With almost 5,000 years of history, the Indian saree is regarded to be one of the world’s oldest forms of clothing still in use. The Vedas, which is one of the world’s oldest written texts, mentions it, and documents from the Indus Valley Civilization (3300-1300 B.C.E.) also show its use at the period. Despite this, its age has had no effect on its appeal. The saree is still as prevalent in our society as it ever was, appearing on the runways of major fashion shows, in Bollywood, on the streets of rural and urban India, and on young college kids and their traditional grandmothers.
In Sanskrit, the term “sari” means “strip of fabric.” These expanses of cloth, however, are more than simply garments for the Indian ladies who have wrapped themselves in silk, cotton, or linen for millennia. They are emblems of national pride, ambassadors for traditional design and workmanship, and a perfect representation of India’s diversity.
The unstitched single piece of cloth emerged as a result of the traditional Hindu belief that stitching fabric rendered it dirty. As a result, the four-and-a-half to eight meters of material – wrapped across the lower body and then folded across the upper body with skillful pleating – became the go-to attire. The saree evolved to be the most appropriate apparel for South Asian women due to its capacity to be warm in winter and cool in summer, it is professional, is aesthetically appealing, and is adaptable (for example, it may be folded and tucked to be shorter). This is precisely why it is worn by both office workers and physical laborers alike.
Almost every state in India has its own individual saree weaving process, giving them a distinct look and feel. Each regional saree is the result of great craftsmanship, specialized fabric, unique designs, and unusual procedures. Each area in India has its unique variation of the saree, totaling almost 30 varieties, all of which ooze beauty.
Ashavali saree from Gujarat
Woven in silk Gujarat, Ashavali sarees showcase intricate brocade work known as kinkhwab, which is made using metallic gold and silver threads known as zari. The Ashavali is named after Ahmedabad, which was originally known as Ashaval and has been a brocade and silk weaving center since at least the fourteenth century. It is also known as the Amdavadi or Amdavadi zari saree. The Mughals, local royalty, and the wealthy merchant elites heavily patronized the weavers of this material in Gujarat.
Ashavali sarees and brocades have traditionally been woven on pit looms using the twill weave, giving the designs a raised or embossed appearance. Because of their background, Ashavali brocades frequently incorporate Mughal-inspired designs of animals, bel, birds, flowers, paisleys, and stylized human figures. The motifs are delineated in contrasting colors to give an enamel-like minakari look, and they are grouped in patterns such as the jaal and the jangla. While brocade work can be found throughout the entire body of the saree, it is more usually seen on the border and pallu.
Baluchari saree from West Bengal
The Baluchari sari is worn by ladies in India and Bangladesh. This kind of saree developed in Bengal and is distinguished by representations of mythical motifs on the pallu. It is mostly created in Murshidabad, and one sari might take up to a week to make. In India, the Baluchari sari has been designated as a geographical designation. The term Baluchari came about since the weaving of these saris began roughly 500 years ago in a little village called Baluchar in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district. Due to natural disasters, the weaving establishment was relocated from Baluchar to Bishnupur, where the business flourished under British administration.
The creative designs representing episodes from the Ramayana or sculptures created on ancient temples weaved on the sari borders characterize Baluchari sarees. Others may contain animals, greenery, miniature human representations, wedding processions, brides in palanquins, horse riders, and ethnic musicians. The white outline of the motifs is an essential detail to note. Baluchari sarees are now made with highly mercerized cotton thread and silk thread work embellishment in bright colors. The mythical themes make a Baluchari saree ideal for religiously themed ceremonies and festive occasions.
Banarasi saree from Uttar Pradesh
Benarasi Sarees are important to Indian heritage, and are a non-negotiable element of the wedding trousseau in most regions of India. During the wedding rituals, the bride wears at least one Banarasi sari, which is considered extravagant and auspicious. While this is the bridal saree for many North Indian and Bengali women, for others, it may be a reception sari or the one unique drape they get as a gift from their in-laws – as shagun (the auspicious wedding gift).
