Six yards of pure grace, elegance, and beauty, saree is one Indian fashion’s oldest and perhaps the only surviving unstitched garment from the past. Over the years, saree for women has become all-time wear along with “canvas” for weavers of India. The blog summarizes all the information about “saree”.
Origin and history of sarees
From the Mesopotamian civilization Indian weaving is well celebrated, it is said that the art of weaving natural fibers into fabric has been ancient. People of the contemporary Indus Valley civilization were familiar with cotton fabrics and adorned long pieces of cloth or can also be called out as loincloths.
These long pieces of fabric were adorned by the men in Kachcha style, which further facilitate the free movement of the lower body. All this can be witnessed now in ancient seals and figurines.
Saree back then in Indus Valley Civilization was draped in a way that it divided the two legs and formed a trouser like attire. Since then, saree has come of age and now numerous new styles are being experimented with, but usually, it is adorned with a blouse, underneath the saree is a petticoat, which further helps in to tuck in the pleats of the saree to hold it in place.
How is saree indigenous to India?
The word “saree” originated from the Prakrit word “Sattika”, which is noted in the early Buddhist literature, the word later got shortened to “sati” and later transformed into “saree”.
Numerous figurines recovered from the Indus Valley civilization represents a female Indian goddoryess adorned in a cloth draped like saree. ”Dhoti” is called as the foundation behind saree for women, dhoti earlier was worn by both the genders men and women.
The ancient statues of Indian goddesses depict that the saree was draped in a “fishtail” manner, down South in the state of Kerala one can still spot people in the traditional saree, which is a two-piece garment, consisting of lungi and a shawl.
Hindus earlier believed piercing clothes with needles as an act of impurity, but later with the coming of Islam, the petticoat was discovered and clothes were stitched.
Different kind of sarees across India
India is one of the richest countries when it comes to diversity, culture, and traditions. In a diversified country like India, the one thing that threads us all together is our love for sarees. This Indian fashion attire is something all women holds close to their hearts, if you are a saree digger looking to enhance your current collection, here are all the different kind of sarees available across the country.
- Banarasi Silks
From the times of Mahabharata and Buddhist scriptures, the elegance of Banarasi silk sarees is rooted in the rich culture of Indian weaving. Earlier, they were each crafted from the finest silks and was embellished with real gold and silver threads, it took as long as a year to design a single saree.
Today the Banarasi silk is an amalgamation of Indian and Mughal influences, and it takes around three artisans to design one Banarasi saree.
- Chikankari sarees
The chikankari work is mostly designed on lightweight fabrics like cotton, chiffon, malmal, and muslin. Each motif of chikan work involves 40 different stitches, out of which six are basic and the rest are created on them.
Chikan work can also be witnessed on salwar suits, kurtas, kerchiefs. The unique grace it holds and its delicate thread work makes it the perfect kind of embroidery for sarees.
- Kota Doria sarees
For the scorching Indian summers, this brightly colored and light in weight saree can be a great pick, the name Kota Doria means the thread of Kota, Kota is the city where these sarees are most designed.
The saree embraces a chequered pattern on the base, referred khats, it is well celebrated for its bright colors, floral motifs and paisley prints. Kota sarees are also available in both cotton and silk now.
- Tissue sarees
This fabric is one of the most desired by young saree enthusiast, they have the uniqueness to game up the style quotient. The fabric of this saree is immensely light along with a sheer and can be embellished well with zari, embroidery, and sequins. It requires a little sensitive care.
- Kanjeevaram Sarees
Kanjeevaram sarees, also known as Kancheepuram sarees, are woven from pure mulberry silk threads, these are undoubtedly one of the richest and most magnificent sarees that weavers of India can boast of. This saree was traditionally made only in the red and gold palette. The silk thread is dipped in liquid gold or silver to create intricate motifs. Available in a multitude of colors now, there is hardly any saree that can compete with the grandeur of Kanjeevaram sarees.
- Mysore silk sarees
One of the most appreciated silks from the Southern part of India, the Mysore silk is an intriguing amalgamation of color, richness and traditional appeal. Weighing between 400-600 grams and its price depends on the weight. Available in shinning bright colors, these sarees can be both plain or embroidered.
- Pochampally sarees
Made in a small district of Telangana, these sarees are widely popular for their geometric designs that are dyed in Ikat style. The patterns and designs are centuries old, and today there are very few weavers of India who make Pochampally sarees. The Air India hostesses are also spotted flaunting these bright and beautiful Pochampally sarees as their uniform!
- Gadwal sarees
The town of Gadwal has taken the best of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to design exclusive Gadwal sarees. Gadwal sarees are uniquely designed, you would still find entire families working together to create a piece worthy of global admiration. The rich border of the saree is made in pure mulberry silk, the weavers of India who make these sarees are the descendants of Jiveshwar Maharaj, the first weaver of Hindu gods and goddesses.
1. Baluchari Sarees
Available in bright colors like flame red, purple and occasionally in deep blue, made of silk and woven on looms. These are about 200 years old and looks similar to Banarasi sarees.
The word Taant means ‘Made On The Loom’, this is a traditional saree adorned by Bangali Women. They are popularly known as Bengal cotton and is hand-woven in various districts of West Bengal, are available in a huge variety of colors with simple and beautiful designs.
