The popular jamdani (or Dhakai jamdani) sarees of Bengal are fascinating in the way the designs are woven in the fabric of the saree. This is a special style of weaving, called the supplemental weft technique, which makes the designs appear to float on the surface of a fine, transparent fabric. The saree is then polished with starch, to create the crispy, mystical look that jamdani sarees are famous for.
However, the exotic look of jamdani sarees comes at a price. Both the nature of weaving along with the starch give a rough feel to the inner side of the saree. This can cause some itchiness at the waist, where the saree is tucked into the petticoat. The discomfort gradually goes down with use, as the starch wears off, but most jamdani sarees never really feel soft and comfortable like other cotton sarees.
Keeping this is mind, jamdani weavers today often make sarees that are completely starch free. These jamdani sarees are woven using the same technique, but the absence of starch makes them soft to touch and a pleasure to drape. Just like other jamdanis, these sarees should also be dry-cleaned to preserve the sparkle in the fabric.