Saturday, October 31, 2020

Muga Silk Sari

Muga Silk sari

One of the rarest Silks in the world is the Muga silk from Assam. It is produced only in Assam and nowhere else. The fact that sets this Silk apart from all other versions is that it is totally golden yellow in color. The word `Muga’ means yellowish in Assamese. The source of it is the Muga Silkworm which goes back to the age of the dinosaurs and is so sensitive in nature that it cannot tolerate even the most minimum of pollution levels. It is made from the semi-cultivated silkworm named Antheraea assamensis. It is organic and natural and has the strongest natural fiber.

The source of it is the Muga Silkworm which goes back to the age of the dinosaurs and is so sensitive in nature that it cannot tolerate even the most minimum of pollution levels. It is made from the semi-cultivated silkworm named Antheraea assamensis. It is organic and natural and has the strongest natural fiber.

It is the most expensive type of Silk and is used for making products only for the upper segments of the market. One of the major highlights of Muga Silk is its longevity. It is said that generally, a Muga Silk fabric outlives the wearer.

It is known for its resilience. It can be given a fine texture by dry ironing it in a damp state or it can attain a crushed look by not getting ironed. This is one unique fabric where the golden luster increases with age. Any type of embroidery by a thread can be done on it. Most importantly, while it has got a naturally golden luster and does not need any dyeing to be done, it is still quite compatible with most dyes.

Origin and History

As per conflicting records, the cultivation and weaving of Muga Silk have been there for a very long time but the golden age can be traced to the period between 1228-1828 during the reign of the Ahom rulers. The Ahom rulers patronized the growth of Muga Silk as an industry. They had decreed that all the higher officials of the kingdom were to adorn only clothes made from Muga Silk.

Present day Scenario 

An interesting equation to note is that it takes about 1000 cocoons to generate 125 grams of Silk and around 1000 grams of Silk is needed for a saree. Over and above, the time taken to make one single saree is about two months right from rearing the silkworm to the finished product. The weaving process of the Muga silk saree alone takes up one week to ten days to complete.


A whole lot of variety is available with Muga silk. It is used in making hats, caps, scarf’s, wraps, stoles, quilts, bridal wear, upholstery, sarees and kurtas.

Occasion dressing

While Mehelka-Sadar is essentially a bridal wear in two pieces, another version called Reeha’ is worn during festivals and religious ceremonies. Otherwise, sarees made of Muga Silk are prized processions and are worn for very special occasions such as formal functions.


Muga Silk fabrics can be washed in cold water gently with a mild detergent.

Bandhani Sari

 Bandhani Sari

Bandhani is a tie and dye method practiced mainly in states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and parts of Uttar Pradesh. The word Bandhani is derived from a Sanskrit word Banda which means “to tie”. Bandhani is truly an art that involves dyeing a fabric tied tightly with a thread at several points, producing a variety of patterns.


Bandhani is the oldest form of tie & die art which began about 5000 years ago. As per the historical evidence, the first Bandhani saree was worn at the time of Bana Bhatt`s Harshacharita in a royal marriage. One of it’s earliest visual representations can be seen in the Ajanta caves. In India, Bandhani work was started by the Khatri Community of Gujarat. Places in Rajasthan like Jaipur, Sikar, Bhilwara, Udaipur, Bikaner, Ajmer, and Jamnagar in Gujarat are the well known centers producing odhnis, sarees and turbans in Bandhani.  It is an ancient form of art which is still in practice.


The art of Bandhani is as exciting as it’s history. The fabric to be dyed is tied very tightly at different points in knots and then dyed with extraordinary colors. When this tied cloth goes for dyeing, these threads or knots doesn’t let that part catch color & allows it to stay white or whatever color the cloth has. Once the cloth is dyed, it is left for drying in open air.  Drying can take some time depending upon the weather conditions. In monsoon, it takes around 2 days to dry while in summer it takes only 4-5 hours. In winter it takes around 6-7 hours for drying.

Style & Variety

Bandhani comes in a variety of colors, designs & patterns and these variations are region specific. The colors that are most prominently used in Bandhani are yellow, red, green, blue and black. After the processing is over, Bandhani work results into a variety of symbols including dots, waves, strips and squares. The patterns include Leheriya, Mothra, Ekdali and Shikari depending on the manner in which the cloth has been tied.

The outfits comprise Khombi, Patori, Gharchola and Chandrokhani. Bandhej work can be seen on Sarees, Kurtas, Salwar kameez, and Chaniya cholis. The designs include Ekdali (single knot), Trikunti (three knots), Chaubandi (four knots), Dungar Shahi (mountain pattern), Boond (small dot with a dark center), Kodi (teardrop shaped) and Laddu Jalebi (Indian sweets). Different colors transmit different meanings in Bandhani.

Wearing the Attire

Simple Bandhani Salwar Kameez are an everyday wear for many. Sarees with Leheriya patterns are usually worn for day-time ceremonies whereas Ghatchola lehengas & sarees are worn for occasions at night. Bandhej dupattas with plain white Salwar Kameez are very popular among young girls. Bandhej Sarees can also be worn by working women for a perfect style statement, yet keeping it subtle.


The strength of Bandhani is lost if ironed with a high heat setting, therefore, it is advisable to get your Bandhani apparel dry-cleaned and if needed be, ironed with a low heat setting.

Bomkai Sari

Bomkai Sari
Woven on a pit loom, Bomkai, which is also known as Sonepuri, is an extraordinary fabric that results from the confluence of two extremely popular components of the Orissa textile industry. In its simplest, Bomkai can be explained as an extra weft technique on a pit loom.It is an outcome of Ikat and embroidery interwoven into each other. The borders are often in contrasting colors and the pallus marked by intricate threadwork. The motifs on the Bomkai are inspired from nature and tribal art, giving the saree a fascinating look that makes it perfect for aristocracy. Bomkai sarees are available in cotton and silk fabrics.

Origin and History

The historical significance of Bomkai emerges from the fact that Bomkai is one of the traditional faces of a designer Orissa; and, showcases the adept works of an artisan. Also known as Sonepuri the embroidered cloth is a type of saree that was first crafted in the southern coastal parts of Orissa. Undoubtedly then, the fabric carried an essence of the ensembles that originated on the shores. While most of the coastal areas of Southern Orissa are involved in the creation of Bomkai sarees, it is in Sonepur that the prettiest of the fabric facades are found.

Locally known as ‘Bandha’ Bomkai concept of sarees is a part of the Orissan culture since 600 B.C. An outcome of Ikat and embroidery interweaved into each other, Bomkai is a magnificent innovation that has taken over the textile industry and gives it a global push. Traditionally worn as an auspicious attire by the Brahmins of the South during rituals, Bomkai or Sonepuri today is counted amongst one of the most highly thought of attires in the state of Orissa and an illustrious one in other parts of the country.


