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Maheshwari Silk

The Maheshwari sari comes from Maheshwar, a city in the Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh. The sari is made of silk thread. The unique feature of its production is that the Hindu community prepares the yarn for the sari and the Muslim community weaves the sari. This whole process brings the two communities together.

Legend has it that Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar employed a special team of craftsmen from Surat and Malwa to design an exclusive nine-yard sari that could be gifted to her relatives and guests who visited the palace. With the first sari conceived and designed by Her Highness herself, Maheshwari saris went on to become a huge hit in the royal and aristocratic circles.

In the past, the weavers also used gold or silver threads and gemstones to embellish the intricate patterns and add shimmer to the sari. Nowadays however, copper-coated nylon wires have replaced the zari and manufacturing time constraints leave little room for the process of slow natural dyeing.

These saris are loved by women for their glossy finish and light weight. Though originally made only in silk, Maheshwari saris are now available in cotton, silk cotton and even wool. With fine cotton yarns in its weft and silk in the warp, this light and airy fabric keeps the soft luster of silk. The most interesting part of a Maheshwari sari is the pallu (edge), done up in bright colors like magenta, pink, green, mauve, violet and maroon.

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