The saree is an integral part of Indian culture and clothing, showcasing its incredible variety in fabrics, designs, weaves, embroidery styles, and drape techniques. Each state and region in India has developed its special variety that showcases local heritage and culture – come explore all that Indian sarees offer us!
Regional Saree Styles
Banarasi sarees have long been considered symbols of ornate luxury. Crafted in Varanasi’s textile hub, these silk sarees boast luxurious brocades, intricate zari work and Mughal-inspired motifs that draw on Mughal influences. Each silk saree takes months of hand weaving in 22-karat gold zari thread to produce exquisite masterpieces handed down through generations – making Banarasi an essential bridal trousseau essential in North India.
Kanjivaram Sarees from Tamil Nadu
Kanjivaram silk saree hail from Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu and feature multicolored silk threads in the weft to craft vibrant borders and pallus designs with temple-inspired themes. Traditional colors include magenta, pink, mustard green, parrot green sky blue purple. Their premium quality comes from using thicker three ply threads.
Ikat involves resist-dyeing the wrap and weft threads to form the patterns on the looms. Sambalpuri Ikat sarees showcase beautiful floral, bird and other motifs in vibrant colors against pristine white. Chequered Ikat designs are also common and give these sarees a more contemporary look. Cotton and silks are used, though traditional Tassar silks dyed with natural indigo are the finest.
This unique fabric innovatively combines cotton warp with silk weft to create a texture that is cooler and cheaper than pure silk. Originally from Surat, the finest Mushroo comes from Patan where silk yarns are handwoven with zari into the cotton base. Bright colors and traditional motifs make Mushroo sarees ideal for festivals while also being light enough for daily wear.
Chanderi sarees, named for the town of Chanderi, are lightweight woven from fine cotton, silk or man-made fibers, featuring intricate zari borders with floral motifs and rich pale gold tissue textures that stand out. Maheshwari sarees from Maheshwar come complete with vibrantly colored borders with reversible zari borders which boast vibrant green and orange tones for everyday comfort balancing sophistication with affordability and sophistication with everyday comfort!
Karnataka’s tradition of silk weaving is exemplified in the Mysore or Kanchipuram style saree made from superior mulberry silk containing gold zari twisted into the yarns. These sarees are known for extremely soft textures, rich colors, and designs featuring jasmine, temple towers and elephants. Mysore silks are perfect for auspicious occasions due to their longevity and natural sheen.
Technique Based Saree Varieties
This hugely popular technique involves tying small knots across the saree before dyeing. The parts covered resist the dye and create intricate white patterns on a vibrant-colored base. Bandhani sarees from Rajasthan and Gujarat are especially prized for their playful floral and geometric ties. Modern variations use different colored dyes to create multicolored designs.
Originally from Bangladesh, the Jamdani technique involves weaving ornate motifs into the fabric with the weft threads by using an extra weft technique. West Bengal’s Dhakai Jamdanis have become renowned for their sheer, airy feel and delicate floral work. Jamdanis require tremendous skill and labor which enhances their value. Cotton, handloom silk, and muslin base fabrics are used.
These lightweight sarees originate from Kota in Rajasthan. Using an open weave technique, they have a signature square checkered pattern with fine single-yarn diagonals. The breeze-catching characteristic comes from the loose weave. Silk and cotton mixes or pure cotton yarns are used. Kota Doria is perfect for hot Indian summers.
This ancient hand painting art involves using natural dyes to meticulously draw motifs like flowers, peacocks and paisley on the saree fabric. Srikalahasti and Machlipatnam are two main types with the former using temple inspiration and the latter featuring Persian influence. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana offer many fine Kalamkari artisans preserving this craft.
Modern Saree Styles
New generation Indian designers like Sabyasachi are catapulting the saree into the future by using computerized digital printing to create innovative motifs, patterns and images. These modern sarees appeal to young urban career women.
Fusing sarees with other global styles leads to many modern variations like dhoti sarees, Abu Jani’s concept lehenga sarees, ruffle sarees and saree gowns. Fabrics like georgette and lace further modernize sarees.
On-screen saree looks sported by Deepika Padukone, Vidya Balan, Sonam Kapoor and others inspire trendy designs embraced by young female fans seeking celebrity style status.
The incredible diversity of draping styles, fabrics and regional weaves ensure the saree continues to be a versatile, culturally significant garment that keeps evolving with the modern Indian woman’s needs.
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