A Complete Guide on Different Types of Indian Silks Sarees
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Origin and History of Kanchipuram Silk Sarees: Legends have it that Kanchi weavers were descendants of a great sage, Markanda, the master weaver of Gods who is supposed to have woven tissue from lotus fiber. While cotton is considered to be the favorite fabric of Lord Shiva, silk was preferred by Lord Vishnu.
The Kanchipuram weavers are in this profession by tradition. The very first weavers called by the Chola king, Raja Raja Chola I (985–1014 CE), to weave these sarees, were chosen for their sheer talent on a loom. And for centuries now, this skill has been handed down from one generation to the next, with great care and diligence. There are no explanations, theories, or training for weaving. It is an art that was inherited, taught by the elders, and honed only by practice, creativity, and vision.
Region: Kanchipuram silk saree is a magnificent creation of the craftsmen living in a small town, Kanchi (Kanchipuram) close to Chennai in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Kanchipuram silk saree remains a must-have in every South Indian Woman’s trousseau and wardrobe. What a Banarasi silk saree is to a North Indian, a Gara saree to a Parsee, a Garad saree to a Bengali, Kanchipuram silk saree is to a South Indian. Given their value and longevity, Kanchipuram silk sarees are family heirlooms that can easily last a couple of generations if they are well taken care of.
Details of Material used in Kanchipuram Silk Sarees:
The Width & Weight: The width of any regular saree, even a silk saree, is a standard 45 inches; but the Kanchipuram saree is typically much broader around 48 inches. The specialty of the Kanchipuram silk saree is that the silk yarn is a “double warp”, i.e., each “thread” is actually made up of three single threads twisted together. Also, because of the pure mulberry silk used for these threads, Kanchipuram silk sarees are renowned for their texture, luster, durability, and finish – thus making a Kanchipuram silk saree much stronger and so more expensive than its counterparts from Arni, Dharmavaram, etc.
Different Types of Indian Silk Sarees:
Kanchipuram silk sarees are also known as Kanjeevaram silk sarees. Kanchipuram is the place of origin, the capital of Tamilnadu. These Kanjeevaram silk sarees are the masterpiece and pride of not only Tamilnadu but also India. These sarees are distinctively beautiful. They come in vivid and vibrant colors and have graciously designed contrast borders. Checks, florals, and temple designs are the most common designs found on the borders of Kanjeevaram silk sarees. However, some richly designed borders can have paintings showing scenes from great epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata.
If you are someone who loves premium and fine silk sarees, then Kanjeeveram silk sarees are there for you always. These sarees are characterized by the exceptional quality of silk that is used and their intricate weaving patterns. Also, these sarees use golden-silver thread that is known for the sheer elegance it imparts to the fabric.
With an absorbing story behind the invention of these sarees, Kanjeevaram or Kanchipuram silk saree is one of the most cherished possessions in a woman’s wardrobe. The kind of embroidery and motifs that go on this fabric leave you breathless.
The elegant Dharmavaram Silk Sarees of Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh are traditionally woven in the interlocked-weft technique. These sarees have broad borders with solid colors and contrasting pallus woven with intricate golden zari brocade. Dharmavaram silk sarees comprise heavy 'pallus' with exclusive designs.
Dharmavaram silk sarees are the most attractive and desired wedding sarees of most South Indian women. Though the Dharmavaram silk sarees are similar to the Kanchipuram silk sarees of Tamilnadu, yet the muted colors and the double shades create totally different effects.
Most Dharmavaram silk sarees are made from genuine south silks. Brocade patterns and motifs include intricate temple designs and a variety of ethnic Indian designs like an elephant, peacock, lotus, and much more.
Arni is a town situated in Thiruvannamalai District in Tamil Nadu. Traditionally, Arni silk sarees are called “Dobby variety”. These sarees are woven with mulberry silk in warp and weft by using dobby. The borders of these types of Arni/Konrad silk sarees have a thin line of Zari and or small designs.
Banarasi silk sarees from Varanasi, have always been the epitome of consummate craftsmanship. An ideal goes for all festivals and parties too, as a Banarasi silk saree can accentuate your looks multiple times. From the Ghats of Ganga, comes the Majestic Banarasi silk sarees with delicate Jamdhani Motifs.
Banarasi silk sarees are embellished with Mughal motifs such as ornate swirls, intertwining floral and paisley designs. These Indian sarees are adorned and woven with gold and silver brocade or zari, sheer silk, and precise embroidery. The colors and fabric of these sarees are radiant and soothing at the same time. The falling pallu of the saree is enhanced with goldwork, dense woven designs, and lush handcrafted motifs.
The influence of Mughal designs is evident from the awesome floral and leafy motifs known as ‘kalga’ and ‘bel’ and outer border designs of upright leaves known as ‘Jhallar’.
Tussar silk sarees are always a timeless affair. India is the main producer of Tussar silk sarees with Jharkhand being the main stage of its production. If there is any other silk comparable to the pure or cultivated mulberry silk, it is the wonderful Tussar or Kosa (the Sanskrit name of Tussar) silk sarees.