Aside from cultural importance, the lavish but sophisticated Benarasis is connected with several social and economic symbolisms. Banarasi brocades are highly treasured and are said to be descended from royalty. They have traveled many regions and ages. Katan silk is a pure silk Banarasi fabric; sarees in Katan silk are normally created without zari borders but with the softest and thickest silk. They are appreciated for their exquisite purity and tenacity. This lovely cloth may be brocaded or designed in a variety of ways. Butis, or dispersed leaf/ flower patterns, are quite popular and may be created in resham or zari, or in Meenakari designs. Expensive Banarasi Katan brocades are created utilizing a time-consuming and labor-intensive procedure.
Bandhani saree from Rajasthan/Gujarat
Bandhani/Bandhani is derived from the Hindi/Sanskrit terms ‘Bandhna’ and ‘Bandha,’ which imply ‘tying’ or ‘to knot’. Bandhani art is a highly skilled practice. The technique includes dyeing a fabric that is securely knotted with a thread at various spots, generating a variety of designs such as Chandrakala, Bavan Baug, Shikari, and so on, depending on how the cloth is tied. Yellow, red, blue, green, and black are the primary colors used in Bandhana. Bandana’s primary colors are all natural. Because Bandhani is a tie and dye procedure, dyeing is done by hand, allowing for the greatest colors and combinations.
While Bandhani fabric is commonly used to make jackets, dupattas, chaniya cholis, turbans, purses, and other garments, the saree remains the most famous Bandhani outfit. It is considered lucky for mothers to give bandhani sarees to their daughters when they marry. In fact, the bride’s mother frequently wears the traditional Bandhej saree to the wedding ceremony. Bandhani sarees were traditionally produced solely of cotton and muslin cloth, but with changing times and the need for creativity, producers began producing Bandhani patterns on georgette, silk, cotton-silk, viscose, and other cotton variations as well. Because each fabric has a distinct character, the effect of this art varies depending on the nature of the fabric used.
Batik saree from West Bengal
The skill of producing Batik Saree, which originated in India, has progressed well beyond a simple handcraft. Batik was once thought to be a suitable employment for aristocratic females, whose delicately painted designs based on bird and flower themes were seen as a show of cultivation and refinement in the same way that excellent needlework was.
Batik sarees are made in three stages: waxing, dyeing, and dewaxing (removing the wax). The term “batik” literally means “wax writing.” It is a method of embellishing cloth that involves coating a portion of it with wax and then dying the cloth. The waxed portions retain their natural color, and the contrast between the coloured and undyed sections creates the pattern after the wax is removed.
Bomkai saree from Orissa
Bomkai Silk, also known as Sonepuri Silk, is a specially woven saree from the western portion of Orissa. It is one of the oldest textiles of Odisha. Locally, bomkai is referred to as ‘Bandha.’ Since 600 B.CIt has been a part of Orissa’s culture.The original and traditional weaving of this fabric used a low-count cotton yarn that was coarse, thick, and coloured in bright colors. It is best described as an additional weft method on a pit loom. The borders, which are generally in contrasting colors, and the pallus, which are defined by complex threadwork, are two of the most intriguing aspects of fabric. On bomkai sarees, mythical scenes and historical stories are woven. Some will have myths recognised around the world, while others will just have legends within Orissa culture. Nature inspires the motifs of Bomkai. The lotus, peacock, carp-fish, and fly are some of the prominent themes.
Chanderi saree from Madhya Pradesh
Chanderi is a tiny town along the Betwa River in the Vindhyachal mountain ranges. Chanderi, located in Madhya Pradesh’s Ashoknagar district, is noted for its ancient history and flourishes with intensive commercial activity due to its strategic position in central India. Chanderi is known as the city of looms. Chanderi silk sarees appear to be tied to the history of Chanderi. They are claimed to have been referenced in the Vedic period’s Mahabharata. It is debatable if the pearl-embroidered sarees mention the Mahabharata, which implies Chanderi sarees, but the history of the Chanderi Saree may be traced back to the 13th or 14th century AD. Chanderi’s weaving industry flourished throughout the Mughal era.
Chanderi sarees are created using three types of fabrics: pure silk, Chanderi cotton and silk cotton. Coins, floral art, peacock, and geometric motifs are the most prevalent patterns seen on traditional sarees. A saree might take 10 days or more to make, depending on the complexity of the pattern. The price of sarees and materials is also determined by the design. The Chanderi silk sarees themselves demonstrate the weavers’ experience and hard work in the manufacturing of gorgeous silk textiles.
