TYPES OF SAREES
Bandhani or Bandhej Sarees
Bandhani or Bandhej refers to the art of tie and dye carried out in the regions of Gujarat. The term Bandhani is derived from the Hindi word Bandhan meaning tying. Bandhani Sarees feature the uniquely created small spots or dots produced as a result of resist-dyeing which generate elaborate patterns on the coloured or uncoloured ground fabric. Besides dots, square, waves and stripes are also produced.
Balarampuram Mundu-Veshti Sarees
These Sarees are well the traditional two piece Saree of Kerala woven from a super fine variety of cotton. They are woven from unbleached, un-dyed natural cotton that compliments the tropical climate of Kerala. The Saree is usually a cream stretch of cloth with Kasavu (meaning exquisite embroidery work).The traditional design of a Kerala Saree had a 1 inch to 6-7 inch pallu while the body remained plain.
The Baluchari Saree originated in West Bengal, and is mainly worn by the women of India and Bangladesh. It is a hand woven saree using richly dyed silk, with intricate motifs depicting Indian mythology woven onto its large ‘pallu’. Baluchari takes a week to be woven, and the craftsmen are largely centered in Murshidabad.
Chanderi silk from India is one of the traditional methods of hand-weaving that have been developed over the centuries, and passed down through generations. The Chanderi Sarees are very light with glossy transparency, made in either cotton or silk. Its uniqueness lies in its crisp texture, airy feel, narrow borders and the anchal with buttis.
These silk Sarees originated from a small town in south of Tamil Nadu called Chatinad. Chettinad Sarees are admired for creating an illusion with the extensive use of colour and pattern with bold checks, stripes and contrasting tints. The traditional Chettinad Sarees are found in mustard, brick red and black colours and other vibrant hues using cotton and silk as fabrics.
The Dharmavaram silk Sarees are similar to Kanjeevaram Sarees of Tamil Nadu. They carry exclusively designed pallus in zari brocade and commonly broad borders having brocades gold patterns or butta designs. The Saree is woven in two colours with bright but sublime field and without much contrast. The borders of these Sarees are commonly broad having brocaded gold patterns. These Sarees are also woven with tussar silk.
These Saree features a fine cotton field which is weaved separately and later interlocked with borders and pallu made out of pure silk. This art of back-breaking or interlock weft technique is known as kupadam or Tippatiamu and hence the gadwal Sarees are locally called as Kupadam or Kumbbam Sarees.
Features a network of squares created by rows of white tie-dyed spots or woven bands of zari on a red but occasionally green background. The number of squares in the Saree is ritually significant multiples of 9, 12 or 52. Single motifs are also created within each compartment viz. elephant, dancing girl, parrot and flower. Sometimes these motifs are woven in the Saree using discontinuous supplementary-weft zari. Traditionally it was made out of cotton but now is usually available in silk.
Guntur Sarees, woven by the craftsmen of Guntur is known for its tightly-mend drapes, which have folds of about 60- 80 counts. The name comes from the quaint city of Andhra Pradesh known as Guntur, located towards the southeast of Hyderabad, the capital of the state. Guntur is home to a lot of industries, businesses, agricultures, handicrafts and above all, the textiles known for exporting cotton and chillies.
Ilkal Sarees are the famous 9 yard Sarees which are characterized by use of an embroidery form called Kasuti all over. The embroidery is speciality of Karnataka and is highly intricate. It is done in such a way that no thread knots appear on back of the fabric and the front and back look alike. The designs used in Kasuti reflect traditional patters like palanquins, elephants and lotuses which are embroidered all over the field and the pallu carries designs of temple towers.
Jamdani refers to an ancient fine cotton fabric of Bengali origin called muslin woven with floral or geometric designs. Traditionally woven around Dhaka and created on the loom brocade, Jamdani is fabulously rich in motifs. The fineness and quality of Jamdani Saree depends usually on the art of making yarns. For quality Jamdani they used yarn of 200 to 250 counts. Jamdani designs are made while the fabric is still on the loom. Coarse yarns are used for designs to make the motifs rise above the fabric.
Daccai JamdaniThese Sarees are very fine textured just resembling muslin. The workmanship employed to these Sarees is very elaborate where the single warp is usually ornamented with two extra weft followed by ground weft. They have multicolored linear or floral motifs all over the body and border and have an exquisitely designed elaborate pallu. The mango motif signifying fertility, growth, and marital bliss is a very popular design in Daccai Jamdani Sarees. They are woven painstakingly by hand on the old fashioned Jala loom, and many take even up to one year to weave a single Saree. It feels supple to the touch and drapes gently to reveal the contours of the wearer.
