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Types of Sarees in India

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Types of Sarees in India

Saree is a commonly loved topic among women - from which saree to wear,  what their friend wore on a particular occasion and which saree to buy for the coming festival. Well, when it is about buying a saree, the list changes into a iterating loop! And why not, women look their best in a saree!

Types of Sarees in India

Saree is the traditional dress of India. The ways of draping the saree may differ from one state to state, but the love of saree remains much the same. This is one attire which never goes out of fashion though the fabric may change keeping climatic conditions in mind. For instance, cotton sarees are preferred during summer months.

A sari comprises of a drape which varies from 5 to 9 yards (4.57 metres to 8.23 metres) in length and 2 to 4 feet (60 cms. to 1.20 metres) in breadth. You have to wrap the saree around the waist - one end draping beautifully over your shoulder called the 'pallu' which is always exquisitely designed. Saree is another name for grace and is worn commonly in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Traditional Silk Sarees in India

Silk industry in India is an old industry. States such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal have been major regions where silk industry has thrived in India. There are basically four types of silks produced in India - Mulberry, Muga, Tussore and Eri silk.

Traditional silk sarees that are popular in India and abroad include kanjeevaram saree, banarsi saree, mysore silk saree, pochampally ikat saree, paithani saree, konrad saree, chanderi saree, patola saree, baluchari saree, bomkai saree, tussar saree etc. Tussar and eri silk is produced in large quantities in India. There are many different types of silk sarees produced in India.

Kancheepuram is famous for Kanjeevaram silk sarees. In Mysore, silk is available at comparatively cheaper price. Dhotis worn here during religious ceremonies are also made of silk. Konrad sarees or temple sarees are popular sarees from Tamil Nadu and the wedding motifs of elephants, peacocks etc. on these sarees symbolize fertility and creativity.

Sarees in IndiaThanchoi silk saree is known for its weaving. The silk fabric is woven in such a manner that it gives a raised effect (brocade). There is no border in these sarees ans the motifs are usually floral.
Ikkat or patola silk saree of Orissa is famous all over the world. It is created using the 'tie and dye method' which is applied on the yarn much before weaving is done --- a really complex process indeed!

Silk Sarees in IndiaIkkat silk sarees are woven in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat states in India. Ikkat patterns are geometrical and it takes 5 weeks just to dye the fibres of these sarees! Kotpad, a place near Koraput in Orissa is famous for natural dyers.

Sarees from IndiaBandhini is made using traditional method of 'bandhej' or 'tie and dye' method. Bandhini sarees come from Gujarat and Rajasthan states in India. Cloth of natural colour is taken and certain areas are tightly wound using thread. The cloth is then dipped in a dye. Many different designs are created on the cloth which look lovely.

There is a village near Aurangabad which is famous for paithani sarees. Parrots, trees, plants etc. are motifs used on these sarees. The saree gives an embossed look as the pallu is golden and the patterns are made in silk. The saree comes in bright colours of magenta, purple and peacock green.

Saress in IndiaChanderi saree comes from a place named Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh. These sarees are light and worn in summer season. The base of the saree is light coloured and available both in cotton and silk.

Maheshwari sarees also come in both cotton and silk and are mostly green or purple with a zari border.   

Tussar silk sari has a beautiful texture and are considered auspicious. Tussar sarees are of two types - mixed tussar-cotton and plain tussar saree. In Madhya Pradesh, these sarees are produced with combination of thread work and bagh printing.

Vafta sarees produced in Madhya Pradesh are also a blend of silk and cotton. The drape gives you the comfort of a cotton saree while the shine is that of silk! These sarees look beautiful with fine prints in subdued colours which are made by using old method of block printing.

Murshidabad sarees are machine loomed bengali silks comprising of lustrous cloth and printed with Bengali tribal prints or Kashmiri designs.

Traditional Sarees in IndiaBatik silk sarees have their own beauty. As a resist, wax is applied on the saree and then patterns appear after few dyeing sessions - a 'must have' saree for those who love to collect and wear different traditional sarees.

Varanasi silk sarees are in demand especially during the wedding season. These are rich sarees with elaborate brocaded ornament due to zari woven into heavy gauge silks. Multi-colour thread work impart beauty to the saree.

Also Read: Thanjavur Sarees  | Kancheepuram Silk Sarees

Block/Screen Printed Sarees in India

Well, in India, most ladies wear sarees - at home, at work, in office etc. The most commonly worn sarees during the day while working are printed cotton sarees which are screen printed especially in Mumbai, mills in Surat and Kolkata.

Printed Sarees of IndiaHowever, if you talk about traditional block printed sarees, you must surely take time to see ajrakh and bagru prints from Gujarat and Rajasthan states in India. Bagh prints from Madhya Pradesh and Dabu prints from Rajasthan are famous too. Kalamkari prints from Andhra Pradesh are vegetable dyed block prints that are printed on soft and fine voile cotton.

Sarees in IndiaPrinted chiffon sarees are worn by ladies during summer months. They are very light, easily washable and durable and are adorned with lovely floral designs and modern colourful prints. They are easy to maintain and really comfortable to wear.

Ladies find their wardrobe full of clothes but never quite understand what to wear! For those ladies who are very fond of wearing sarees, India is a haven for collecting some wonderful hand woven sarees. Take a pick from the sarees mentioned above! It is a good idea to buy a saree from the state you are visiting. This will not only add another saree to your wardrobe, but also become a remembrance of your visit to that place and bring back some really fond memories of your vacation.

Saree never goes out of fashion. Wear it in any style - Gujarati way, Bengali style, Tamilian style or try the Maharashtra method. You will always look beautiful in a saree! 

