Role of Grameen Check in Diversifying Fashion

What is Grameen Check?
Grameen check is a popular name in the current garment industry. It has come with the aim of developing and modernizing the traditional weaving industry of Bengal. It is not only meeting the demand of the country’s clothing but also highlighting Bangladesh to the world. For many years Grameen check has been at the forefront of the fashion world. It is one of the traditional clothes of Bangladesh.

grameen check saree
Fig: Grameen check saree

History of Grameen Check Fabric:
Bangladesh’s weaving industry remained stagnant for a long time after independence. Later, Grameen Bank started giving loans to the weavers. Gradually, during the 80’s, it was noticed that the weavers were not able to raise their capital with the cloth they were making. At that time Grameen Bank authorities buy those clothes from the weavers at fair price and market them according to the market demand.

Later, the founder of Grameen Bank, Dr. Mohammad Yunus took the project as a challenge. Grameen Bank launched a new company called “Grameen Udyog” which later incorporated Grameen Check. Commercial production of this cloth started in 15 January 1996. Lousmiyn Vander Akker, a Dutch citizen, is the designer of Grameen check. She designed Grameen Check on behalf of UNDP. Although the “Grameen check” is a check fabric, this check has its own design. About 2500 design checks are being made all the time. These designs are numbered and bought by the buyer and numbering method. Thus began the journey of the traditional dress of Bengal, the Grameen check.

grameen check worn by Dr. Yunus
Fig: Grameen check worn by Dr. Yunus

Role of Grameen Check in Diverse Fashion:
Today’s Grameen check is a modern form of traditional lungi check with its own traditional weaving geometric pattern in rural Bangladesh. This lungi, towel of geometric weaving was once considered as the garment of a farmer or a laborer. The design of that simple lungi towel has taken a place of its own all over the world as a new name in the fashion world, Grameen check, by overcoming thousands of obstacles in the evolution of time. It has gained a different dimension with its sense of beauty, taste and nobility. Domestic and international fashion designers have achieved great success by capitalizing on it.

Check and floral prints have long been popular among the colorful canvases. At present, the fashion of Grameen check is going on in clothes. A new mismatched pattern has arrived in the world of Check. The use of elegant colors in thick or thin style check has made the clothes trendy. This design is gaining popularity in this country mainly through Grameen check. Check fashion is very popular in clothing as well as in towels or lungi. Along with Grameen check for girls, check shirts are currently at the top of popularity in boys fashion trends. Not only this, in the fashion of girls, the predominance of this check is seen in the design of salwar kameez. The younger generation has embraced Grameen check as a fashion. The use of this check is seen as fashionable garments such as shirts, hats, girls’ saris, orna, frocks etc. Besides, everyday used products like bed covers, table covers, umbrellas, bags etc. are being made in these checks.

grameen check in fashion
Fig: Grameen check as fashion wear

Grameen Check is a very popular garment design in Bangladesh which has spread rapidly in other countries as well. It basically forms a pattern of quadrilaterals or volumes consisting of different colors of die thread. The textile of rural check design is traditionally made by the cottage industry workers of Bangladesh. Since the fabric is mostly or entirely made of cotton, it has proven to be a comfortable garment for the warm climate of the country. The design also provides an opportunity to wear elegant traditional attire. As a result, attractive check design shirts and tops will ensure comfortable use on the one hand, and will adapt consumers to trendy fashion on the other.

Most of the Grameen check designs come directly from the traditional weavers of the countryside. The popularity of this check means that these small businesses are prospering and weavers are making money from their work, moving to cities and towns for other jobs instead of being there. Sirajganj is one of the weaved areas of the country. This district is well known for its textile production. The total number of weaver families in this district is 14,870 and the number of weaving machines is more than 135,000. Every year about 23 core meters of textile is produced from the handloom of this district. Besides, this industry has created employment for about 3 lakh people in the district. The weavers of this district make various types of garments including Grameen check cloth, sari, lungi, towel, tops, shirt etc.

Fashion icon Bibi Russell has taken Grameen Check to a unique height. Towels are now a trendy indigenous theme in various fashion occasions starting from clothing. Lady Hillary Clinton, co-director of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, also wore a Grameen check dress and praised it. Grameen check is gaining huge popularity in the world market and is also presenting Bangladesh to the world.

Thousands of weavers’ dreams and potential lives are intertwined with Grameen check. Although it is facing some difficulties in the new situation, its work is progressing successfully later. Grameen Check has made its place in the world market as well as in its own country. As a result, the traditional Grameen check of Bangladesh has gained recognition as a new dimension in the changing fashion world.



Author of this Article:
Nazifa Tabassum
B.Sc. in Clothing and Textile
Govt. College of Applied Human Science, Dhaka

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