Of fine texture, the pale golden sheen fiber Tussar has embroideries as well as print motifs that have been inspired by nature. Floral patterns as well as those in the shape of trees, belts, buds, leaves, and leaflets are enough to spark creativity and serves as a source of inspiration for Tussar silk sarees that have been very much popular as a saree fabric.
Traditionally, the women of the tribal and rural areas were trained in weaving Silk out of Cocoons and weaving fabrics out of the threads hence obtained.
The Mysore silk saree/ Crepe silk saree of Mysore is manufactured in Karnataka, which happens to be one of the largest mulberry silk producers in India. Mysore silk is famous for its iridescent sheen, elegance, and its royal lineage. Its vibrant color yet subtle work sarees with a smooth texture, minimalist design, and rich feel make it an eternal favorite for weddings and traditional ceremonies. The signature solid colors of Mysore silk sarees and broad zari patterns across the length of the saree give a distinctive feel and appearance. If you are a combination of rich yet love to feel light then this Mysore Silk Saree must be there in your wardrobe.
Mysore, the land of Sandalwood, is also the producer of a fabric that is as rich as its history. The glimmering crepe silk sarees of Mysore are a gem in the crown of Maharajas and Sultans that reigned over this land. Coming from the state that is the largest mulberry silk producer in the country. Mysore silk sarees/ Crepe silk sarees are renowned for their extraordinary rich look, exquisite zari work, and lightweight fabric.
Since its zari contains 65% pure silver and 0.65% of gold, it is also one of the most expensive silk sarees in India. To avoid duplication issues, KSIC has implemented a unique hologram-based design and identification barcode weave on each Mysore Silk Saree produced in its factory.
Chandheri Silk Sarees are from Chandheri, a small town in Madhya Pradesh, are one of the most popular handloom locations in India. It's ancient weaving expertise that produces intricately textured cotton and silk fabrics embellished with rich zardozi work.
Chanderi is a hamlet of looms and the majority of them are located in an area called ‘Bahar Shahar’. The traditional Indian fabric of Chanderi is known for its sheer texture, its lightweight and luxurious drape. Mainly, there are three types of fabrics produced by Chandheri - pure silk, silk cotton, and Chandheri cotton. There has been a significant transformation in the motif designs of Chandheri over the years.
Today, in addition to florals, peacocks, and ancient coin patterns, Chandheri is also seen in modern geometric designs. The manufacturing of Chandheri fabric takes place with the weaving in of silk and zari. It is mostly done in old-fashioned cotton yarns and the end product is a glorious and shimmering textured fabric.
Kerala Kasavu Saree as its name explains its origin is nothing but God’s own country, Kerala. The term kasavu refers to the golden zari used on the border of the Kerala saree. When the kasavu gets added to a mundu (dhoti), it is called a kasavu mundu.
The white and gold sarees are unique due to their natural hues, texture, and gold border which adds to their elegance. No occasion in Kerala feels complete without the Kasavu costume. These sarees are very attractive and known for their simple yet elegant appearance. It holds Kerala’s cultural legacy for ages and is mostly worn by Malayali women for events, pooja, temples, and weddings.
A plain saree with a simple border takes roughly around three to five days. Ones with motifs and heavier work take longer than that. The sarees are priced depending on the time taken on its production, along with the gold used in the zari or kasavu.
Bandhani has been culturally associated with the West-Indian states of Gujrat and Rajasthan. Patterns and Motifs used in Gujrati and Rajasthani Bhandhej have quite sought after. Finer the Bhandhani, Steeper the Price!!! Bandhani refers to the traditional Indian tie and dye art, used to produce beautiful, fine circular patterns on fabrics.
Traditionally, fine mill-made cotton or muslins were used to create Bandhani. The contemporary artisans, given the changing preferences, also work on fine Georgettes, Art silks, Silk Cotton blends, viscose, and cotton variants. Pure Venkatagiri cotton, sourced from Andhra Pradesh is used to create traditional Gharcholas. Georgettes with pure Banarasi brocade borders are used to make vibrant, colorful, and high-end Jhankaar Bhandhanis.
The Designs are mostly Geometrical, Swastika, Kalash, Parrot, Flowers, Elephant Creepers, Leaves, and much more. The designs may be all over types or can have separate borders and pallu designs. Gharchola is a traditional wedding saree, usually Red but sometimes for a few communities, it is Green.
Art silk sarees actually refers to artificial silk sarees and it is famous in Tamilnadu. Art silk sarees are otherwise called Rayon sarees. While the real silk sarees are made by cultivating silkworms that feed on mulberry leaves, artificial silk sarees are made from cellulose fiber and a mixture of materials like Rayon and rayon-related stuff. The impact while printing of pattern along with the Rayon fabric is a key difference between the real silk sarees and artificial silk sarees.
Though Art silk sarees are artificial, it is light weighted and comfortable. Art silk saree shall give the feel of real silk at a price of cotton saree and hence it is economic. Art silk sarees are as soft as cotton, rich as silk, and breathable as wool. Art silk will keep your body cool all day because it is the nature of the fiber used in it. Hence art silk has become the trend nowadays and the must contain saree in the wardrobe of all saree lovers.
