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Paithani Silk

The traditional Paithani sari is crafted on a handloom with pure silk yarns and dyed in traditional colors. The silk yarns are sourced from Bangalore or Mysore and the zari threads are sourced from Gujarat. The preparation of silk and zari, dyeing and weaving, are all carried out in the town of Paithan, Maharashtra.

Paithani uses the ancient technique of tapestry where multiple threads of different colors along with gold and silver are woven together to form a fascinating piece of silk. In ancient times, the Romans imported this gold-woven fabric in exchange for gold of equal weight.

A true Paithani sari is characterized by the borders with an oblique and square design having a pallu (edge) with a peacock. They are available in a kaleidoscope of colors and this effect is achieved by varying the weave. A particular color is used for weaving lengthwise while another is used widthwise. The design woven on the border separates it from all other saris.

The Paithani craftsmen transfer their knowledge from generation to generation. A master weaver has apprentices from his family and total devotion to the craft is necessary as the tools of the trade are considered as a manifestation of the divine.

As Paithani is a luxurious weave, the handicraft depends upon occasions like weddings and other ceremonies to showcase it. It is exclusively worn by the womenfolk on special occasions. Bridal Paithani saris are often embroidered and the craft of embroidery on these saris is associated with great pride and prestige in India.

Related Weaves

Benarasi Organza

Organza is an age-old fabric that is traditionally made from silk. Its origin can be traced back to the times of the Silk Route, and today China and India remain its largest producers and exporters. The Indian equivalent of organza is Kora silk, which comes from Benaras. Technically “kora” means untreated, undyed silk fabric but in consumer terms it is simply known as “organza”. Often coupled with zari threads, Kora silk saris make for the perfect occasion wear in Indian traditional styles.


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