Community Development Organisation (ECDO) has been training Manipuri women on how to weave and get orders for their items to help them.

Manipuri sarees from the eastern region are in demand both domestically and abroad. The Manipuri handloom saares play an important role in the national and local economies of Bangladesh. Many local and regional governments encourage the usage of ethnic Monipuri sarees because they appear to aid economic development. Monipuri sarees benefit communities, particularly in terms of economic development, and they aid in identifying the difficulties that come with certain sectors.

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