Chikan saree from Uttar pradesh
Chikankari is an 18th century weaving technique that originated in Lucknow. The designs on the chikan saree are inspired by Awadhi culture and are created by hand utilizing the block printing method. The term was derived from the Chikan, or embroidery stitch, with which it was first created. It is now also produced with zardozi work on the borders, pallu, and so on. It features beautiful detailing that adds an attractive touch to every ensemble. It is used for ceremonial events like weddings and holidays such as Diwali, Holi, and Eid. It is also known as the Lakhnavi saree since it originated in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India. However, they are now available across India and worldwide.
Chikankari is intricate and generally done in gold or silver threads; it takes a lot of patience and time, but it’s worth every stitch. Khat-khati chikan is another kind that is commonly seen on sarees. Khata-khati work is a hybrid of zardozi, Kasab, and gili techniques. Typically, thick thread is used. The primary distinction between khata-khati and other types of chikan work is that khata-khati does not use a foundation cloth like most other types of needlework. It appears to be a monolithic chunk with no beginning or end. Traditional chikan work was done by men who sat on charpoys (rope beds) and stitched these gorgeous motifs onto sarees with their bare hands.
Dharmavaram saree from Andhra Pradesh
Dharmavaram, an old town in Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur region, was destined to become a pivotal element of India’s silk splendor. Silk manufacturing was an easy choice for many due to the abundance of mulberry plants in the area, which naturally developed to silk weaving. Due to the sheer brightness and beauty of the weaving, Dharmavaram silks gained worldwide renown by the 19th century. Today, magnificent Dharmavaram sarees are also known as ‘wedding sarees’ and are one of the top three candidates for the most spectacular drapes, along with Banarasi and Kanjivaram sarees.
Dharmavaram sarees are traditionally woven using the interlaced weft method, however jacquard weaving is now quite popular. It takes 4 to 8 days for two weavers working simultaneously, using both their hands and legs, to weave a full saree by hand with mulberry silk and zari. Before it reaches this stage, a variety of processes take place. After the cocoons have been collected, they are cooked to produce yarn. The yarn is degummed to eliminate the natural gums and resins present before being plied to provide a balanced texture. The yarn is then dyed in the correct hues, dried, and used to produce the famed weaves.
Dharmavaram sarees are well-known for their gold-plated borders and intricate artwork. The fabric also features gold brocade designs and motifs reminiscent of those found on temple walls. The elephant, peacock, and lotus were the most prominent temple style motifs – all globally and culturally acceptable emblems.
Eri silk saree from Assam
Eri is derived from Era, the Assamese word for castor, and is manufactured from worms that feed on the castor oil plant’s leaves.
Silk cocoons are commonly boiled with the worm inside to retain one continuous strand, resulting in a smooth and lustrous fabric. In the case of Eri, however, the silkworm spins small segments of a filament and produces a cocoon with one end open, allowing the moth to emerge. As a result, the wooly white silk is known as Ahimsa silk, or the fabric of peace. As a result, peace silk is a favorite fiber among vegetarians and Buddhists.
Eri silk is skin-friendly, iso-thermal, anti-fungal, biodegradable, and has a minimal environmental effect. It is also a sturdy and long-lasting fabric. The more it is used, the softer it becomes, and it is a terrific cloth to wear all year.
The Eri threads are delicate; the cloth is warm, and the material is sturdy, yet softer, like wool. Eri silk’s natural hue ranges from white to extremely light cream, with little variation amongst strands. Color and shade are determined by a variety of elements such as worm quality, nutrition, temperature, and environment. Men’s shawls have a more distinct tone difference since they are rarely coloured into different colors. However, in women’s clothing, the hues are concealed since they may be dyed in a variety of colors and designs.
Guntur saree from Andhra Pradesh
Guntur Sarees, woven by Guntur craftspeople, are noted for their tightly-angled drapes with folds of 60-80 counts. The name is derived from Guntur, a charming city in Andhra Pradesh located southeast of Hyderabad, the state capital.
