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.
Thanchoi 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!
Ikkat silk sarees are woven in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat states in India. Ikkat
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
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
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.
Batik 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.
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.
However, 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.
Printed 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
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.
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
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
Kanjeevaram 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.
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.
Mysore 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.
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?
Sarees from East India
Passion, hard work and intricate artistry
mark sarees of East India. These include baluchari sarees, tant sarees
and kantha 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.
'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
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.
Kota 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.