It’s the creativity and the love of the people for Bomkai that sparks innumerable concepts within the domain of Bomkai industries. Innumerable varieties of Bomkai have been introduced till date by people belonging to the Southern parts of Orissa. Some of the most popular ones though include Sonepuri, Pasapali, Barpali, and Bapta saris.

Interesting Facts and Comparisons

A Bomkai saree is largely worn by Kathak dancers around the world.

Bomkai is one of the major attractions in world fairs on fabrics, textiles, and attires.

Cotton sari

Cotton sari
Cotton can be described as a soft fiber which is mostly used to spin a thread which is widely used in textiles. Cotton is a widely used fabric for textile printing and almost every style of clothing can be made from cotton.

Origin and History

Cotton in India became popular during the Indus Valley Civilization. was found in ancient India some time around 2000 B.C. It was the technology called mordant dyeing that prevailed at that particular time in India. The overall involvement of textile printing is all thanks to the trade that took place between various countries as that is how the techniques were transferred from one place to another. Europe was intrigued by the Indian printed fabrics like cotton sarees which were brought to them by East India Company in 17th century. It was in the year 1670 that France too witnessed the beauty and charm of Indian printed textiles and the Indian calicos as they were    called at that time began printing in England by 1670.


There are various methods that are utilized today to print colored designs and prints fabrics, some of which include:

Hand block printing, which is the first method, is one of the oldest methods of textile printing. Some will address this one as artistic but some people also consider this method to be the slowest which it is. The design that is printed on the cloth is first made on blocks of wood.

Roller printing was first used in Scotland in the year 1783 and in this method the fabric is passed through machine and inked laden rollers print the design on them.

Screen printing is one of the most commonly used methods at present. Ink is made into a paste and then printed on the fabric with the help of little gaps in the screen.

Bleaching is also one of the methods in which fabric is first dyed and then bleached in order to print the design.
Stenciling is the way in which stencils are used to print designs onto fabrics.

Wax printing is a method which involves using wax to print designs on the dyed cotton fabrics.


Cotton fabrics are soft and need adequate care and attention. It is recommended to wash them in cold water and avoid the use of bleach.

Interesting Facts and Comparisons

Cotton fabrics are one of the most desired fabrics for printing as they have excellent color retention.
The cotton fabric is durable in nature and quite strong.
Cotton fabric is considered ideal for summers as it is comfortable and absorbs perspiration.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Zari Sari

Zari Sari
Zari or Zari Work as it is known, is an intricate art of weaving threads made of fine gold or silver. These threads are further woven into fabrics, primarily made of silk to create intricate patterns. The designs are so exquisite that apart from the monetary value attached to these threads, the fabric also gets an overall rich & a beautiful look.

Origin and History of Zari Work 

It is believed that the word Zari originated in  a village by the same name in ancient Persia (Iran of today) where artisans used the skill of weaving thin threads of gold and silver onto fine fabrics of silk. The art was brought to India by Persian migrants between 1700-1100 BC – the period of Rig Veda. However, zari work flourished during the Mughal era under the patronage of Emperor Akbar.

 The Making 

Zari is produced by twisting a flattened metallic strip made from pure gold, silver or a metallic polyester film around a yarn made of silk, cotton, polyester etc.These zari threads are processed to increase the brightness of gold plating, giving it an aesthetic  look.


Zari, which once enjoyed a lot of royal patronage, has slid down due to high costs of precious metals such as gold and silver. In keeping with the times and in a bid to appeal to various income groups, Zari has gone through some changes and extensions.

Zari is categorized into 3 types:

1. Real Zari: It is made of pure gold & silver. Due to the high cost of pure gold and silver, Real Zari is sought after by the very rich and discerning.

2. Imitation Zari: It is made of silver electroplated (thinly) copper wire. Imitation Zari was used as a replacement for silver. However with increasing prices of copper too, even Imitation Zari is produced in a rather limited way.

3. Metallic Zari: It is made of slitted polyester metallized film. Metallic Zari is the work which is in vogue as it weighs quite lightly compared to pure gold and silver or for that matter copper. It is also affordable and more durable compared to Real Zari and Imitation Zari.

Clothes with Zari are generally made-to-order in case of Real Zari or Imitation Zari, whereas Metallic Zari can be bought off the shelf.

The price range varies anywhere between Rs. 20000/- to Rs. 150000/- depending on the work needed for Real and Imitation Zari. For Metallic Zari, the price range is between Rs. 1500/- to Rs. 12000/-.

Wearing Zari Work Attire

Sarees, kurtas and salwars with zari are essentially worn during very special occasions such as weddings, and festivals.  Fabrics with Zari lend a regal look to the person wearing it.


Zari contains the weaves of gold and silver. The metal, specially the silver weaves react to the atmospheric air and looks dull & old. To maintain its shine, the best thing is to wrap them in soft cotton or a muslin dhoti. This prevents them from any reaction.

Dry cleaning is the best for Zari embroidered dresses. If there is a need to wash these dresses, it should be done in mild soap water, then dry these in shade. It is also advisable to avoid spraying perfumes or deodorants directly on these dresses.

Georgette sari

Georgette sari

Georgette is a light-weight, crinkled and sheer fabric, displaying an overall bouncy look. A strong absorbent, Georgette is easy to dye and has dull-rough texture. Georgette is woven in highly twisted yarns of S & Z, in both warp and weft. Georgette is woven in two forms: Pure and Faux. Pure Georgette is woven out of Silk yarns, while the Faux Georgette is woven from Rayon and Polyeste.

Origin and History

Back in the 20th century, Madame Georgette de la Plante introduced the tenderness of a gorgeous fabric widely now known as ‘Georgette’. The most of its usage has been dated back to 1915. She was a French dressmaker, who like every other French ‘fashion designer’ (as they are known now), was an innovative individual who was well known for her ‘net finish’ of all her gowns and dresses.

The Making

Originally Georgette was made from silk. It later included the usage of rayon blends. However, modern Georgette is mostly made with the use of synthetic filaments. The most intriguing part of the making of Georgette is the crepe like twist. It is made with crepe weave by alternating between two ends of the right hand with two ends of the left- hand hard twist yarns.


Initially, the fabric was restricted for trimming and layering purposes. With the passage of time, the fabric has been branched into many sub categories. The various kinds of Georgette currently available are:

Jacquard Georgette fabric

Nylon Georgette fabric

Viscose Georgette fabric

Silk Georgette fabric

Polyester Georgette fabric

Satin Georgette fabric

Style & Attire

While Chiffon gives a pretty and flowing look, many fashion designers use Georgette for the same purpose, but also for the more conservative crowd that prefers a little more opaque material. Blouses, dresses, saris, gowns and skirts are some of the most common garments on which fashion designers frequently use Georgette.