Tangail JamdaniThese Sarees feature highly stylized jamdani motifs on tangail fabrics (fine textured fabric with 100s count). The traditional tangail borders had a paddo (lotus pattern), pradeep (lamp pattern) apart from the popular aansh paar which was common to Shantipur. From the use of a single colour on the border, they began to use 2 to 3 colours to give it a meenakari effect.
Shantipur JamdaniThey characterize powder fine texture of the Saree and are much similar to tangail jamdnais.
Dhaniakhali JamdaniThese jamdanis have tighter weave as compared to tangail and shantipur jamdanis. Dhaniakhali Jamdani Sarees are known for their stripes and checks and are woven in bold colours with contrasting borders.
Uppada Jamdani SareesUppada jamdani sarees are diaphanous silk saree that trace its origin to Uppada in Andhra Pradesh. Jamdani itself is a hand woven fabric that is also known as muslin. The word itself roughly translates to flower vase (which ‘jam’ meaning flower and ‘dani’, vase). The name comes from a Persian origin. It is also said that this technique of weaving has Bengali roots.
The Saree that gives the royal look and rich feel, the Kanjivaram Saree, got its name from a small temple town Kanchipuram where it originated. Kanjivaram Sarees are noted for their special weaving technique where three single silk threads are used along with the single zari thread. Weaved out of heavy Kanjeevaram silk variety, these Sarees are known for their luxuriously woven end-pieces using thick zari threads. In an original Kanchipuram Saree, the Saree field and the end-piece (pallu) are woven separately and then interlocked together.
Kerala Kasavu Saree
Kasavu is a hand-woven cream colored saree with gold border, worn by Malayalee women. From the land of ‘God’s own country’, Kerala’s Kasavu emerges as one of the finest traditional Sarees which define the essence of the beauty of every woman in Kerala. It is a handloom designed material which enhances its glamor through the intrinsic borders soaked in the color of pure gold.
Kota Doria Sarees
Kota Doria (also spelled as Kota Dori) is a unique blend of cotton and silk in a square check pattern. The silk provides the shine while the cotton provides strength to the fabric. The name Kota Doria is taken from it place of origin, Kota in Rajasthan, India. The checked pattern is termed as ‘khat’, and is one of the distinguishing feature of the Kota Doria fabric. Kota Doria is a very fine weave and weigh very less. Sarees, Salwar Kameez, Lehengas and Home furnishings are some popular uses of the fabric.
These are the famous silk temple Sarees, one of the coveted Sarees from south India. Kornad Sarees are also called temple Sarees because of their rekhu motif, a continuous tooth or serrated pattern on the borders that protrudes into the field. These temple Sarees are commonly used as offerings to deities and are somewhat smaller in length than conventional Sarees. Kornad Sarees are characterized by wide borders and motifs such as elephants and peacocks symbolising water, fertility and fecundity. These Sarees are available in earth shades of browns, grey and off-white colours as well as in bright colours.
Leheria (or leheriya) is a traditional style of tie dye practiced in Rajasthan, India that results in brightly colored cloth with distinctive patterns. The technique gets its name from the Rajasthani word for wave because the dyeing technique is often used to produce complex wave patterns.
The Madurai Sarees are woven out of very shiny, highly mercerized cotton with glistening silk borders, which used to be made of silk, but are now mostly polyester or shiny cotton. Madurai Sarees are airy and lightweight, perfect for the very hot climate.
Maheshwari Saree is a cotton and pure silk fabric woven with zari or brocade in varied designs. These designs include stripes, checks and floral borders. Originating from the town of Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh, Maheshwari fabric is mainly used in designing Maheshwari Sarees, other than dupattas and dress material for Salwar Kameez.
Mangalgiri sarees are a popular handloom product from the state of Andhra Pradesh. This special saree has intricate tribal designs that are woven in cotton along with zari or golden colored patterns that occur in small checks. The pallu (edge) of this saree is adorned with a striped design, which is a typical tribal embellishment that is made out of golden embroidery. The Mangalgiri sarees come in a host of bold colors that make it look very elegant and gorgeous.
Molakulmuru is a town in the Chitradurga district on the borders of Karnataka. This town is renowned for the production of a special garment, called the Molakalmuru Saree. These Sarees are usually produced in silk and showcase a number of motifs and patterns, usually inspired by nature. They received special patronage during the time of Nalvadi Krishnarajendra Wodeyar, prince of Mysore. Recently, Molakalmuru Sarees have received the Geographical Indications tag, referring to the specific origin and specialized production of the saree in the town of Molakalmuru.
