By Arushi Nanda Last Updated:
Times have changed, and the women of India are changing too. Their needs, habits and lifestyle have changed. Fashion and its definitions have changed. Yet, when we look through the pages of history, we find that Indian women have always been fans of the great Indian sarees. Nothing has changed their love for the Indian drape.
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The colours, materials and designs have always captured their imagination, and every Indian woman yearns to make all of them a part of her wardrobe. Let us take you through this fascinating journey of exploring the various sarees available in different parts of India. Wear them and look like a stunner every time.
Originating from Varanasi, it is undoubtedly one of the most exquisite and rich sarees that are woven in India. Elaborately ornate with heavy brocade work and intricate zari work is woven onto heavy gauge silk, the Banarasi saree is a popular choice for bridal trousseaus. This was introduced in India by the Mughals, and hence, Mughal motifs and designs are quite common on them. Delicately woven floral patterns, architectural designs, along with figures of animals in gold, silver or multicolour thread are some of the features of this saree.
Chanderi is a small town situated in Ashoknagar district of Madhya Pradesh. The Chanderi sarees are a blend of silk and cotton making them relatively lightweight. The Chanderi sarees have a unique translucent structure and are very comfortable during the hot summer months.
These tie and dye sarees are peculiar to the Rajasthan-Gujarat area, and are unique in their print and patterns. Bandhani or bandhej sarees come in all possible colours and materials. They look gorgeous on an everyday basis, as well as on special occasions. Sometimes, these are embellished with thread and mirror work, which makes them look extra beautiful. They are especially popular during dandiya nights.
Originating from the southernmost state of Kerala, this simple elegant saree is white/cream in color with golden threads woven into its borders. The mundum neriyathum as it is called, comes as a two-piece set, where the mundum is used on the bottom half of the saree, and the neriyathum is the pallu that is draped around the upper half. The Kasavu saree resembles the mundum neriyathum, but is actually one-piece. Made of cotton, it is very comfortable to wear in the hot and humid state. Lately, colours are woven into the borders, and sometimes, the pallus carry elaborate Kerala mural paintings.
Originating from Orissa, it is made using warp tie-dyed before the weaving procedure. Heavily designed with traditional motifs like flowers, wheels and shells, the Sambalpuri sarees have intricate ikat weave. It is believed that this art migrated to Western Odisha along with the Bhulia community, who fled Northern India in the year 1192 AD, after the fall of the Chauhan Empire at the hands of the Mughal rulers.
Originating from Madya Pradesh, this saree is a blend of silk and cotton. It is as comfortable and lightweight as cotton and has the shine of silk. The printing on these sarees are usually block prints in intricate designs.
Originating from Murshidabad in West Bengal, this silk saree is made on power loom and has a lot of texture. The baluchari silk sarees of Murshidabad are quite popular, even though their production has shifted to Bishnupur and surrounded places. The lustrous cloth and the delicate Bengali tribal patterns make this saree a unique piece to own.
Inspired from the weather of Rajasthan, this net saree is very lightweight and perfect for the dry and hot climate there. The original handloom Kota sarees are the pride of a woman and are becoming very rare to find. However, the polyester versions are gaining more popularity in the market as an alternative.
Coming from the state of Andhra Pradesh, this lightweight and crisp mix of cotton and silk has a shiny finish to it. Woven in a close-knit gauge with light golden zari borders, this perfectly drapes around the body for a light yet sophisticated look. The pallus can consist of simple golden zari designs or heavy ornate zari embroidery depending on the price range. These sarees date back to 1700 AD, and were patronised by Nellore’s Velugoti dynasty.
Pochampalli cotton and silk sarees are very famous down South due to their touch and feel. They are similar to the ikat sarees from Orissa, but with a different shiny finish. Their unique border designs make it perfect for daily wear. In fact, the air hostesses of Air India wear special woven Pochampalli sarees.
Traditionally woven by the weavers in Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, these are woven naturally and distinguished by their wide contrast borders. Temple borders, checks, stripes and floral buttas are traditional designs found on Kanchipuram sarees. Their intricate golden designs make them a favourite in bridal wear. Since 2005, Kanjeevaram sarees are protected by Geographical Indication label, protecting their origin.
Naranyanpet sarees are made of fine silk or cotton with zari patterns and contrast borders. These traditional handloom sarees are from the Narayanpet town in Mahbubnagar District, Andhra Pradesh. Originally, they flourished under the Marathi influence and gained the royal patronage of Shivaji. It is considered auspicious to wear a Narayanpet saree.
It is indeed a proud feeling knowing about such beauty and talent in our country. Just like each person is different, these sarees are unique too. So, wear your Indian culture and heritage with pride!
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