Many fashion designers also use Georgette to adorn and accessorize their designs, due to its highly absorbent nature. Strings, Waist belts, Bows, Scarves, Veils are few to name. Stockings and accessories for slips on is another area of trending designs in Georgette.


Though Georgette is considered a stronger material than chiffon, it is still advisable to follow special care while washing. Some key methods that can be followed include:

Hand wash

Usage of a very light detergent

Air drying is apt as over-exposure to sunlight often causes the fabric to lose its color

Interesting Facts and Comparisons

Pure Georgette is quite expensive compared to all the variations of the fabric.

Traditionally Georgette garments were only worn by the royal families as they were expensive yet elegant. Georgette was the fabric that denoted class and hence most of the initial Georgette gowns were passed down through the ages.

Not all Georgette fabrics are the same. There exists a kind known as the ‘faux Georgette’. These can be identified with the roughness of the material. While pure Georgette has a kind of soft roughness, the faux Georgette has really hard roughness to it.

Considered to be at least 5 times cheaper than pure Georgette, the faux Georgette can be clearly equated with its price.

Chiffon Sari

                                            Chiffon Sari

Chiffon is a lightweight plain-woven fabric with mesh like weave that gives it transparent appearance. The word Chiffon has a French origin which means a cloth. It is primarily made from cotton, silk or synthetic fibers like nylon, rayon and polyester. Chiffon is most commonly used to weave Sarees, Dresses and Scarves.


The fabric was made exclusively with Silk until Nylon was invented in 1938. After the introduction of Polyester fabric in 1958, the polyester chiffon blend became more popular because of its durability and economic viability.

The Making

It is a plain balanced weave where similar weighted weft and warp threads are used on the loom for manufacturing. The criss-cross pattern weave which is generally used for Chiffon, gives the fabric a checkered, mesh like effect.

The yarns used in weaving the fabric are alternately twisted which results in the slight crumpling of fabric in different directions.

As a precaution, craftsmen work slowly and steadily with this fabric. If the fabric is stretched during the sewing process, it may bunch together and ruin the whole stitch. The stitching must be very clean and fine to improve the finished appearance.


It is made from silk is the most popular variant of the fabric. The shimmer texture of silk fabric makes the Chiffon look more appealing. Though it is lightweight, the fabric has considerable strength. Due to its manufacturing from natural silk fiber, it is a more expensive than the synthetic Chiffon.

Synthetic materials like nylon and polyester are most commonly used to make this fabric. These materials can be easily dyed into different colors. The synthetic Chiffon is also economical and sturdier than its silk variant.

In the form of Saree, the fabric adds shimmer and texture to the overall appearance. This fabric is also used to create Kurtis, Salwar Kameez, Scarves, Belts, and accents.

The use of this fabric in layering an attire can be seen aplenty. It adds volume to a garment and is often used as the base fabric for embroideries and appliques. This sheer fabric is also used to manufacture home furnishing products such as embellished sofa covers and curtains.


Chiffon outfits should preferably be hand-washed or slow machine washed with extra care so that the fabric does not get frayed.

It is advisable not to wash these outfits with any other clothes especially in the first few wash cycles as it may bleed color. Also, the duration of wash cycle should be kept short as this fabric starts loosing color if kept in water for a longer duration.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Brocade sari

Brocade sari 

Brocade is an ornate shuttle-woven fabric, often made with colorful threads silk, cotton, polyester, and sometimes with gold and silver threads. Brocade is originally a Kurdish word in Arabic is sometimes pronounced as ‘Brocar’. The word ‘Bro’ means the prophet and the word ‘Car’ means job or craft.

Historical Background

The weaving industry of Brocade textile reached its peak during the Mughal period due to the patronage of Akbar. The Persian patterns and motifs were prominent in this period due to the influence Persian artisans in the court of emperor Akbar.Banarasi brocades are composed of gold patterning known as ‘Kalabattu’. These gold threads have become a signature for the Brocade Indian Fabric.

The Making

Brocade is typically woven on a draw loom in which each thread can be controlled separately. Brocade is then woven using a weft technique, Brocade is woven. In spite of its intricate weave, the final fabric of Brocade resembles an embroidered texture.


Extra care should be taken to make the Brocade fabric last longer. Read the specific fabric instructions as some Brocade fabrics can be hand washed while some are dry clean only.

Also, the Brocade garment should not be put in the dryer as it may pull and crush the fabric. It should be dried out flat and away from direct sunlight to ensure longevity.

Chanderi Sari

                                        Chanderi Sari

Chanderi sari is a traditional sari made in Chanderi, Madhya Pradesh, India.Chanderi is a traditional ethnic fabric characterized by its lightweight, sheer texture and fine luxurious feel. Chanderi fabric is produced by weaving in silk and golden Zari in the traditional cotton yarn that results in the creation of the shimmering texture. The fabric borrowed its name from the small town Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh where traditional weavers practice the art of producing textured sarees in cotton and silk decorated with fine zari work.This fabric can be classified into three types – Chanderi silk cotton, pure silk and Chanderi cotton. Traditionally, Chanderi fabric was primarily used in weaving Sarees and Salwar Kameez material.

Nowadays, young women prefer wearing Chanderi sarees. It is one of the must-have items for every saree connoisseur and has emerged as the most understated Indian ethnic attire. Chanderi sarees are an impeccable choice for summer wear as well as for ceremonial dressing such as a weddings or pujas.


Since ancient times, Chanderi town is popularly known as one of the best handloom clusters in India where Chanderi fabric was woven using handspun cotton warps and wefts. But the evolution of the fabric began in the 1890’s when weavers in the town of Chanderi replaced hand spun yarns with mill mad yarns. But if epics are to be believed, Chanderi fabric is known to have its origin way back in the Vedic Period.

In the year 1910, Chanderi sarees were patronized by the royal family of Scindia and it was during that period when golden thread motif made its presence in the cotton muslin saree for the first time. But during the Mughal reign, popularity of this fabric reached new heights and was the most favored choice of queens in India. In the 1930s, Chanderi weavers in Madhya Pradesh discovered Japanese silk. They began replacing the warps of cotton sarees with it and that’s how the Chanderi silk variety came into existence.

Characteristic of Chanderi

Creation of unique buttis or motifs and the transparent or sheer texture of Chanderi fabric are the two prime characteristics that distinguishes it from other handloom fabrics.

Motifs or Buttis

The buttis or motifs on Chanderi fabric are primarily hand woven on handloom, with the use of needles. Separate needles are used to create different motifs. Weavers coat these motifs with gold, silver as well as copper. Motifs created using chanderi weaving are inspired from nature and include Swans, gold coins, fruits, and heavenly bodies.

