Posted on 2017-04-17
Nine yards of sheer elegance is how a saree can be defined. No other garment can make a woman look so sophisticated, poised and versatile. And when it comes to sarees, India has the widest choice to offer. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, Gujarat to Manipur, sarees are what makes a woman look beautiful. Each and every state has its own signature sarees and each of them is oh so beautiful! The entire country is intertwined with threads of elegance, a deep emotional relationship with sarees.
If you are a saree lover, we assume you already have stacks full of them. However, do you have the 9 must haves? Well, let us take you through the 9 must have sarees in your wardrobe and seasons or occasions where you can wear them.
A saree wardrobe is absolutely incomplete without a traditional gorgeous Benarasi silk. Made in Varanasi, these silks are the finest and one of the most precious sarees of India. Fine silk woven with gold and silver brocade or zari, these sarees are characterized by intricate Moghul inspired designs of floral or foliate motifs, flowers, leaves, etc. Small details, gold work and compact weaving is what makes these sarees extra special. They are most commonly used as an Indian bridal wear.
These sarees are stories woven into the fabric. Depending on the complication of designs, a saree can take anywhere from 15 days to 6 months to weave. They are mostly worn at weddings and are complemented with heavy gold jewelry.
Benarasi sarees originated in the 17th Century when silk weavers from Gujarat migrated to Varanasi during the famine. However, excellency in weaving was achieved during the 18th and the 19th century, when the Mughals started encouraging craftsmanship. Today, about 1.2 million people are attached to this handloom industry and sarees are produced not only in Varanasi, but also in the surrounding areas like Gorakhpur, Bhadohi, Jaunpur, Azamgarh, Chandauli, etc.
Fabric-wise four main varieties of Benarasi sarees can be found today - Pure Silk, Organza with zari and silk, Georgette and Shattir. As per design techniques, the sarees can be categorized into Jangla, Tanchoi, Vaskat, Butidar, Cutwork and Tissue.
Made in Kota, Rajasthan, these sarees are lightweight and ideal for the summer. The threads are woven on a traditional pit loom in a manner which produces square check pattens on the fabric. These checks are commonly known as ‘Khats’. The fabric is made by mixing onion juice and rice paste to the yarn so that the fabric remains strong in spite of the delicate finishing.
Visually, Kota sarees not only look light, they look beautiful too. The innovative prints, woven with the delicate squares make these sarees a must have for everyday wear. A nice light coloured Kota can be a very good choice for office wear.
Crepes are an all time must have for any wardrobe. They provide a crisp and proper appearance which is ideal for professional wear. Crepes are woven with a hard twist with specific techniques which add to its drape and sheen. Their wrinkle free characteristic makes them the primary choice for office wear. Crepes can be of various types and designs. From plain crepes to embroidered ones, you can get whatever is your style.
Due to the nature of the fabric, the fall of crepe sarees is excellent. The best part is, due to the nature of the fabric, it makes you look thinner. Pair a crepe with pearl studs and an elegant pearl strand for making a stunning professional appearance. For gaudy occasions, you can pair a crepe with gorgeous jewelry and make heads turn.
Georgettes are types of crepes, but with a dull finish. They are named after the famous French dressmaker of the early 20th century Georgette de la Plante. These are made from silk, but are made with high quality twisted yarns. They are characterized by crinkly surface which are made by alternating S and Z twist yarns.
Visually, Georgettes look stunning. The feel of the fabric is great making it easy to carry for people who are not used to wearing sarees. They not only are apt for office wear, they can be worn on any occasions like festivals and marriages.
Originating in the small town of Bhagalpur beside the river Ganga, Bhagalpuri silk sarees are made with a special dying style. This silk is exported world over and is one of the most popular saree options nowadays. Bhagalpur was home to hundreds of silk craftsmen about 200 years ago. Today Bhagalpur has over 35000 weavers with more than 25000 looms. Renowned fashion designers from all over India are now incorporating Bhagalpuri sarees in their collection. In fact, the Bhagalpuri silks are extremely famous in foreign countries, especially in the UK.
Bhagalpuri silks are preferred by all, from college students to working women. These silks are available in various styles and patterns. From block prints to temples to embroideries, the choices are large to confuse you. Team them up with a nicely cut blouse to give them a contemporary look. There are so many styles you can try with Bhagalpuri silks.
Although Tapeta Silks are not yet very common in India, however, we would like to keep it in our list of 10. Tapeta or Taffeta is a smooth yet crisply woven silk. Tapetta is a Persian word which means ‘twisted woven’. They are good quality fabrics which are used for making gowns, wedding dresses etc apart from sarees.
