Thursday, October 29, 2020

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.

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