From traditional motifs of flowers, peacock, lotus to modern geometric patterns, today one can find strikingly beautiful motifs like ‘Nalferma, ‘Dandidar, ‘Chatai’, ‘Jangla’, Mehndi wale haath’ etc. adorning the Chanderi fabrics. Color palette of Chanderi sarees are predominately ruled by soft pastel hues, however with changing times, vibrant combinations of red and black, turquoise and navy blue, fuchsia and white also exist.

Fashion Connect

Since ancient times, Chanderi fabric holds a special position in the Indian handloom industry. Traditionally, this fabric was used to weave the nine yard drapes. But now, with fusion of traditional and modern weaving techniques, Chanderi fabric is extensively used by fashion designers to create Indo-western dresses, tunics and tops.


The sheer texture of Chanderi fabric needs special care. It’s advisable to dry clean Chanderi fabric protect the fine Zari work. Dry in shade, avoid drying in direct sunlight.


Kota Sari

Kota sari is a type of fabric originating from Kota, in the northern region of Rajasthan. The luster and elegance of this fabric makes it a great choice for a saree or an accessory like scarf.

Origin and History

The history of this exquisite craft dates back to the 18th century when Maharana Bhim Singh brought some weavers from the Deccan and encouraged this craft to blossom under his royal benefaction. The actual origin of Kota sarees was Mysore, Karnataka. The weavers from Mysore were brought to a small town called Khaitoon in Rajasthan by Rao Kishore Singh who was a General in the Mughal army and an avid supporter of this craft.

Kota Sarees are made of pure cotton and silk and have square like patterns known as khats on them. The chequered weave of a Kota sari is very popular. They are very fine weaves and weigh very less.

Sources of Inspiration

Royal patronage and the opulent life style of the Maharajas have played a vital role in encouraging this craft, which till date is strong in its popularity and significance. The raw material for this fabric comes chiefly from Bangalore. And the additional adornments like zari come from Surat.


Several experiments have been done with designs and patterns over the years which make the Kota tissue a versatile fabric. Floral motifs, landscape designs, or just sparkly embellishments are extensively used in Kota sarees. As a material is light and easy to carry. The sheer fabric is popular among women as it looks fashionable. Many fashion designers have adapted this style in their modern, yet vintage creations.


Since the weavers had come from Mysore, the fabric produced was called kota masuriya. It was woven on narrow 8 inch looms to make the traditional paags (turbans) and later on broader looms used for gossamer light saris. Silk was added to the cotton in a 20:80 ratio approximately to give the sari strength. This has become the usual cotton silk Kota Doria blend. Nowadays hand woven silk Kota Doria saris have also become popular. At first the design known as a buti was small and regular but larger designs are now made according to fashion and taste. A standard sari is 6.5 metres long and includes the blouse piece. A very ornate sari can take one month to make and is an heirloom piece to be treasured. A genuine Kota Doria sari will contain the GI mark woven in one corner indicating that it has been hand woven using real silver and gold thread.

Most Kota Doria or Kota Doriya saris are made on power looms in Surat and Varanasi and may be hand block printed, embroidered or hand finished in a variety of ways. The fabric is also used as dress fabric and for stoles and dupattas.


What makes this saree wearable throughout the year is the lightweight feel embodied in the material. Silk sarees are usually heavy and can be exhausting; however, the tissue sarees from Kota are not as heavy and easier to manage.


Since the material is delicate, dry clean or mild hand wash is recommended to maintain the quality of this material.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Gujarati Saree.

Gujarati Saree.

Almost every state in India has its own type of sari which has some unique features that makes it different from the others available across the country. Gujarat is one state that has not one but many kinds of saris which are a pivotal part of its rich culture. Sari is a significant symbol of Indian tradition that has spread its fame and glory all across the globe. Indian saris are known for their sensuality, elegance, colorful designs and fabric. The saris you’ll find in Gujarat have everything one expects from a traditional Indian sari and much more when it comes to the various ways in which, a Saree can be worn.

Origin and History

Patola saris from Gujarat are one of the most popular kinds that are available in the market. The origin and history of these saris can be traced back to the 12th century when Salvi weavers hailing from Maharashtra and Karnataka came to Gujarat. They settled in Gujarat under the approval of some of the most affluent people of the state and the Solanki Rajputs. Apart from Patola silk saris, the Bandhani saris from Gujarat are also equally famous, and the art of bandhani came into being some 5000 years ago in India. The very first bandhani sari was donned at the occasion of a royal marriage in Bana Bhatt’s time.

Faces Behind the Fabric

Rajkot and Patan in Northern Gujarat happen to be the main centers for the manufacturing of patola silk saris. The bandhani work, on the other hand, is the trademark of Khatri community located in Kutch. Mandvi and Bhuj situated in Kutch district are indeed the main centers for the production of Bandhani saris of Gujarat.


When we take into account patola silk saris from Gujarat then one can find that there are two kinds of patola saris namely Rajkot patola and Patan patola. The Rajkot patola saris are vertically resist dyed which is also known as single Ikat. The Patan patola saris are horizontally resist dyed which is called double Ikat. When it comes to bandhani saris then there are many kinds available in Gujarat such as Gharchola and Pantera.


Gujarati Sarees are simple to drape and carry, hence meant for both casual and formal occasions depending upon the sari that you pick. The adornment can vary from wearing simple silver jewelry to heavy black metal pieces.


Both patola saris and bandhani saris can be worn all year round as they are comfortable to don.


Patola and bandhani saris are easy to maintain and quite durable in nature, therefore the maintenance is fuss-free, and a simple hand or machine wash is sufficed.

Interesting facts and comparisons

The number of squares in bandhani saris such as gharchola is multiples of 9, 12 or else 52.

Each patola sari requires a time span of four to six months to be completed.

Red, green, yellow and pink are the dominant color options for bandhani saris.

Uppada Jamdani Sarees

Uppada jamdani sarees are diaphanous silk saree that trace its origin to Uppada in Andhra Pradesh. Jamdani itself is a hand woven fabric that is also known as muslin. The word itself roughly translates to flower vase (which ‘jam’ meaning flower and ‘dani’, vase). The name comes from a Persian origin. It is also said that this technique of weaving has Bengali roots.

Origin and History of Uppada Jamdani Sarees

Historically speaking, Jamdani as a technique was first written about in Kautaliya’s Arthashastra. This book dates back to the 3rd century and is essentially a book about ancient economics.It slowly seeped into India as trade between the two began to flourish. Eventually, these were produced in Uppada in bulk.  The artisans in this region became quite adept at producing uppada jamdani sarees, leading to their popularity now.

The Making of Uppada Jamdani Sarees

Jamdani is created in a very interesting manner. Two weavers are required to sit in a pit loom and work in tandem to make this fabric. 