Kantha, is the name of the embroidery. The typical Kantha embroidery has decorative motifs with running stitch. The cloth is entirely covered with running stitches along with beautiful folk, floral, animal and bird motifs. This art of Kantha is a result of hard work and labor.
4. Desi Muslin Sarees
Bengali Desi muslins are the combination of the tradition of West Bengal and Bangladesh, these sarees are usually heavier. The design is usually simple, with color added through discrete supplementary-warp or -weft patterning. Shantipur and Dhaniakhali are the Indian weaving centers of Desi Muslin Sarees.
- Bandhani Saree
Hailing from Rajasthan and Gujarat, Bandhani means the Tie and dye. The sarees are available in synthetic, cotton as well as Silk. Red and black is the most common color combination, single color sarees and Dupatta with white spots are also available.
2. Patola Saree
It is one of the most famous saree created in the western region of India. The thread used in weaving it is dyed in five colors in both warp and weft before weaving.
Indian weavers role in saree
The weavers of India are an integral part of Indian culture, the passage of time has brought about a change in the weavers of India and their creations, patterns, and designs.
There are millions of looms engaged in weaving cotton, silk, and other natural fibers to bring out the traditional beauty of India’s precious sarees. The weavers of India in the villages have kept the skills and activities alive bypassing the skills from generation to generation. What sets the Indian sarees apart is the excellent workmanship of weavers of India, color combination and fine quality.
Weavers of India blend faiths, symbols, myths and imagination to create an appealing dynamism to the sarees.
How Indian fashion designers are globalizing sarees?
We have witnessed sarees evolve a lot over the years, from reveling more and more skin to without showing an inch of flesh, sarees have always managed to level up the standards of the Indian fashion industry. Indian fashion designers have found different ways in the past to take saree on a global platform, by replacing the traditional blouse with a skimpy bralette, and opting for sheer textiles for the draped portion – these sarees can be spotted in Bollywood movie dance sequences. Below mentioned are some of the Indian fashion designers innovated sarees-
-The Indian fashion designer Rahul Mishra gave a new look to the traditional saree by adding jackets and capes to his saris – a styling method previously used by Indian queens.
-Sabyasachi Mukherjee has also created a range of lehenga-saris – wide, voluminous skirts with short blouses and shorter scarves draped across the torso.
-Payal Singhal’s saris feature head-to-toe feminine blooms.
-Anamika Khanna and Sonaakshi Raaj gorgeously adorned the sari with trousers, a style called the sari-pant, popularised by Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor.
-Shivan and Naresh gave us the Bikini saree, the bikini sari has enjoyed tremendous popularity ever since it was conceived.
What is the total market size of sarees?
The Economic Times said- The saree today makes up a $12-billion plus market, which accounts for more than one-third of the total consumption of apparel and household textiles in India.
According to Indiaretailing.com, It is estimated that the Rs 1,02,358 crore women’s wear market will grow at a CAGR of 11 percent to reach Rs 2,89,518 crore in 2025.
Data gathered by Technopak states, ethnic wear is the single biggest category in women’s wear segment with a share of 71 percent. The saree is perhaps the most popular with an estimated market value of Rs 39,350 crore – a 33 percent share in the women’s wear market – and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.8 percent to reach Rs 51,866 crore by 2027.
How is owning a saree the door to sustainable fashion?
Saree is must in your wardrobe if you are inclined towards sustainable fashion, and the following are the reasons-
– Sarees have their uniqueness and they can last for years, you must have seen people passing sarees from generation to generation.
– A basic saree is not expensive, unlike other sustainable fashion clothing. If you are just stepping your feet in the sustainable fashion, saree can be a great pick and also pocket friendly.
– A saree can be bought directly from the weavers of India, further promoting Indian fashion along with sustainable fashion.
– Saree although created out of natural fibers and old weaving techniques is still an epitome of elegance.
Relevance Of Sarees In Indian Weddings And Culture
India is a country of cultural diversity. Different states of the country have their own unique culture. The country is diversified in its attires too. Different states have different dressing styles.
Saree is an integral part of Indian culture. Every state in India has a different fabric and style to wear a saree. But saree in India is much more than a piece of cloth. It represents the Indian culture and the religious beliefs of the people of that area.
The color of a saree to have a specific meaning hidden behind it. The three most significant colors of Indian sarees are red, green and yellow. The color red is a symbol of power and valor and is related to the Indian goddess Maa Durga. Any Indian wedding would be incomplete without this color. The color yellow signifies prosperity while green denotes new beginnings and fertility.
The majority of women in India consider Saree as a primary piece of clothing.
Indian weddings too include saree as an important part. Saree is an outfit that brings out the beauty of a bride. It is an attire that a bride chooses to wear on the most auspicious day of her life.
IKF Desk (Conclusion)
India is moving towards modernization but there is no doubt in saying that saree is still one of the favorite attire of Indian women. I Knock Fashion would like to conclude by saying, different styles of wearing a saree come in trend but the simple old way of draping a saree still tops the list. Do you want to know more about sarees?, comment below and let us know!