Andhra Pradesh is well-known for its magnificent array of sarees, both cotton and silk, among which Guntur is the home of the well-known Mangalagiri and Guntur. The gorgeous design and quality cotton of the Guntur sari are what distinguishes it. Guntur is well-known for its dexterous craftsmen who are great at generating good designs through weaving and dyeing.
Guntur saris are mainly single colors and designs all over, but tribal patterns that compose a distinct Ikat-style of weaving, such as checks and stripes, bring the attractiveness of the modern attire into the comfort of the cloth and its wearability element. The Guntur sari’s border is relatively thin, and the Pallu is similarly less complicated, with scant Bhuttis or flower adornments and basic stripes, however these saris are also available in intricate weft Ikats.
Garad saree from West Bengal
Garad silk is a famous saree type that originated in West Bengal. Garad, sometimes known as Gorod, means ‘white.’ The crimson border and tiny paisley designs define Garad silk sarees. The silk fabric used to weave Garad sarees is not coloured, which preserves the fabric’s purity, and so these sarees hold holy significance for women in Bengal. The Murshidabad area of West Bengal excels in weaving these Sarees, with the silk threads weaved tightly together to give the sarees a beautiful texture.
Garad saree borders are distinctive in color, generally crimson and maroon, giving it a rich appearance. Korial saree (also known as laal paar sari) is similar to Garad saree except for the border, which is more vivid in pattern and rich red in color. The difference between a Garad saree and a Korial saree is that the former has little flower and paisley designs running down the length of the saree, whilst the latter is plain white with a red border. During Durga Puja, these sarees are commonly worn with sindoor khela.
Ilkal saree from Karnataka
Ilkal saree weaving is prevalent in and around the villages of Kolhar, Ilkal, Kamatgi, and Nidagundi in Karnataka’s Bijapur district. The pallu region of the saree is uniquely weaved in red and white. These sarees are often a dark indigo, purple, crimson, or green with classic pallu designs. Kondi is a method that joins the pallu with the body. It also contains classic designs with centipede, dot, and triangle motifs. Pallu features a white cross border pattern that spans the breadth between the two borders.
The pit loom is known as kuni manga, and it is used to weave classic gomi or chikiparas saree borders. One of the saree’s distinguishing qualities is the fine, in some cases exquisite kasuti embroidery, which is normally done as an ornament. Pallu is given great importance since it is worn on the head, whereas sarees used on important occasions are often woven with silk and created using the interlocking method known as tope-teni.
Kalamkari saree from Andhra Pradesh
Kalamkari sarees are world-renowned for their beauty and rich tradition dating back to the Middle Ages. Kalamkari is a Persian word that combines two words. ‘Kalam’ denotes a pen, and ‘kari’ signifies artwork or workmanship. This directly translates to “pen sketch.” So Kalamkari is hand painted or block printed work on cotton cloth that is done in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana but originated in Mughal India. The Kalamkari art form was developed in Iran during the Sasani dynasty around 3000 B.C.
Kalamkari is an art form that uses natural colors. Vegetables, plants, roots, cow dung seeds, crushed flowers, seeds, and mineral salts of tin, copper, iron, and alum are used to make the colors. Green, maroon, red, black, mustard, and indigo are the most common Kalamkari fabric colors. Kalamkari sarees are decorated with a variety of motifs. Kalamkari sarees include prominent themes from Hindu epics such as Ramayana, as well as Buddhist art styles, Lord Krishna, and Lord Ganesha. Karuppur Kalamkari sarees are styled sarees woven in gold brocade works used by royal households during the Raja Shivaji era. During British administration, the Srikalahasti sarees were inspired by religious narrative and temple themes, whilst the Machilipatnam sarees were inspired by Dutch and Persian designs.
Kanjeevaram saree from Tamil Nadu
Kanjeevaram, considered one of the most beautiful sarees in the world, takes its name from the place where it originated, Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram is another name for this lovely cloth. These captivating sarees are constructed of a lovely color combination and thick fabric. Kanjeevaram sarees with a gold accent are ideal for any event or celebration.