The weft and warp threads that are needed for the background are passed from one weaver to the other. Then, the designs that need to be added are weaved in and added, the way embroidery is usually done.

The length count of threads is 100 and the breadth count is 100 in the weaving process of Uppada Silk sarees.

The average price range of Uppada Silk sarees is between Rs. 5000/- and Rs. 20000/-.

Style and Variety

When it comes to the styles of Jamdani, there are two main types:


In this style, floral patterns are created throughout the body of the fabric.


In this style, the floral motifs are created diagonally across the body of the fabric. In terms of the floral network, it is referred to as “Jhalar”

Wearing the Attire

Given the cost of the sarees, Uppada Silk sarees are used mainly during occasions of weddings, festivals and formal gatherings.

They are usually light in weight, and can be worn quite comfortably throughout the year.


The recommendation for Uppada Silk sarees is that for the first time, only dry cleaning should be done. The second time onwards, a mild detergent can be used. They should never be dried under direct sunlight.

Peshwai Sari

Peshwai sari

The sarees are the tradition of Marathas the Peshwa Era and tribe, whom kept the traditional weave of Paithani Sarees alive even during the Mughal Sultanate Rule.

Peshwai is a style of the traditional saree drape look of Marathas. The Brahmini or Peshwai Nauwari saree drape is worn in a Paithani saree of 9 yards long. They are worn for special occasions of Marathi Culture and worn by Brides too as a tradition.

Peshwai Paithani sarees use a particular silk which is called as Daagina silk because it has intricate thread work on the border and pallu of the saree. Best part of wearing this saree is, it is very light weight and easy to carry and at the same time, looks very elegant. Apt for flaunting in wedding functions.

Peshwai silk saree is a traditional silk saree which is available in pure silk fabric. This saree is widely used since a long time for wearing in marriage functions.

Nauvari Saree

 Nauvari Saree

Nauvari (also known as Nav Vari, Nauvaree, Kasta Sari, Kacha, Sakachcha, Lugade) is a nine yards saree worn by the Marathi women or women of Maharashtra. The name ‘Nauvari’ originated from the saree’s length of nine yards. The style of drape for Nauvari has evolved drastically from the traditional style to the modern-age cult and is draped in such a way that it gives a trouser-dress like an appearance, while the sari is tucked at the back. Nauvari sarees usually come in cotton and is worn without a Petticoat, majorly by the Maharashtrian Brahmin women community.

Origin & History

Historically, the women of the Maratha Empire showcased their abilities and caliber by assisting their fellow male warriors during the times of war. Hence, in order to accomplish their mission and yet maintain their comfort of physical movement during the wars, these Marathi women invented this Maharashtrian style of drape.The Nauvari saree, which means Nine Yards, has a historical milieu. It is said that during the Maratha rule, women were entrusted to help their fellow male warriors. To facilitate easy movement, Maharashtrian women introduced the Nauvari saree which resembled a male trouser. Since then, it has become the traditional attire for women in Maharashtra. Wearing it reminds them of their competency in the male dominated society and equal stature in the bygone days, even during difficult times.

Cultural Importance of Nauvari sarees

The Nauvari saree is a stunning attire that is mostly worn by the Maharashtrian brides for their wedding ceremonies. It is typically draped in a traditional style that makes the brides look gorgeous and suave. You can see several women wearing Nauvari sarees  during major festivals such as Ganesh Chaturthi and Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra.

Steps to drape a Nauvari Saree in a traditional way:

While draping a Nauvari saree, you do not need any petticoat or slip. These sarees are mostly available in cotton and are very easy to carry off, even if you are wearing them for the first time.

First of all, wear a pair of tight slacks and tie a centre knot right below the navel to secure the pleats, leaving about a meter of length on your left.

Take the pallu of the saree on the left shoulder, wrap it and bring it to the right end of your shoulder.

Now, with the remaining part of saree, start making pleats of 4-5 inches. Pass all the pleats through both the legs from the front to the back.

Re-fold the pleats, pull them neatly and tuck them in at the mid-riff.

Bring the remaining of the pleated saree and let it come towards your front side by wrapping it around the right side of your waist. Fold the portion of the saree that is near the feet in a layer and tuck into your waist so that it looks like a dhoti pants from the front.

Wearing the Attire

The Nauvari saree is usually worn by the elderly Marathi women and the Maharashtrian Brahmin women. With rich culture and royal elegance of the Marathi women, Nauvari is usually accessorized with traditional gold jewelry and gajra in the hair.

A strong desire to wear the Nauvari sari, though quite a difficult task to drape one, the Nauvari went through an innovating concept of ‘Readymade/ Pre-Stitched Nauvari Saree.’

The uniqueness to this feature is that it is easy to wear, attractive looking and gives a very comfortable feeling, unlike the original draping. This innovation has brought it a global appeal and has made it easily accessible by all. It is made in such a way that it fits one’s size and no one ever realizes that it is actually a stitched sari

Variety and Designs

The Nauvari sarees are available in different varieties and designs. Initially they were made from cotton, but now they are easily available in other fabrics as well, including silk and satin. These traditional nauvari sarees are embellished with attractive floral prints and are beautifully designed with motifs and patterns. One can complement this saree with 3/4th sleeves or even sleeveless blouses to create a stunningly fusion look.

For her wedding, a Maharashtrian bride can select Nauvari sarees made up of Paithani silk. This smooth fabric is often available in golden color which would be a perfect choice for the Maharashtrian bride. Moreover, a silk Nauvari saree is famous for its thick patterned border that is mostly embroidered with either a silver or golden thread. With a wide-spread availability of pre-stitched Nauvri sarees, it becomes really easy for you to pick and choose your favorite one this festive season.

Interesting facts:

Nauvari saree is considered to be one of the most popular dresses of Maharastrian women.

Women can be seen wearing Nauvari sarees during festivals and represent the age-old tradition of the state.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Shalu (sari)

 A Shalu is a regional variant of the sari from Banaras (Varanasi), India. It is one of many types of saris and differs in the fact that it is the end result of combining Paithani fabric and Banarasi fabric. Banarasi known as Banarasi Silk, is a fine variant of Silk that originates from the city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India.unreliable source One of the biggest differences with the Shalu Sari, in comparison to others, is that it is completely embellished at the base with what is called "jari" motifs.Shalu saris are often worn by brides in Maharashtra.

Material and Variations:

 Categorized into four distinct varieties based on fabrics, namely pure silk (katan), organza (kora) with zari and silk, georgette and shattir. Of these, the pure silk variety is the most renown one.

Zardozi Sari

Zardozi Sari

Zardozi is form of embroidery that came to India from Persia. Its literal translation, “zar” meaning gold and “dozi” meaning embroidery, refers to the process of using metallic-bound threads to sew embellishment on to various fabrics. This heavy and intricate style of design is said to have been brought to India with the Mughal conquerors.