Sarees from North India

North Indian regions are famous for sarees such as tanchois, amru brocades, tissue sarees, shikargarh brocades, abrawans, kincab or kinkhwab sarees, jamavar sarees in bright 'meena ' colours, organza or organdy saree etc.

Sarees from North IndiaBanaras Brocade

This type of saree is a 'must have' for any bride! The Brocade came into existence during Moghul period. The saree has intricate intertwining floral motifs with narrow 'jhhalar' along the inner and outer border.
Also Read: Banarasi Saree

Chikan Sarees

Chicken is a style of embroidery that has originated from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. It was introduced by Nur Jehan, wife of Emperor Jahangir. Chikan work originally was done as white embroidery on white cloth, but nowadays, white threads are used for embroidery on coloured muslin cloth.

Sarees from South India

Well,  South India is the silk hub and is popular for silk sarees, especially kanjeevaram sarees. Other popular sarees of South India are pashmina silk, pochampallis, kota silk, mysore crepes and puttapakshi sarees. In Kerala, narayanpet sarees and bavanjipet sarees have golden border on cream base and are typical wedding sarees.

Sarees from IndiaKanjeevaram saree / Kancheepuram saree

These sarees are famous all over the world. The characteristic feature of these sarees is gold dipped silver thread which is woven on very good quality silk. Kanchipuram town in Tamil Nadu is popular for weaving of these sarees and the tradition has been continuing for the past 150 years. These sarees are very durable too. These sarees depict pyramidal temple borders, checks, stripes and floral 'butta' which impart it a traditional look. In genuine kancheepuram sarees, the body, border and pallu/pallav are woven separately. Later, they are interlocked so strongly that pallav will not detach from the saree. Click here to read more on Kancheepuram silk sarees

Sarees from Southn IndiaKonrad Saree

Konrad sarees are also called 'Temple sarees'. This is because they were woven for temple deities in olden days. These sarees come with wide borders and beautified with motifs such as peacocks, elephants etc. The sarees come in traditional colours like brown, grey, off-white colours. However, nowadays these sarees are woven using brighter colours too.

Silks from South IndiaMysore Silk Sarees

Mysore silk sarees are made of finest silk in Karnataka. They are available in diverse shades and have a heavy pallu. They look beautiful with buttas and checks all over and are very expensive silk sarees. They impart an elegant and rich look. Dharmavaram sarees from Andhra Pradesh and yes, Binny silk sarees look quite similar to m Mysore silk sarees. These adorn the wardrobe of nearly every lady in South India.

You must have heard about Guntur sarees of Andhra Pradesh which are soft and comfortable for wearing in hot weather. Pallu are decorated with bhuttis, simple stripes or weft ikats. Mangalagiri sarees from Andhra Pradesh have dense zari borders with thick lines of zari on the pallu.

Banhatto sarees of Karnataka are sarees meant for daily wear and have large golden borders and pallu. Venkatgiri sarees from Andhra Pradesh are crisp and light weight with zari or thread work borders and bold pallu.

Coimbatore sarees have zari work with colourful thread work borders. The colours are bright for cotton sarees.

Then there is Balarampuram Mundu-Veshti saree which is a traditional two-piece saree from Kerala which is woven from muslin cloth. One or two colours are combined with natural cotton coloured field. One piece sarees are also available in Baalarampuram.

Sarees from South IndiaGadhwal sarees are a mix of cotton and silk. Very complex joinery is involved in this saree and this is where the charm of the saree lies! Its popularity is also owing to the fact that this 5.5 metres  Gadhwal saree can be folded to the size of a match box! This sounds incredible, doesn't it?

Also Read: Kandanghi Sarees

Sarees from East India

Passion, hard work and intricate artistry mark sarees of East India. These include baluchari sarees, tant sarees and kantha saree.

Sarees from East IndiaBaluchari Saree

This saree is woven in Murshidabad district of West Bengal. It is saree with length of 5 yards and 42'' width. These come in bright and lively colours such as red, purple, deep blue and are silk sarees. These are woven on looms and the legacy has been continuing for the past 200 years! These sarees look quite similar to banarsi sarees. However, the difference is that in banarsi sarees zari threads are used while in baluchari sarees silk threads are used. The 'pallu' and border of baluchari saree depicts scenes from stories of Mahabharata and Ramayana.

Sarees from IndiaTant Saree

'Tant' literally means 'made in the loom'. These sarees are hand woven by women in Bengal and come in a variety of designs and colours. They are also popular as 'Bangal cotton'. Well, if you love to wear cotton, you must have one tant saree in your wardrobe.

Types of sarees in IndiaKantha Saree

This is an intricately embroidered saree beautified with 'kantha stitch' --- a running stitch. Many beautiful motifs are created using this stitch. Motifs range from floral designs, animals. folk art to birds etc. Kantha work can be seen on bags, shirts and kurta etc. also nowadays. These sarees mostly have an off white base with colourful motifs made with kantha stitch. Nowadays, colourful kantha sarees are also sold in the market which look beautiful and bright.

Sarees from West India

Brocade Paithani sarees from Maharashtra are famous in India. Bandhini sarees with silk and zari work and patoli sarees with intricate thread work - both from Gujarat are much in demand today. Bandhini sarees are also woven in Bhuj, Udaipur, Bikaner and Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Sanganer in Rajasthan is known for cotton block print sarees.

Sarees from IndiaKota Doria or Kota Jali

Kota is a town in Rajasthan state which is popular for these sarees which are manufactured in villages around Kota. Kota doria sarees are basically cotton sarees which are light in weight and transparent.

Also Read: Kota Sarees
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