Kanjeevaram silk sarees are works of art in and of themselves, made in pure mulberry silk. It is an exquisite combination of lovely silk from the south and pure gold and silver Zari from Gujarat.The Pallu and borders of Kanjeevaram silk sarees are weaved separately and then stitched together, which is one of its most distinguishing features. The pitni is another name for the zigzag pattern that connects both sections. The Pallu of a Kanjeevaram saree is often designed and coloured differently from the body. Kanjeevaram is regarded as one of the most durable and robust textiles available. The saree is more durable since it is composed of three Silk threads woven together with silver wire. A Kanjeevaram saree may weigh up to 2 kg.
Kanjeevaram silk sarees have always included beautiful mythological legends in their designs, as well as lovely Temple sculptures. The border of the saree also has themes from various temples and general art. The bodies of these stunning ladies have Temple motifs, stripes, and flowery buttas.
Kasavu saree from Kerala
The name kasavu refers to the zari used in the border of a Kerala sari, not the sari itself. It refers to a substance utilized in the production process. As a result, when kasavu is incorporated into a mundu (dhoti), it is referred to as a kasavu mundu.
Traditional apparel of Kerala, such as saris, mundus (sarongs worn by males), and settu mundus (a two-piece sarong sari), is referred to as kaithari, which translates to handloom. The identification of the sari is often determined by the cluster with which it is linked. The Indian government has designated three clusters in Kerala as Geographical Indication (GI), and all of them produce what are commonly known as kasavu saree, as well as white Kerala saris that replace the kasavu border with a coloured version (called kara).
This saree’s main body is either simple or handmade with traditional patterns like flowers, peacocks, mangoes, and Swans, among others. The pallu, which is the saree’s greatest attraction. The price of the saree is determined by the craftsmanship done on the pallu. In the pallu area, the intricacy displays Hindu mythology such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana, as well as floral motifs. Designers have created these sarees based on current trends by adding decorations like thread work, stones or sequins, fabric painting, and contrasting hues. A well-designed border adds a regal and one-of-a-kind touch.
Kota saree from Rajasthan
Kota Doria (sometimes written Kota Dori) is a one-of-a-kind cotton and silk mix with a square check pattern. The silk adds luster to the cloth, while the cotton adds strength. Kota Doria gets its name from its birthplace in Rajasthan, India. The checkered pattern, known as ‘khat,’ is a defining element of the Kota Doria cloth. Kota Doria has a delicate weave and weighs very little. Popular applications for the cloth include sarees, salwar kameez, lehengas, and home furnishings.
The Rajasthani royal family preferred this cloth because it exuded easy elegance and charm. The majority of the sarees were white or beige in hue. However, with modern alterations and tweaks to the cloth, an infinite quantity of color and adornments of all types are added. Initially, the fabric was solely made of cotton, but silk was eventually woven with it, making it more stylish and polished.
Lehariya saree from Rajasthan
Leheriya, often known as lehariya, is a traditional Indian tie dye technique. It depicts the state of Rajasthan’s rich heritage brilliantly. Furthermore, the dyeing procedure is named after the Rajasthani term meaning wave. This method produces vibrantly coloured leheriya sarees with unique wave patterns. Furthermore, what makes this ancient art so intriguing is the way the ripple effect appears in vibrant colors. If you see a leheriya saree, you will notice diagonal stripes as well as captivating color combinations. The vibrant colors and lightness of the fabric make leheriya an excellent choice on the international stage. It is also a popular fabric in the export market and has been seen in fashion shows all over the world.
Mangalagiri saree from Andhra Pradesh
Mangalgiri sarees and suit fabrics are a prominent Andhra Pradesh handloom product. Mangalgiri derives its name from the town of Mangalagiri, which is 12 kilometers from Vijayawada. Mangalgiri is not only well-known for its exquisite sarees, but it is also a major pilgrimage destination.
This unique saree features exquisite tribal motifs woven in cotton, as well as zari or golden coloured patterns in tiny checks. This saree’s pallu (edge) is embellished with a striped motif, which is a traditional tribal ornament composed of golden embroidery. Mangalgiri sarees come in a variety of bright hues that make them seem very attractive and beautiful.
Because these sarees just feature a zari border and pallu with no woven patterns on the main body of the saree, the cloth is woven exclusively on pit looms, allowing the weaver to apply significantly greater energy throughout the weaving process without any gaps. This is what sets Mangalgiri textiles apart from other weaves.
