Indian women look at their best in their traditional attire sari. It’s such a versatile dress that can make you look classy and sensuous at the same time.
A sari is basically a rectangular piece of garment, generally 6 to 9 yards long and its breadth varies from 2 to 4 feet. It’s worn with a petticoat and tight fitted blouse known as choli. It comes in a variety of fabrics and weaves.
The word sari originates from the Sanskrit word sati which means a strip of cloth. The amazing thing about sari is that it historically dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization and yet it’s still one of the most popular dresses of Indian women. This makes sari one of the oldest time tested garment of the world.
Over the centuries, each region in India has made its unique style of sari. Some of the most popular saris from each region are:
Chanderi saris are well known for their intricate design patterns, sheer texture, light weight and glossy transparency. These are hand-woven with silk, cotton or both mixed and gold thread. Chanderi sari gets its name from Chanderi, a town in Madhya Pradesh, well known for traditional weavers who in past had the patronage of The Royal Scindia family.
The classic Chanderi sari is plain with a narrow zari border or with a broader border and two gold bands at pallu or with small geometric or floral motifs covering the entire sari. These saris are ideal for Indian summer.
Banarasi sari hails from Varanasi earlier known as Banaras, an ancient holy city of India situated near the banks of Ganges. Banarasi saris are highly valued for their rich gold and silver zari ( thread made of fine gold or silver) work and traditional motifs which combines Indian and Mughal designs. These saris have brocade work on the border and pallu and rest of the sari is covered with motifs like kalga and bel, jhallar, chameli, panna hazar, angoor bel, patti buti etc. Their elaborate gold and silver work makes them apt for special occasions like weddings.
There are four types of banarasi saris, pure silk (katan), organza (kora) with zari and silk, georgette and shatter and according to design patterns they are known as Jamdani, Jangla, JamWar Tanchoi, Tissue, Cut work and Butidaar saris.
These saris are woven with pure mulberry silk and gold and are well known for their vibrant contrasting colors, luster and matchless finish. These world famous saris are made by the weavers of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu. In these saris, the border and pallu are weaved separately as one unit and attached later with the body which is woven separately. This is known as pitni technique.
The motifs used in border and pallu are temples, peacocks, yali and body is made of floral, checks or stripes patterns. The silk thread used in Kanchipuram saris is made of three threads twisted together, which makes them quite durable.
Bandhani is a traditional form of tie and die which began in India around 5000 years ago. Its originated from Sanskrit word Banda which means “to –tie”. This involves dyeing a fabric which is tied tightly with a thread at several points, that’s why Bandhani saris have a variety of patterns like stripes, dots etc. depending on the manner in which the cloth is tied.
These beautiful saris are available in variety of fabrics like cotton, crepe, georgette and can be plain or with gota- patti, mirror or kundan work. Gujarat and Rajasthan are the places which are well known for their bandhani or bandhej work.
In addition to these evergreen saris, half saris or lehnga saris in today’s modern times are also becoming popular.One of the reasons for their rising popularity is that these saris are easy to carry and drape as you don’t have to worry about the pleats and another reason is Bollywood influence.
Be it Deepika Padukone or Anushka Sharma, most of the leading ladies of the Bollywood were seen flaunting lehnga saris on their film premiers and award functions, last year. This year also half saris are going to be one of the hottest trends.