VARIETIES OF INDIAN SAREES
Saree is a traditional garment worn by women in India and is probably one of the oldest attire for women in India. Traces of sarees have been found from the Indus Valley Civilization which flourished between 2800 BC to 1800BC in the western part of the Indian subcontinent. A saree is an unstitched long length fabric, usually six to nine yards long which is draped around the body of a female that gives a lavish look to the body of a woman.
Saree – A Sign of Indian Convention:
In ancient times, a saree had major importance and symbolism attached in the form of different colors or designs. The diverse models and colours of the saree represented beliefs, merits, and the region the person came from. These sarees had several designs and symbols used on it. The colors used in sarees also had some precise meaning behind them. For example, red was used as a symbol of courage. White color was a symbol of purity so the priests and their followers used to wear white color. Similarly, every color represented a specific and unique meaning according to caste, cultures and beliefs.
Since its inception, the saree has undergone several major changes in terms of designs, patterns and colors over the years but has not lost its grace and charm till now. In terms of fashion, designer sarees have taken an important spot in women’s wardrobe. There are various ways of draping and wearing a saree which depends mainly according to caste, religion and the body structure.
The Saree, after having survived thousands of years of modifications, invasions, migration, and globalization has now emerged as a highly appreciated, glamorous and sensuous outfit which is festooned by beautiful women all over the world. Saree is truly the most versatile garment worn. A saree can be worn in hundreds of styles and drapes; it can be paired along with different kinds of blouse and also can be accessorized with numbers of accessories in various ways. A saree is appropriate for almost every occasion or an event, whether it’s for daily use, office wear, birthday party, festive occasion, wedding or a romantic dinner.
Different types of traditional sarees in India:
1. Banarasi Saree:
Banarasi Silk (also known as Banarasi SIlk) is a fine variant of Silk originating from the city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India. Saree woven from this fine silk, known as a Banarasi Silk Saree is extremely popular all over India and across the world.
With a mention in the Mahabharata and in the Buddhist scriptures in the first millennium, Banarasi silk has its roots seeped into the rich cultural history of India. Originally crafted exclusively for the royalty, each Banarasi sari was created from real gold and silver threads, taking as much as a year to make.
Types of Banarasi Sarees:
There are only four key varieties of Banarasi sarees. Banarasi silks are the most important one. Moreover, there will be variations such as Organza and Kora with silk as well “zari”. In accordance with the decoration and designs, those Banarasi silks can be divided into 6 more segments. These segments completely depend upon the designs. The raw materials will not be the catalyst of those variations.
8. Tant Sarees:
Synonymous with Bengal cotton handlooms, tant sarees are among the most popular sarees worn by the women of West Bengal and Bangladesh. Their light, airy texture makes them especially suited for the warm and humid summers of this region. Tant sarees are characterized by a thick border, a decorative pallav and are woven with a variety of floral, paisley and other artistic motifs.
Bundles of cotton threads coming from the mills are first washed to remove any chemicals, sun-dried, bleached, again dried, and then dipped in boiling coloured water to dye them. They are then starched and processed some more to make them finer and stronger. The threads are wound on bamboo drums to feed them into the loom for weaving.
Every tant saree is characterized by the design on its border, pallav and body. These designs are drawn by an artist and transcribed onto soft cardboards by perforating them which are then suspended from the loom. Now all is in place for the weaving to begin. The simplest of tant sarees take about 10-12 hours to weave. More intricate designs could even take 5-6 days to complete a saree.
Types of Tant Sarees
Tant sarees can be classified based on the region where they are woven, or the motifs depicted on the sarees. The major regions of tant production in West Bengal today are:
9. Fulia and Shantipur (in Nadia): Combining the weaving styles of the original Shantipur weavers and the migrant weavers from Tangail who settled in Fulia, this region has developed the “Fulia Tangail” style of weaving and produces among the best quality tant sarees today. These tants are soft and fine in texture, come in vibrant colours and have large, intricately woven motifs.
10. Dhaniakhali (or Dhaniakhali in Hooghly): Tant sarees from this region are of good quality, mainly come in pastel shades and have striped patterns and fewer motifs.
11. Begampur (in Hooghly): Begampur specializes in loosely woven, light-weight and translucent sarees in deep, bright colours.
