Crafts of West Bengal Ethnic Arts & Crafts

Sitalpati Mats: The Silk-Like Mats of Bengal that Bring Comfort and Style to Your Home

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

ॐ श्री गुरुभ्यो नमः ॐ श्री शिवानन्दाय नमः ॐ श्री चिदानन्दाय नमः ॐ श्री दुर्गायै नमः 

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In the heart of Bengal, a traditional art form has been weaving its magic for centuries, creating something both practical and beautiful: Sitalpatti mats known for their silk-like smoothness and intricate designs, these mats are more than just a household item; they are a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Bengal and a symbol of artisanal skill.

Sitalpatti Mat Weaving of West Bengal :

Shital Pati Bags & Hand Bags : Explore & Buy on Google Shopping

Sitalpati mats

History and Origin

Sitalpati, which literally means ‘cool mats’, has its roots in the Cooch Behar district of West Bengal, India. This craft dates back hundreds of years and has been passed down through generations of artisans. The skill of making Sitalpati is so revered in the region that the town of Sitalpati in Cooch Behar is named after it.

Sitalpati Mats in the News

Sitalpati mats of Bengal

The Making Process

The process of making Sitalpati mats begins with the cultivation of ‘Murta’ plants. The artisans, with years of expertise, carefully select and harvest the reeds. The reeds are then split into fine strips and woven into mats. This weaving process is intricate and requires a high level of skill and patience, making each mat a unique piece of art. The natural green of the reeds gradually fades to a golden hue, adding to the aesthetic appeal of the mats.

Sitalpati mats of Bengal

Design and Varieties

Sitalpati mats are renowned for their intricate designs and patterns. From simple stripes to complex geometric and floral designs, these mats are a testament to the artisans’ creativity. The versatility in design makes these mats suitable for a variety of home decors, from traditional to contemporary.

Sitalpati mats of Bengal

Cultural Significance

Sitalpati is not just a craft; it’s a part of Bengal’s cultural identity. The mats are used during religious ceremonies and festive occasions, symbolizing purity and auspiciousness. They are also an essential part of Bengali weddings, used as a seat for the bride and groom during the marriage rituals.

Sitalpati mats of Bengal

Eco-Friendly and Sustainable

In an age where sustainability is key, Sitalpati mats stand out for their eco-friendly nature. Made from natural materials, they are biodegradable and do not contribute to pollution. This aspect has garnered attention in the global market, where there is a growing preference for sustainable and eco-friendly products.

Sitalpati mats of Bengal

Modern Adaptations and Global Appeal

The art of Sitalpati is evolving with time. Artisans are now experimenting with colors and new designs to cater to the changing tastes of customers. From being a household item in Bengal, these mats have found their way into international markets, appreciated for their craftsmanship and aesthetic value.

Sitalpati Mat Weaving of West Bengal – Asia InCH – Encyclopedia of  Intangible Cultural Heritage
Sitalpati mats of Bengal
Sitalpati mats of Bengal
Traditional art of Shital Pati weaving of Sylhet - YouTube
Sitalpati mats of Bengal
Sitalpati mats of Bengal
Lilly - Traditional sitol pati, inbox me for order, size... | Facebook
Sitalpati mats of Bengal
Book tickets to Sitalpati Craft Workshop from Goalpara
Sitalpati mats of Bengal

There’s more to explore about Sitalpati mats that enrich their story and significance:

Geographical Indication (GI) Status:

Sitalpati mats from Cooch Behar were awarded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Government of India. This recognition not only honors the unique cultural identity of these mats but also helps in preserving the traditional technique and boosts the local economy by promoting authentic products.

Cultural Integration:

While predominantly a craft from Bengal, Sitalpati has influenced and been influenced by neighboring regions and cultures. This cultural exchange is visible in the variations of designs and patterns found in mats across different regions.

Health Benefits:

Traditionally, it’s believed that sitting on Sitalpati mats can have cooling effects, especially during the hot and humid summer months. This is attributed to the natural properties of the Murta reeds, which remain cool even in high temperatures.

Preservation Efforts:

With the advent of modern, cheaper alternatives, the art of making Sitalpati is facing challenges. However, various NGOs and government initiatives are working towards the preservation and revival of this craft. These efforts include training new artisans, providing financial support, and creating market links for wider distribution.

Innovative Uses:

Beyond traditional mats, the Sitalpati weaving technique is being adapted to create a range of products like bags, hats, and coasters. This diversification not only keeps the craft alive but also appeals to a broader market, including younger generations and international consumers.

Community Involvement:

The craft of making Sitalpati is often a community endeavor. It’s common for entire families or communities to be involved in different stages of the process, from harvesting reeds to the final weaving. This communal aspect is crucial in sustaining the social fabric and economy of the artisan communities.

Festivals and Exhibitions:

Sitalpati mats and other products are often showcased in local, national, and international handicraft exhibitions and fairs. These events play a vital role in raising awareness about the craft and its cultural significance.


Despite their beauty and cultural importance, Sitalpati artisans face challenges such as competition from synthetic products, limited access to markets, and the decreasing availability of quality Murta reeds due to environmental changes.

By understanding these additional aspects of Sitalpati mats, one can appreciate not just their aesthetic value but also their cultural, economic, and ecological significance. It’s a craft that embodies the harmony between nature, tradition, and community livelihood.

Want to learn more about the Sitalpati mats of Coochbihar in West Bengal : Click here to explore


Sitalpati mats are more than just a piece of traditional Indian handicraft. They are a blend of art, culture, and sustainability. Each mat tells a story of the skill, dedication, and cultural richness of Bengal. Incorporating these mats into your home decor is not just a style statement but also a step towards supporting sustainable art forms and the artisans who keep these ancient traditions alive.

In the hustle of modern life, these silk-like mats from Bengal bring a touch of serenity and cultural richness, making them a must-have in every home that values art and tradition.

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

Introducing Blogger Mala Chandrashekhar - a specialist academically trained in modern Western sciences, yet deeply enamored with India's timeless ethnic arts, crafts, and textiles. Her heart beats for the rich and glorious cultural and spiritual heritage of India, and she has dedicated her entire blog to spreading the immortal glories of ancient India worldwide. Through her simple yet impactful blog posts, Mala aims to reach every nook and corner of the globe, sharing India's beauty and wisdom with the world.

But Mala doesn't stop at just sharing her own thoughts and ideas. She welcomes constructive criticisms and suggestions to improve her blog and make it even more impactful. And if you share her passion for India's culture and heritage, she extends a warm invitation for high-quality guest blog posts.

Ready to dive into the world of India's ageless beauty? Follow Mala on LinkedIn and join her in spreading the magic of ancient India to the world.

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