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Bengali Mats in Surajkund Crafts Mela

These are mats from West Bengal, India, exhibited in the Surajkund Crafts Fair held at Surajkund in Haryana. This fair promotes Indian tradition of handicrafts and handloom.

Mat weaving is one of the oldest crafts and is immensely popular in India. Here, different materials such as reeds, grass, cane, screw pine and date palm leaves are used for making varieties of mats. Mats are not only used for utilitarian purposes, but small mats can also be used to decorate walls.

Bengali Sitalpatti (cool spread) mats woven with green cane are special. These are used to sleep on during the summer season. To weave the Sitalpatti mats the weavers dye a part of the cane in deep maroon with local dyes. Another type of Bengali mats is the mats woven with the madhur-kothi grass. These are also known as masnad mats and are of finer quality.