It found a base with thousands of artisans who have passed on this trade among their families and local communities. While the Indian city of Lucknow became a major center for this art form, its exact origin is unknown. However, there are many romanticized stories that surround its origin. Till date there are numerous micro enterprises that specialize in Lucknow Zardozi.

Origin & History

Zardozi is a style of embroidery that has its earliest mentions in Vedic literatures, the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata. The original process, known as “Kalabatun”, used silk threads wrapped in real gold and silver wires to decorate satin and velvet fabrics. Along with the threads, other opulent embellishments such as sequins, beads, precious and semi-precious stones and pearls were also sewn on. At its peak, it was used in the Mughal Era by the royalty to adorn tent walls in the form of tapestries and wall hangings, as well as on accessories for elephants and horses.

However, Lucknow remained the main center of production due to the high demand from the city of Nawabs. However, over time, with the rise of gold and silver prices, the use of such expensive materials became difficult and artisans resolved to use synthetic threads or copper wires polished in gold and silver. In doing so, Zardozi was commercialized as a technique, though some of the glory of the traditional heritage of this craft was lost.

The Making

The techniques, tools and raw materials used to create Zardozi are the same across India and adhere very closely to the original and ancient techniques.  The basic technique is 4 fold:

• Designing: This is the initial stage of the process, where the entire design is drawn on to a tracing sheet and holes are made along the traced pattern using a needle. While the patterns from the Mughal period all comprised of complex nature, floral and leaf motifs, contemporary patterns are more geometric stylizations of similar motifs.

• Tracing: In order to trace the design on to a fabric, the papers with the patterns are placed on a flat table with the fabric underneath. A kerosene and Robin Blue solution is made and wads of cloth are used to dip in it, which are then wiped against the tracing sheet. This enables the ink from the sheet to seep in to the fabric.

• Setting the frame or “Adda”: The design imprinted fabric is stretched over a wooden frame. The size of the frame can usually be adapted to the size of the fabric. Using bamboo or wooden spars, it is then stretched out and tightly held to give the cloth a uniform tension. The artisans then sit around this frame to begin the embroidery work.

• Embroidery: A crochet-like needle that is fixed to a wooden stick called “Ari” is used to carry out the embroidery. As opposed to a regular needle and thread, the Ari greatly speeds up the work as the artisans can pass the threads both above and below the fabric. Depending on the intricacy of design and number of artisans working on a piece, this phase can take anywhere from a day to 10 days. So the ultimate tool is a steady hand and nimble fingers.

Styles & Variety

In Lucknow, the raw material to make original Zardozi threads is an alloy of gold and silver. This delicate alloy wire is made by melting ingots that are pressed through perforated steel sheets. They are further flattened by hammering and then converted into wires. Once out of the furnace, these wires are twisted around silk threads to form the thicker, spring-like Zardozi thread. This springy quality of thread called “Dabka” is credited as a Lucknow specialty. It is often combined with sequins, glass and plastic beads.


Considering Lucknow Zardozi work consists of intricate embroidery that sometimes sticks out above the surface, it’s advisable to maintain its sheen and construct with dry cleaning.

Kanjeevarum sari

Kanjeevarum sari

 Kanchipuram (also spelled as Conjeevaram, Kanjeevarum, Kanjiwaram, Kanjivaram) is traditionally woven silk from the village called Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, India. For years now, Kanchipuram silk sarees have dominated the world of South Indian sarees. Synonymous with the sarees of South India, these are the mark of culture for every south Indian wedding, ceremony or occasion. The shine and durability of the fabric have made these Sarees popular attire among women across the globe. The rich quality combined with an amazing finish make them last longer.

Synonymous with the sarees of South India, these are the mark of culture for every south Indian wedding, ceremony or occasion. The shine and durability of the fabric have made these Sarees popular attire among women across the globe. The rich quality combined with an amazing finish make them last longer.

Origin & History

A famous king of the Chola dynasty ruled Kanchipuram between the years 985 and 1014, who took an initiative of silk trade. It was during the reign of Krishna-Deva Raya, when the famous weaving communities of Andhra Pradesh, the Devangas and Saligars, migrated to Kanchipuram. Thus, occurred the historical migration of the entire silk industry in the 15th century, to this city.

The two weaving communities were exclusively acknowledged for their skills at weaving silk. The weaving industry was temporarily halted during the French invasion in the 17th century. It rejuvenated and revamped its style in the 18th century. Today, it ranks among the most popular silks in the world. Very few stand out in the competition against Kanchipuram silks. The British translated the Kanchipuram silks to Conjeevaram silks, also known as Kanjeevarum silks.

The Making & Style

The silk that is obtained from the sericulture of the mulberry worm is finely converted to produce the Kanjeevaram silk. These hand woven sarees hold their charm in the double warp and double wept, and are known for the 1.2 inches of the warp frame that can hold up to about 60 holes through which would be woven the 240 warp threads.

Around 250-300 threads would be woven into the wept. This eventually allows the saree to remain sturdy.  Generally, the zari used in a Kanjeevaram silk saree would be in gold and silver with silver running in first, coated with gold later.

The sarees woven hence from this silk are mostly hand woven to design the best collection. The famous weavers of the city of Kanchipuram have developed the art of converting this fabric into beautifully designed sarees. The designs are inspired by the scriptures and art of the temples in Kanchipuram.


Kanchipuram silk initially started with the 9-yard sarees that were woven to blend well with the culture of designing and patterning temple stories. Over a period of time, these sarees were converted to 6 yards with gold zari weaving. To make it available for every budget, these days there are Kanchipuram silk sarees woven in artificial gold zari, without loosing upon the shining glory of this textile.

Wearing the Attire

Being the lustrous silk, Kanchipuram has got the charm of Wedding, Cermony or any other festival. Since, silk is a thick weave, it is more suitable for cold climatic conditions.Accessorizing with the traditional gold jewelry is the trend followed.


Dry cleaning is the preferred method. One should keep them outside plastic bags in a nicely folded state. One can use some pre-washing techniques as well.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Banarasi Silk Sari

Banarasi Silk Sari

Banarasi Silk (also known as Benarasi SIlk) is a fine variant of Silk originating from the city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India. Saree woven from this fine silk, known as a Banarasi Silk Saree is extremely popular all over India and across the world.Originally crafted exclusively for the royalty, each Banarasi sari was created from real gold and silver threads, taking as much as a year to make.

Origin and History

Banarasi silk is an unmatched example of excellent artistry. Mughals brought this fine craftsmanship in India. Mughals also tried their best to glorify the art of weaving and designing. During the course of that act, they inspired few craftsmen to work in intricate art of weaving. It was the beginning of Sari weaving art. In addition, at that particular time, Persian motifs were being mixed up with the Indian customary attire.