Tapeta were originally woven in Italy, France and Japan. Today, India is one of the largest producers of Tapeta in the world. Although initially they were woven through handlooms in India, currently most of the production is happening through powerlooms and production happens mainly in Bangalore. Apart from India, China is a large producer of Tapeta followed by various countries in South East Asia.
Tapeta silk or commonly known as Bangalore silks is famous for their purity and texture. Although the mechanism of producing the silks have changed over the years, the traditional look of these silks has not changed over the years. They are ideal for ceremonial wears. The richness of texture coupled with the intricate weaving work makes each saree stand out from the other. You can find a large variety of these sarees today - from traditional zaree boarders to embroideries with beads and crystals. Usually the golden threads are woven across the silk saree giving it a rich look. The heavier ones are ideal for bridal wear.
Tapeta silks today are adopting to new styles. If you are not a fan of heavy work and zarees, you can find Tapeta silks in digital prints as well. They look equally gorgeous and can be used as party wear.
Kanchipuram silks are a type of rich silk sarees made in Kanchipuram. The sarees are weaved with pure mulberry silk threads which is produced in South India. The zari on the silks comes from Gujarat. Three different kinds of shuttles are used for weaving each Kanchipuram saree. The weaver works on the right side while his aide works on the left side.
Visually, each saree is a great combination of colours. The border colour and the designs are usually in contrast with the actual colour of the saree. The interesting thing is, when the pallu needs to be woven in a different colour, the pallu is woven differently and then the same is attached to the rest of the saree. This is the case in all traditional Kanchipuram sarees. In fact, the joint is woven so tightly that even if the saree tears, the joint is never torn.
Design-wise, Kanchipuram sarees have contrasting borders. There are temple borders, checks, stripes, floral borders, etc. Usually, the designs are inspired from carvings on South Indian temples or natural features like birds, animals, leaves, etc.
Kanchipuram sarees often have woven pallus with paintings from Ramayana, Mahabharata or even Ravi Verma. The cost of Kanchipuram sarees vary on the basis of the work, pattern and extent of zari used. The silk is famous for its craftsmanship. Team it up with heavy gold jewelry and make heads turn at any event.
Velvet is a type of woven fabric where threads are evenly distributed through a short dense pile giving it a soft luscious feel. The fabric is made either from synthetic or natural fiber.
The history of velvet dates back to 1399 when King Richard II of England indicated that his body should be covered with velvet after his death. Velvet has been associated with nobility due to the extra softness and unusual appearance. In India, Velvet was introduced by Kashmiri merchants.
Weaving velvet requires a special technique. It is woven on a special loom with two thicknesses of the material at the same time. Then the two pieces are cut apart to create the piling effect and the two fabrics are wound on separate rolls. Due to this complicated process, velvet is a fabric of high demand. The most expensive velvet is silk. The commonly available silk velvet is the mix of rayon and silk.
Velvet sarees are in high demand, especially because of the material with which it is made. Velvet sarees look rich, feel rich and gives an elegant look. In most sarees, velvet is matched with some other fabric like chiffon or Georgette to ensure that the saree does not become unnecessarily heavy. Velvet sarees make excellent party wear, especially night parties.
Tussar silk is one of the most valued and elegant looking silk sarees available today. Tussar silk is produced from the larvae of various species of silkworms, which live in trees within wild forests. This is why, Tussar silks are often called Wild silk. The silk is valued for its rich texture and deep colour. Tussar silk is produced in good quantity in China, India, Japan and Sri Lanka.
Currently, Bhagalpur produces the maximum number of tussar silk in India the silk weaving industry of Bhagalpur is more than a century old and has around 30,000 handlooms. It is mainly produced using rural and tribal labour. A single tussar silk saree takes around 3 days to complete.
Tussar silks are an all time wearable item. The silk is cool and is porous, which makes it wearable in summer although it is silk. A saree wardrobe is incomeplete without an elegant piece of tussar silk. The dull gold texture is ideal for embroideries and print motifs. Depending on the material, tussar silks are found in various forms Katia, Ghhichha, Thigh reeled and machine reeled. With further permutation and combination, two different varieties of silk are found - Tusser Ghicha and Mulberry Ghicha. Tussar silk is easy to maintain as well. Just make sure that the fabric does not get stained and prevent it from losing its sheen, and your tussar silk will remain with you forever.
Hope you liked reading. You can browse through our website to find more interesting information about sarees. Happy reading!