These Facts About Paithani Saree will Make You Fall in Love with this Maharashtrian Handloom Marvel


India is known for its diversity of handloom. From Benarasi to Chanderi, Indian women drape the saree in their own unique way from one region to another. One such impressive handloom from the country is the Maharashtrian Paithani saree. A staple garment worn by Maharashtrian brides, the Paithani saree has its origins from the royal dynasties of the medieval town of Paithan in Aurangabad.

Let us take a look at some interesting facts about this unique handloom saree:

Speaking to Vogue, textile maestro Gaurang Shah said that the saree is believed to have been originally made with the finest silk threads from China and pure zari that was spun locally. Every piece is characterised with the luxurious and liberal use of gold, as well as floral and bird-inspired motifs. The modern iterations of the saree from Paithan and Yeol are created from homegrown silk threads from Bangalore, while the zari is sourced from Surat, Gaurang told Vogue.

One Paithani saree of six yards requires around 500 grams of silk threads and another 250 grams of zari threads. Meanwhile the nine-yard Paithani saree uses more raw material and can weigh up to 900 grams.

What makes the Paithani saree unique is its style of weave. The Paithani saree weave is like gara embroidery. It leaves no threads hanging and is all sealed and does not get entangled with accessories. The saree is weaved by hand in looms, whereas the weaving process of the pallu and border is similar to the tapestry weaving technique.

Considering the old-charm that a Paithani saree carries with itself, it is no surprise that the time taken to produce these sarees is equally laborious. According to Gaurang, the time to produce the saree depends on the weaver’s skills. On an average the creation of a Paithani saree can take anything between six months to two years, depending on the intricacy of the design.

Silk fabric is used in weft designs and in the borders, while cotton was earlier used in the body of the fabric. Modern versions of the Paithani saree do not have a touch of cotton.

Paithani saree weaves often feature motifs derived from nature. One of the most famous motifs on a Paithani saree is Munia, which means parrot in Marathi. In a Munia Paithani saree, parrots are woven on the pallu as well as on the border. The parrots are always weaved in leaf green colour and sometimes also known as tota-maina.

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