Narayanpet saree from Telangana
Narayanpet is a typical peaceful small hamlet in southern India. It is located in Telangana, around 165 kilometers from Hyderabad. According to one school of thinking, during Shivaji Maharaj’s conquest in the Deccan in 1630 AD, the vividly coloured saris of the ladies captivated his eye, and so the Narayanpet saree received Royal Maratha patronage. Other versions of the story claim that weavers who were in Shivaji’s camp during a campaign were the ones who stayed behind and fashioned the shape we know today.
The saree is constructed of high-quality cotton or silk. This foundation material is often sourced from Vijayawada. This is especially important given that Telangana has highly hot temperatures all year. The saree is often made using strands in the 60s and 80s in both the warp and weft. Zari/art silk is used to weave little additional warp geometrical motifs in the border. These sarees are made on fly shuttle pit looms with lattice dobby.
Narayanpet weaves a variety of colorful silk saris with elaborate brocade work in silk and zari. The saris are lightweight and festive due to the low thread count of the silk strands.
These sarees are distinguished by their checkered body, patterned border, and plain pallu. The interlock weft method is used to weave two distinct wefts side by side. Temple pattern borders are woven in most sarees as a result of the blessings of the goddess who lives in the local temple. These sarees were given a geographical identification marking in 2012.
Paithani saree from Maharashtra
The Paithani sari has ancient origins, stemming from the royal dynasty of Paithan, a medieval town near Aurangabad. The sari, named for the town, is thought to have been produced using the finest silk strands from China and pure zari woven locally. This sari represents years of excess and the elegance of Indian handloom, and each piece is distinguished by the lavish and generous use of gold, as well as floral and bird-inspired designs. Paithan and Yeol’s contemporary saris are made using domestic silk strands from Bangalore, while the zari is imported from Surat.
The shiny weave provides a delightful intermingling of hues, giving the subtle appearance of shifting colors. Traditional themes include parrots, peacocks, and lotuses; nevertheless, the Hans motif, the Ashrafi motif, and the Asawalli were equally popular throughout the Peshwa time. Muniya, a kind of parrot, is commonly weaved in the borders in green, with a playful touch of scarlet at the mouth. The Panja, a geometrical flower-like motif most typically highlighted in red, the Barwa, which consists of twelve strands of a ladder and three strands on each side, and the classic Mor are some of the other motifs seen on the pallus (peacock).
Paithani sarees are an important component of Maharashtrian culture. It is regarded as the queen of saris, comparable to the Kanchipuram sari in the south. Needless to say, it is a must-have for any Maharashtrian on significant events, festive occasions, or weddings.
Patola saree from Gujarat
Patola is a double ikat woven sari produced in Patan, Gujarat, India. They are extremely expensive and were formerly only worn by members of royal and aristocratic families. These saris are popular among people with the means to pay the hefty costs. Surat also produces velvet patola designs. Patola weaving is a well guarded family tradition. In Patan, three families weave these highly treasured double ikat sarees. A sari can take anywhere from six months to a year to finish because of the time-consuming procedure of coloring each strand separately before weaving them together. Patola was manufactured in Surat, Ahmedabad, and Patan. Highly prized in Indonesia, where it formed a part of the native weaving culture.
Patolas are used in particular rituals because they are said to have mystical properties to fend against evil. Chabardi bhat (basket design), a popular pattern that includes a circle of lotus flowers, buds, and leaves, is connected with fertility and is worn for wedding rituals in several cultures. Patolas are presented to brides as part of their trousseau in Gujarat.
Sambalpuri saree from Orissa
A Sambalpuri sari is a handwoven sari in which the warp and weft are tie-dyed before weaving. It is made in the Indian districts of Sambalpur, Balangir, Bargarh, Boudh, and Sonepur.
Sambalpuri sarees are made in a distinctive style called Baandha. Traditionally, Baandhas were made with representations of flora and wildlife or with geometrical designs. Recent crafts by current generation Baandha weavers feature newer motifs including portraits, landscapes, and flower pods. The yarns of sambalpuri sarees are knotted according to the desired designs to prevent dye absorption, and then coloured, using a tie & dye procedure. The motifs on both sides of the saree are practically the same, which distinguishes this kind of design. A craftsman may use this adaptable method to weave colorful motifs, patterns, and pictures into a saree capable of stimulating thought or expressing a message.