The silk that contains sericin is called Raw silk. Pure Raw Silk saree have their own ethereal and rusty charm. The South Indian State of Karnataka is the leading producer of raw silk. The gummy substance, affording protection during processing, is usually retained until the yarn or fabric stage is obtained and is removed by boiling the silk in soap and water. This process leaves it soft and lustrous, and the weight will also be reduced to 30 percent.
Raw silk has always retained its winning position in the world of fashion. There are different varieties that enhance the quality and the essence of a garment. Muga raw silk retains its color for a lifetime. Mulberry raw silk is considered to be the softest and finest texture of all since it is derived from the purest form of silk.
Raw silk sarees are in vogue, thanks to the fashion enthusiasts who swear by their durability and sheen. Sarees made from raw silk come with elegant motifs and zari borders and are available in a wide range of patterns, digital prints, embroidery work, and much more.
The legendry Patola Silk Saree is the pride of Gujrat, the Western Indian State. Fit for royalty, the rare and amazing handloom treasure, Patola is a true labor of love. This glorious weave is hand-dyed, hand-spun, and hand-woven to perfection.
No wonder, the real Patola silk sarees are highly rare and quite expensive. Each Patola silk saree weaving takes immense time and effort. These sarees are made in special pure silk-cotton blended yarn or a pure wild silk yarn variety. These sarees are meticulously hand-dyed using only eco-friendly fabric and involve a complex weaving process with a handful of master weavers of a century old.
Unlike other popular weaves like Kanchipuram silk Saree or Banarasi, the glory of these resplendent sarees doesn’t lie in the gold or zari inlay. But comparatively, the Patola sarees are simpler and plainer and their preciousness emerges from the uniqueness of color, pattern, and texture they have.
While the vibrant play of rare colors is awe-inspiring, the interplay of geometric Ikkat patterns is alluring to everyone. In fact, these precious sarees are not for everyone who wishes to have it at their wardrobe as it is too pricey and are not available in the market easily. Above all, each real Patola saree takes up to months to be weaved and hence only made on-demand on an order basis.
No Maharashtrian wedding is complete without Paithani Silk Sarees. It is named after the town Paithan, located in central India, Maharashtra. Since it is made from very fine silk, it is considered one of the richest sarees of India. Paithani silk sarees evolved from cotton base to silk base. Silk was used in weft designs and borders, whereas cotton was used in the body of the fabric. Present-day Paithani has no traces of cotton. Enriched with motifs and zari, Paithani has taken on a personality of her own and awaits an admiration to become a family heirloom.
There are the types of silk threads used in weaving these Paithani silk sarees.
Charkha is dull and uneven, hence it is widely used in Paithani weaving.
Ciddle-Gatta is thin sheer, shiny, smooth, even and of fine silk quality, hence it is a little bit pricey.
Chine Silk is of good quality in the above-mentioned varieties. Hence it is too expensive.
The traditional coconut border (Narali) was the most common Paithani border until the end of the 19th century. The coconut tree is termed in Hindu mythology as the tree that grants all wishes. While these sarees tend to incorporate a kaleidoscope of colors, making them incredibly visually striking, plainer designs with single colors are also quite coveted by women throughout the country. A Paithani Saree is considered to be unique because of the way it is woven.
Tant Silk Sarees are otherwise called Bengal Handlooms that are the most popular sarees worn by the women of West Bengal and Bangladesh. These sarees are known for their thick border, decorative pallu, and woven with a variety of floral, paisley, and other artistic motifs.
Cool the summers with these sizzling Tant Silk Sarees. This Tant Saree is meant for regular use and its lightness with transparency is the most appropriate and comfortable wear for this hot and humid Indian culture. Tant along with the muslin became famous in the Mughal era and it has become the pride of Bengalis.
Many Bengali movies use this saree to give the traditional and ethnic look to the actresses. If you need a cool Bengali touch to your wardrobe this summer then opt for Tant sarees. Because nothing can replace the grandeur of these breezy cotton Tant sarees. These sarees are marked for lightness and transparency and traditionally made by the weavers with pure cotton threads. It looks great on all occasions and for women of all ages. Above all, the price is also very reasonable and affordable for all cotton saree lovers. Drape a Tant saree for that graceful appeal and pair it with beautiful stone-studded earrings and a clutch.
Saree plays a vital role in the life of Indian Women and the Indian Fashion Industry. Wearing a saree of our comfortable choice always gives charm, style, self-confidence, elegancy, royalty, happiness, and a rich look to each and every woman. There are thousands and thousands of saree varieties are there in the Indian Fashion Industry, Tradition, and Culture. Here, in this article, we have just handpicked a few varieties of sarees that you could see in the wardrobe of every saree lower. Wearing a saree is our tradition for centuries. We all have seen our beautiful ladies from celebrities to the girl in the neighborhood, flaunting in saree and carrying a great smile. At www.fashionsilks.com we have a wide range of wonderful collections of sarees, pick up your favorite one and enjoy the day!!!