Understanding The Beauty Of Silk Sarees
Silk, like cotton, has been a staple of Indian textiles for millennia. Even the people of Indus Valley Civilisation knew about this fabric and about how they could produce it through sericulture. Like cotton, silk also became a popular choice for making sarees. However, the high costs of the fabric made it difficult for anybody other than royalty and nobility to wear it during most of India’s history. These days, however, they have become a staple for all Indian women.
Like cotton sarees, there are several regions all over India that produce unique silk sarees. As such, it can become difficult to find the one that is just right for the wardrobe of a modern Indian woman. Therefore, it becomes necessary to learn more about the most popular Indian silk sarees available.
Beauty Of Silk Sarees:
- Banarasi Silk Saree:
Named after Banaras or modern-day Varanasi, the city in which it is originally made, the banarasi saree is considered to be one of the finest silk sarees made in India. In fact, the artistry of these sarees is unparalleled in India. The craftsmanship was originally introduced to India by the Mughals. As a result, these silk sarees feature Mughal elements as one of their characteristics.
The design of the saree incorporates floral motifs, which are reminiscent of Mughal art. Another unique feature of this saree is the jhallar. This is a string of upright leaves that are present on the outer border of the saree. The embroidery is another fascinating aspect of these sarees. Gold and silver threads are intricately woven into the brocade. Due to the high intricacy of the designs, the artisans require a considerable amount of time to create one. Some of the most elaborate ones can easily take around a year to complete.
The brocade work results in the saree being rather heavy for regular use. As such, they are typically reserved for special occasions. They are the traditional choice for Hindu brides on their wedding day.
- Patola Silk Saree:
The production of this saree is limited to Patan in Gujarat. These sarees are beautiful and highly prized. In fact, the technique of creating the sarees is limited to only a specific few artisans in the region. The weaving technique used for making these sarees is a tradition that has been passed down the families through the generations. As such, the secret is closely guarded by the families who know the technique. Patola Sarees are highly sought after even though they are among the most expensive sarees made in India.
Patola sarees are defined by a stunning combination of colours. They also feature geometrical shapes as their motifs in the designs and the overall design possesses a high degree of intricacy. One of the most interesting features of these sarees is that they do not have any reverse side. Moreover, the sarees require a lot of time to make due to the process used. Each strand of the saree will be dyed separated before it is woven. As such, some sarees can easily take a year before they are completed.
- Bhagalpuri Silk Saree
One of the major reasons for the popularity of a Bhagalpuri saree is the Tussar silk used. Tussar silk is indigenously produced in India, with the main centre being Jharkhand. This is also where Bhagalpuri saree was originally created. Tussar silk is characterised by the natural mellow golden hue of the fibre. These sarees also have a soft texture thanks to the material used in them. They feature the use of natural motifs and come in a wide range of vivid colours.
- Paithani Silk Saree
This style of saree is produced in Paithan in Maharashtra. Woven by hand, Paithani sarees are considered to be one of the best silk sarees produced in India. Only the finest silk is used for making these sarees making them one of the most expensive as well. One of the interesting things about the Paithani sarees is that they were originally made from cotton. Silk was used for the borders of the saree. However, with time, the entire saree began to be made with silk. These days, no cotton is used in Paithani sarees.
The Paithani saree is defined by its borders, which feature an oblique square design. The pallu of the saree features the use of designs inspired by birds and animals. The cloth base can be single coloured or have multiple colours. In the latter case, the designs feature the use of kaleidoscopic colours. This is made possible by the use of different colours for length and width weaving. The colours typically used in Paithani sarees are bright, such as peacock blue, purple and magenta. The borders tend to have a golden hue.
So, these are some of the common Types of Silk Sarees in India. There are several other notable silk sarees available in India, such as Chanderi and Mysore. In India, silk sarees are typically reserved for special days and occasions and are rarely used for regular wear.