Saree is a garment weaved with the threads of tradition and culture of India. Saree is common and uniformly worn attire by people of all strata. Originally, word saree is derived from Sanskrit word shati means strip of cloth. Saree is a female garment which embraces women, making her look elegant and graceful. Different regions have their own cultural representation of saree, in material, in draping and also in patterns. These sarees are obviously important and represent our culture but they are subject to change and have evolved significantly. Saree is one sector which is ever evolving. Change is inevitable and as generation is changing so are their tastes. Saree, we can see today is the combination of our traditional culture and western culture.
The Asavali sarees are popular Gujarati brocade saris. These are a true depiction of the rich cultural heritage of India. The distinguishing feature of this kind is the circular designs known as butis which are woven into the field in form of warp instead of the typical weft insertions. It makes the butis appear horizontal when the saree is worn. The Gujarati brocade is very thick and heavy thereby it is further enhanced with meenakari work. The rich patterns woven on the saree appear all the more incredible because of twill weave.
Asavali sarees are known for their resemblance towards dyes and vibrant colors, high absorbance, light weight and buoyancy. The aesthetic appeal of the sarees is enhanced with the use of floral designs in colored silk against gold zari. The motifs usually has leaves, flowers, stems, outlined by a fine dark line like inlay work and that is what makes the Gujarati brocade stand out amongst other brocades.
Baluchari sarees are made in Bankura District of Bengal. The sarees are woven in silk. These exquisite silk sarees contain mythological stories on their pallu. The pallu has square blocks on which motifs are made by using thread embroidery. Swarnachari is a variety of Baluchari sarees where the sarees are weaved in zari. It takes huge effort to weave this saree.
These are the popular dotted saris; the process for making these dotted saris includes washing and degumming the saris followed by dipping them in a mordant for quick dye absorption. They are then folded into four folds first lengthwise and then widthwise. The patterns on the body are then indicated all over the surface with the use of blocks dipped in geru, a red mud color. The cloth is then pinched with the left hand; one knot follows another, using the same thread. After the section in which the background color is to be retained has been knotted, the dyeing is done. This process is repeated till the number of colors to be dyed has been applied.
Dyeing is always done from light to dark colors. The cost of the Bandhej is made according to the number of dots on the sari. An intricate design sari might have up to 7500 dots. The dots may often be in figurative forms of elephant, peacock, or geometric forms of flowers, squares etc.
Bandarulanka sarees are woven in the Machlipatnam in Krishna District. These are compactly woven in 80s count with superfine combed cotton yarn. These saris are characterized by Dobby “Petu” borders and cotton butas. Colors may vary from light pastel shades to earthy tones. They can be worn by women of all age group (urban and rural category). It is also very popular as daily wear.