Today’s Banarasi Silks are the product of this particular mix up of two different cultures and exemplary enthusiasm of Mughals. In the earlier times, silk for Banarasi Sarees were being imported from China, now it has been provided by the southern part of India.

The art and culture of providing Banarasi sarees with silks is very ancient. The continuations of passing down the culture of artistry of the Banarasi saris from one generation to another have never been stopped. Persian motifs were being mixed up with the designs of Indian silk for creating this distinctive flowery pattern of Banarasi silk sarees, which are so typical in present days.

Sources of Inspiration

In the present days, Banarasi silk sarees are still considered to be one of finest traditional saris. It has actually been well known for its designing and gold as well as silver brocade or the ‘Zari‘. The special characteristics of these sarees are their designs, which are Mughal inspired. Very often, it has been decorated with intricate floral as well as foliate designs.

Moreover, you may also find a string of upright leaves, which are called as ‘Jhallar’. The idiosyncratic features of these Banarasi silk sarees include heavy working of gold, small detailed figures, metal visual effects and compact weaving as well.

Faces Behind the Banarasi Silk

Atleast three craftsmen work together to make up one sari by using the power-loom. One artisan has to weave the silk and one has to dye the silk, where the other one has to engage the bundle of silk, which creates the power ring.

The designs are drawn previously on a graph paper. It has been imprinted as a patter for the punch-cards. During the complete weaving procedure, this will be used as a guide for threads.The artisans may take fifteen days to six months for creating the sari, which exclusively depends on the intricateness of the design. If you wish to get a Banarasi sari made exclusively with royal designs, the artisans may even take one year to accomplish that.


Currently only four key varieties of Banarasi sarees exist. Banarasi silks are the most important one. Moreover, there will be variations such as Organza and Kora with silk as well “zari”. In according to the decoration and designs, those Banarasi silks can be divided into 6 more segments. These segments completely depend upon the designs. The raw materials will not be the catalyst of those variations.

However, those categories will be Jangla, Tanchoi, Tissue, Butidar, Cutwork, Vaskat and most importantly Banarasi Silk Jamdani.

• Jamdani is the technical variation of figured muslin. In these saris, silk fabrics will be brocaded with the cotton.

• Jangla saris are designed with colorful silk threads to show the nature and heaviness of festivity. Wildly spreading as well as scrolling designs are the significant features of Jangla saris.

• Tanchoi Saris uses colorful extra-weft silk yarn to form the outline. The decoration of these saris will show up as a maze, which may look like kaleidoscopic as well.

• Tissue Saris are designed in such ways that the Zari brocade of Banarasi will look like golden cloths. These saris are the combination of zari and silk.

• Cutwork saris are the products of cutwork technique on the plain texture, which has been done after di removal of floated threads. These types of saris can provide dazzling and glowing transparent looks.

• Butidar saris are the dark blue silken saris, which are brocaded with threats of silk, silver and gold in a distinctive manner. Due to the darkness of shade of the gold and lightness of shades of silver, it has been called as Ganga and Jamuna as well.

Interesting Facts

The current design of Banarasi was the mix up of Persian design and Indian artistic culture.

An ideal Banarasi sari consists of about 5600 thread wires.

All of those thread wires has to be 45-inches wide (at least).

For weaving the warp, artisan creates a 24 to 26 meter base.

Three or more than three people must act together consistently to make up an original Banarasi Silk sari.

 Normally it takes fifteen days to six months to complete a single Banarasi sari.

Paithani Sari

Paithani (पैठणी).

Paithani  is a variety of sari, named after the Paithan town in Aurangabad from state of Maharashtra India. where the saree was first made by hand. Present day Yeola town in Nashik, Maharashtra is the largest manufacturer of Paithani.

Paithani is characterised by borders of an oblique square design, and a pallu with a Peacock design. Plain as well as spotted designs are available. Among other varieties, single colored and kaleidoscope-colored designs are also popular. The kaleidoscopic effect is achieved by using one color for weaving lengthwise and another for weaving width wise.

Specialty of Paithani

A Paithani is a gold and silk sari. In the revival of Paithani weaving, the production was oriented towards export requirements, while saris were produced only for sophisticated buyers. Paithani evolved from a cotton base to a silk base. Silk was used in weft designs and in the borders, whereas cotton was used in the body of the fabric. Present day Paithani has no trace of cotton.Now Yeola and Paithan buy silk from Bangalore.

Technical details

Paithani is a sari made of silk and zari. It is a plain weave, with weft figuring designs according to the principles of tapestry. Traditionally, Paithanis had a coloured, cotton muslin field that often contained considerable supplementary zari patterning. However, in the 19th century, silk fields were also woven.

Materials used

There are three types of silk threads used:

Charkha: This is widely used. It is cheap, dull and uneven.

Ciddle: Gatta: Fine quality silk, thin shear, shiny, smooth and even.

China silk: Very expensive to use.

This raw silk is cleansed with caustic soda, dyed in the requisite shades, the threads are carefully separated. Khari ( True / Real ) zari costs about Rs. 1800 for 250 grams.

Golden threads are obtained from Surat, the quality being 1200 yard (1080 meters) per tola (11.664 grams). Gold threads are used in double and one of the finest varieties so much so that the closely woven surface looks like a mirror. The texture of the fabric is fairly compact with about 160 ends and 170 picks per inch (2.6 cm).

Zari is a metallic yarn, made of pure silver. Originally, zari was manufactured in Yeola; Surat now being another zari-producing center. Initially, zari used in making Paithani was drawn from pure gold. However, silver is the affordable substitute today.

Material assembly

20-22 denier-organized silk is used in warp, while twofold ply, very lightly twisted 30-32 silk is used for weft. The warp yarn cost Rs. 2900-3200 per kg whereas weft yarn costs Rs. 2400-3000 per kg. A single sari may weigh from 1.45 kg or more depending upon the weight of the silk and zari used. The warp is usually made in the peg or drums warping process and is tied in ball form at the back of loom. It is usually made for 2 pieces of sari and is about 11.5 meters in length. While coloured silk is mostly used in figure work, the solid border have extra weft figuring threads. The weft for borders and body being different, three shuttle weaving is adopted, two for border and one for plain body. The border therefore appears as separately woven and then stitched to the body of the sari. Some times a separate pallu warp is twisted on the body. The end piece has fine silk. Warp threads are only of zari forming a golden ground upon which angular, brightly coloured silk designs are woven in the interlocked weft, producing a tapestry effect.