12. Kalna (in Burdwan): Tants from this region are based on the Tangail style of weaving.
13. Atpur (in Hooghly): This town was known for producing coarser sarees and dhotis for everyday wear. The term “Atpoure” which means “common wear” denotes the Bengali style of wearing sarees which used to be the traditional way of draping for women of this region.
14. Chanderi Saree:
Chanderi sarees are fine, luxurious looking sarees from Madhya Pradesh, India. They are named after the town in which they are traditionally produced. This is a weaving town (i.e., one where weaving is the primary occupation of a large segment of the population) which has produced beautiful and distinctive woven textiles for many years.
Though the Chanderi fabric is used to create many different clothes, the Chanderi Saree in particular is an extremely popular product which is highly in demand across India and the world. It is known for its fine and lightweight feel and delicate look.
In traditional Chanderi sarees, there are two main distinguishing characteristics. The material will always be sheer and translucent in its look, while the designs and motifs displayed always show a strong influence of Chanderi temple art. Commonly seen motifs or buttis include peacocks, lotuses, coins, celestial figures, geometric patterns, artistic intertwining lines and figures of animals.
15. Sambalpuri Saree:
Sambalpuri Saree is a traditional Handloom sarees, produced in Sambalpur and near by district of Odisha. The Sambalpuri sari reflects an original style of craft made from fabric woven on a hand loom.
16. Kasta Saree:
Kasta Sari also referred to as Nauvari is the traditional Marathi style of sari, a single nine yard sari that is worn very similar to the Maharashtrian dhoti.
17. Chiffon Saree
Chiffon Sarees are light weight fabric sarees made purely from silk. These sarees are one of the most appealing attire for Indian women.
18. Georgette Saree:
Georgette Sarees are also lightweight attire made from silk with highly twisted yarns. These sarees are made in solid colors and prints.
19. Kosa Saree:
Kosa Sarees are one of the most popular sarees in India, available in different colors, patterns and designs. Kosa silk is produced from larvae of several species of silkworms in Chhattisgarh.
20. Net Saree:
Net Sarees are made with a fabric with open spaces and come in different varieties. Different weaving patterns can be used for different kinds of netting.
21. Bandhani Saree:
Bandhani is a tie dye textile process and the technique,variety and colour used in Bandhana are highly decorated. Bandhani Sarees are being sold all over India, especially during the festive and wedding seasons.
22. Kasavu Saree:
Kasavu Sarees from Kerala are the traditional clothing of women in the state,especially during the festival and wedding seasons. The Kasavu Sarees is traditionally white or cream in colour and consists of two pieces of cloth.
23. Patola Saree:
Patola Saree is a double ikat sari made from silk in Patan of Gujarat. These saris are most popular and very expensive, once worn only by royal and aristocratic families.
24. Kanjeevaram Saree:
Kanjeevaram Saree are weaved from pure mulberry silk thread, made by the weavers of kancheepuram. Kanchipuram Sarees has been recognized as a Geographical indication by the Government of India.
25. Kalamkari Saree:
Kalamkari Sarees are produced in many different regions of South India and There are two distinctive styles of kalamkari art in India – the Srikalahasti style and the Machilipatnam style.
26. Paithani Saree:
Paithani Sarees are made from very fine silk, produced in Paithan town in Aurangabad. Paithani variety of Sarees are considered as one of the richest saris in India.
27. Muga Saree:
Muga Sarees are produced in Assam from wild Muga silks,Pat and warm Eri silk. Muga silk was recognized as a protected geographical indication and used in products like saris, mekhalas and chadors.
28. Puttapaka Saree:
Puttapaka Sarees are made in Puttapaka village of Nalgonda district in Telangana. These Sarees are known for its unique Puttapaka tie and dye style and closely resembles Sambalpuri saree.
29. Pochampally Saree:
Pochampally Sarees are made of one of the ancient Ikat weaving with traditional geometric patterns. Air India cabin crew wear specially designed pochampally silk sarees.
30. Gadwal Saree:
Gadwal Sarees is registered as one of the geographical indications from Telangana and is most notable for the best Zari on the saris. These saris have been popular and consist of cotton bodies with silk pallu.
31. Mangalagiri saree:
Mangalagiri Sarees and Fabrics are produced in Mangalagiri town of Guntur and registered as one of the best handicraft from Andhra Pradesh. Mangalagiri saris are very unique in variety and have the most characteristic features.