Muga Silk Saree
These are the most durable silk Sarees from Assam woven out of Muga silk variety available only in Assam. Muga silk Saree is known for its natural shimmering golden colour which requires no dyes. The Saree field and borders are embellished with traditional motifs and butis like symbols of human figure, creepers, flowers, birds, channels, cross borders, galaxies and ornamental designs. The pallu of the Saree is often woven with sun-tree motif to add an extra charm.
Mysore Silk Sarees
The Saree, as the name suggests, is weaved out of the purest Mysore silk and is characterised for it quality, butter-soft feel and permanence of lustre. The beauty of these Sarees is largely a result of intricate zari work done on the border and pallu. Out of all the Mysore silks, Mysore crepe silk Saree is the most sought after.Lately many makeover steps have been attempted to make this coveted silk Saree even more admired by infusing kasuti embroidery and bandhini designs, or adding on richness in the woven pallus. A wide palette of exciting vibrant colours like lilac, ecru, coffee-brown and elephant-grey have also been introduced.
There is a distinct style attached to the Narayanpet sarees, the sarees have a checked surface design with embroidery and the border or pallu have intricate ethnic designs such as a temple. The borders and pallu of the Narayanpet Silk saree are given a contrasted look with small zari designs.
Nauvari (also known as Nav Vari, Nauvaree, Kasta Saree, Kacha, Sakachcha, Lugade) is a nine yards saree worn by the Marathi women or women of Maharashtra. The name ‘Nauvari’ originated from the saree’s length of nine yards. The style of drape for Nauvari has evolved drastically from the traditional style to the modern-age cult and is draped in such a way that it gives a trouser-dress like an appearance, while the Saree is tucked at the back. Nauvari sarees usually come in cotton and is worn without a Petticoat, majorly by the Maharashtrian Brahmin women community.
These Sarees originated in the State of Maharashtra and is named after a village near Aurangabad. These Sarees are now woven in the town of Yeola also. These Sarees use an enormous amount of labour, skill and sheer expanse of silk material in the process of creation. Distinctive motifs such as parrots, trees, flowers, paisleys, stars, coins, fans, petals, coconuts, lotus, etc are woven into the Saree including few patterns derived from Ajanta Caves. Many of these designs are found on the border and pallu in different sizes and patterns. The basic weave of the Paithani Saree is a tabby weave but more recently even the modern jacquard has been incorporated. The speciality lies in the design which is woven without the assistance of a mechanical contriance like a jala.
Patola Silk Saree
Patolas are hand-woven silk sarees that are created in Patan, Gujarat. The name Patola is derived from the Sanskrit word Pattakulla. Manufactured by the resist-dyeing process using the warp & weft technique, Patolas are double ikat sarees. Almost three people would take four to six months to weave a Patola, which makes it extremely expensive and time-consuming. The sarees are painted with motifs and patterns inspired from animals and other elements of nature. The craft of weaving them rests exclusively with the Salvi family in Patan who manufacture Patolas for royalty and aristocracy.
Pochampalli Sarees, also known as Pochampalli Ikat, is a traditional garment that originates from Bhoodan Pochampally in the Nalgona District, Telangana State.These sarees are distinguished by their characteristic Ikat prints. Ikat, also known as Ikkat, is a traditional technique that is used to dye garments. The process used to do so is known as Resist Dyeing, wherein a host of methods are used to prevent the dye from spreading all across the fabric.
Sournachuri Silk Sarees
The elegant Sournachuri Silk saree of West Bengal is more often referred to as the ‘illustrious’ sister of the Baluchari Silk saree. The Swarnachari Silk saree has gold thread incorporated in the weave which gives its characteristic rich sheen, whereas the Baluchari Silk saree only has silk threads incorporated in the weave.
Despite this difference, both are similar in weaving, design, and conception. The Sournachuri silk saree is famous worldwide because of the intricate patterns and figurines that are created on the saree that relate an entire mythological story altogether.
Sungudi Saree or Chinnalapattu
Sungudi Sarees are traditional cotton sarees from the village Chinnalapatti, Tamil Nadu, defined by the patterns of block prints and tie & dye designs. Also, known as Chinnalapattu sarees. These are known by the names of ‘Sungudi saree’, Madhurai Saree, and Chinnalapattu.
Venkatagiri Sarees are hand-woven zari cotton sarees popular for their Jamdani style weaving pattern. Coming from the historic town of Venkatagiri in the state of Andhra Pradesh, Venkatagiri Sarees are one of the softest and most durable south sarees in India. They are usually of six yards and are suitable for all climates. The distinctive feature of a Venkatagiri saree is a big Jamdani motif of a peacock, parrot, swan, mango or leaf in the pallu. The fine weaving and unique zari designs of the sarees made them the preferred choice of royalty in Andhra Pradesh.