Sambalpuri sarees, in particular, are noted for their use of traditional themes associated with this seashore state, for example, Sankha or shell, phula or flower, chakra or wheel, swans, and fish.
Tant saree from West Bengal
Tant refers to the handlooms used to weave saris and textiles in West Bengal. Sari weaving was first documented in Bengal in the 15th century in the Shantipur area. During Mughal reign, from the 16th through the 18th century, the craft flourished alongside muslin and jamdani, receiving substantial empirical support.
A traditional six-yard tant saree has a thick two-to-four-inch border with a beautiful pallu. Each sari takes 7-10 days to weave using fine cotton yarn in a range of floral, paisley, and creative designs. Some of the most popular time-honored motifs include bhomra (bumblebee), tabij (amulet), rajmahal (a royal castle), ardha chandra (half-moon), chandmala (garland of moons), ansh (fish scales), hathi (elephant), nilambari (blue sky), ratan chokh (gem-eyed), benki (flowers).
Uppada saree from Andhra Pradesh
Uppada is a coastal town in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh known for its beautifully made silk sarees. The traditional Jamdani / Uppada Handlooms are highly recognised in Uppada. Uppada handlooms are highly renowned for their distinctive patterns. Uppada handlooms are typically created with cotton/silk warp and weft.
The count of the cloth determines its softness and toughness. The count in a handloom cloth refers to the number of threads woven lengthwise and breadthwise in a square inch, known as warp and weft. The count employed in Uppada is 100 (length) – 120. (breadth). The count determines the fabric’s quality. Uppada saree weavers weave the ancient Jamdani weaving technique without the use of mechanical assistance to produce beautiful designs using gold and silver zari, for which Uppada saree weavers acquired Geographical Indication (GI) recognition in 2009. Jamdani is a hand loom woven cotton fabric that was previously known as muslin. The Jamdani weaving tradition originated in Bengal.
Venkatgiri saree from Andhra Pradesh
Venkatagiri Sarees are zari cotton handwoven sarees known for its Jamdani style weaving design. Venkatagiri Sarees are one of the softest and most durable south sarees in India, hailing from the ancient town of Venkatagiri in the state of Andhra Pradesh. They are typically six yards long and good for all climates. A large Jamdani design of a peacock, parrot, swan, mango, or leaf in the pallu distinguishes a Venkatagiri saree. The sarees’ excellent weaving and distinctive zari motifs made them the favored choice of royalty in Andhra Pradesh.
These sarees are typically created using the Jamdani weaving technique, which has been passed down through 14 generations. Approximately 70,000 Venkatagiri residents are now employed in the production of the iconic Venkatagiri saree. Previously, persons from the Padmashali caste were largely involved in this activity; however, other people are now involved as well. Venkatagiri sarees are made by artisans who have worked for five generations.
As an item of traditional clothing for women of all ages, sarees are profoundly embedded in the cultural (and literal) fabric of India. This piece of garment brings together women of different socioeconomic classes from all around India. An enchanting saree is a living, breathing, and long-lasting work of art. It contains the history of a whole subcontinent, the craftsmanship of its artisans, and the memory of the women who carefully cared for it for the next generation.
Great background, artistically for Portrait and Fashion pro Photographers. It, s good to have these technical know how in a digital and artistically crafted world we are living. So, India is a great country for fashionistas.
Thanks Ashok 🙂
What a brilliant, informative piece, so eloquently written. Being from the subcontinent and having possessed some of these variety, these fact on the history and manufacturing details is captivating. I enjoyed every morsel of this article. Feel inspired to acquire at least one such saree from each and every region of India. Undeniably and unequivocally saree is an elegant , graceful drape. Any woman will enhance her beauty with even the simplest saree provided it is draped well.
Hi Mehnaz, thanks for writing back to us, people like you inspire us to create wonderful content 🙂
Nice article, Mysore Silk Molkalmur, Kashmiri silk , Samba silk , Muga , similar to Uppada there is also Kuppadam silk, these are few other famous silk sarees
Thanks San 🙂