Due to proximity to the Ajanta caves, the influence of the paintings can be seen in the woven Paithani motifs:

The Kamal or lotus flower 

The Hans motif

The Ashraffi motif

The Asawalli (flowering vines), became very popular during the Peshwa's period

The Bangadimor, peacock in bangle

The Tota-Maina

The Humarparinda, peasant bird

The Amar Vell

The Narali motif(coconut), very common

Small motifs like circles, stars, kuyri, rui phool, kalas pakhhli, chandrakor, clusters of 3 leaves, were very common for the body of the sari.


Muniya, a kind of parrot used in borders and always found in green colour with an occasional red touch at the mouth

Panja, a geometrical flower-like motif, most often outlined in red

Barwa, 12 strands of a ladder; 3 strands on each side

Laher, design is done in the centre to strengthen the zari

Muthada, a geometrical design

Asawali, a flower pot with a flowering plant

Mor, a peacock

Color dyeing

The weavers of Yeola dye yarns themselves. Yarn is purchased from Bangalore.

Vat dyes and acid dyes are used because of its favorable properties. The government provides with a shade card of 400 samples, which acts as a collection for the buyer to choose from.

Bleaching and dyeing is done in copper vessels. 20 to 30 grams of dye powder is used per kg of yarn, which is mixed in water. Acid is used for fixation. Coconut oil is used to give a soft finish to silk. The yarns are dipped in the dye bath for 30 to 40 minutes using copper rods. It is then removed, washed a few times in water and then squeezed. The yarn is dried in the shade.

Traditional colours

The dominant traditional colours of vegetable dyes included:

Pophali - yellow




Neeligunji - sky blue


Motiya - peach pink

Brinjal - purple

Pearl pink

Peacock - blue/green

Yellowish green

Kusumbi - violet red

Pasila - red and green

Gujri - black and white

Mirani - black and red

Manufacturing processes


The kali/vakhar is brought from Bangalore which is a bundle of silk threads ultimately known as one thok.

The raw material is dipped in hot water and diluted in khar (salt), for about 15 mins.

The material is then squeezed by putting a rod in between the kali to remove the excess of impurities and again dipped in cold water for about 2-3 times.

The dye bath is prepared in which the proportion varies according to the hues and shapes

The kali is dipped in the dye bath, removed, and dried completely. This is repeated 2 to 3 times.

It is then washed in cold water to make it much smoother and lustrous.

After the dyeing process is completed, the silk threads are wounded upon the Asari with a very smooth touch which is done by the women. A Rahat was also used for wounding but since it was very much time consuming. They started using the machines made up of the cycle wheel which is less time consuming.

From the asari, the silk threads are transferred on a kandi.

The silk threads are finally set onto the loom.


It takes approximately one day to set the silk threads on the loom. "Tansal" is used to put the "wagi". The "pavda" works like the paddle to speed up the weaving. The "jhatka" is used to push the "kandi" from one side to the other. "Pushthe" is used in designing the border of Paithani in which it is punched according to design application. "Pagey" are tied to the loom. The threads are then passed through "fani".

There are two types of motion:

Primary motions:

Shedding — dividing the warp sheet or shed into two layers, one above the other for the passage of shuttle with the weft threads.

Picking — passing a pick of weft from one selvage of a cloth through the warp threads.

Beating — dividing the last pick through the fell of cloth with the help of slay fixed on the reel.

Secondary motions:

Take up motion — taking up the cloth when being woven and winding it on the roller.

Let off motion — letting the warp wound on a warp beam, when the cloth is taken up on the cloth roller beam.

Taking up and letting off the warp are done simultaneously.


Paithani saris are silks in which there is no extra weft forming figures. The figuring weave was obtained by a plain tapestry technique.

 There are three techniques of weaving;

Split tapestry weave -

 The simplest weave where two weft threads are woven up to adjacent warp threads and then reversed. The warp threads are then cut and retied to a different colour.

Interlocking method - 

Two wefts are interlocked with each other where the colour change is required. The figuring weft is made of a number of coloured threads, weaving plain with warp threads and interlocked on either side with the grounds weft threads are invariably gold threads which interlock with the figure weft threads, thus forming the figure. This system of interlocking weaves, known as kadiyal, is done so that there are no extra floats on the back of the motif thus making the design nearly reversible.

Dobe-tailing method -

 Two threads go around the same warp, one above the other, creating a dobe-tailing or tooth-comb effect.

Weaving could take between 18 and 24 months, depending upon the complexity of the design. Today there are many weavers who are working for the revival of this treasured weave.

Borders and the pallu

In the days of Peshwas, the borders and the pallu were made of pure gold mixed with copper to give it strength. The proportion was 1 kg of gold to 1 tola of copper. The combination was spun into a fine wire called the zari. In recent times, zari is made of silver, coated with gold plating. The borders are created with interlocked weft technique either with coloured silk or zari. In the border woven with a zari, ground coloured silk patterns are added as supplementary weft inlay against the zari usually in the form of flower or a creeping vine.

Two types of border are the Narali and the Pankhi.

Even if a very good weaver has woven the main body, a master weaver is needed for the intricate inlay border paths. The borders and the pallu are woven in zari regardless of the colour of the sari.

Types of paithani

Paithani can be classified by three criteria: motifs, weaving, and colours.


Morbangadi :

 The word bangadi means bangle and mor means peacock. So morbangadi means a peacock in a bangle or in a bangle shape. The motif is woven onto the pallu, the design sometimes having a single dancing peacock. The saris using this motif are very expensive because of the design.

Munia brocade:

Munia means parrot. Parrots are woven on the pallu as well as in border. Parrots are always in leaf green colour. The parrots in silk are also called tota-maina.

Lotus brocade: 

lotus motifs are used in pallu and sometimes on the border. The lotus motif consists of 7-8 colours.


Kadiyal border sari: 

Kadiyal means interlocking. The warp and the weft of the border are of the same colour while the body has different colours for warp and weft.


 A single shuttle is used for weaving of weft. The colours of the warp yarn is different from that of the weft yarn. It has a narali border and simple buttis like paisa, watana, etc. Kad is also a form of lungi and is used by male Maharashtrians.


Kalichandrakala: pure black sari with red border

Raghu: parrot green coloured sari.

Shirodak: pure white sari.

Wearing the Attire

If you wish to adorn the Maharashtrian look, then chunky jewelry, with heavy pendants coupled with headgears, kamarbundhs, and clunky bracelets could enhance the look. The focus on all these accessories will only count if they are in gold and enhance the natural beauty of the Paithani.


This timeless artistic fabric can suit any formal occasion as well as celebration like get-togethers, corporate bashes, social parties and other events. Its vivid hues make it the center of attraction at any gathering and adorn the wearer with timeless beauty and grace, making it perfect for such occasions.


It is recommended to dry clean the Paithani sari and keep it away from harsh sunlight which might damage its silken threads. The gold zari may get frayed upon tough washing.