Accessories for sarees can improve your style quotient
Accessories for sarees have a strange effect on people.
Choosing the right set of accessories for sarees can shape the perception about the wearer! The way you drape your saree and the accessories you choose can make you either a paragon of virtue or a whore!
Studio Kohl’s “Unfolding the Saree” beautifully illustrates this concept through graphic design and printed material. You can read all about the Madonna / Whore phenomenon here.
The success of wearing a saree boils down to attention to detail, a bit of know-how and adherence to etiquette. The wearer will come across as intelligent!
Not only must a woman learn how to wear a saree properly, but she must know how to accessorize the garment appropriately.
For the uninitiated, the saree
is an unstitched garment usually of cotton or silk elaborately draped around the body, traditionally worn by women in South Asia. It is typically wrapped around the waist, with one end draped over the shoulder, baring the midriff.
Choosing the right accessories can improve the wearer’s style quotient!
Here are some compelling reasons why you should start paying attention to the accessories you wear along with your saree:
1. Choosing accessories based on the occasion
Via Desiroyale.com, Nallucollection.com
There are lots of Indian saree accessories to choose from. When you put in the effort to wear the right kind of saree and accessories for the right occasion, you will manage to pull off one of the following – you will be the center of attention or you will blend with the crowd.
But if you disregard the context or the occasion, you will draw unnecessary attention when you are better off blending in and vice versa!
2. A smart woman pays attention to detail!
Via Desiroyale Stylist Picks
The devil is in the detail and people always appreciate anyone who pays attention to details. When you choose accessories for a saree, focus on the small things like the bindi, the color of the nail polish, or the choice of bangles. After all, small things add up and accessories have a disproportionate effect on the style quotient when you wear a saree.
Check out additional style recommendations from Desiroyale’s here.
3. Getting all the right colors together pays
Pick a color, skip one and pick the next one. The two colors you picked are analog colors.
Choosing the right colors can make or break your style. An expensive set of bangles may ruin your style quotient if it is not of the right color that works with your saree and other accessories. It is important we steal some ideas from nature!
According to the attire club, “analog colors are those colors which lie on either side of any given color (in a color wheel). Often these are color schemes found in nature. An outfit that makes use of analogous colors usually feels harmonious.”
Indian women often walk straight into fashion disasters!
If you are sloppy with your accessories, you can easily ruin the elegance of your designer saree. Here are some examples of how not to choose accessories for sarees.
1. Wrong footwear
Wearing wedges, casual platform heels, ballerina flats or flip-flops is a big no-no, since they ruin the overall look of the saree. Stilletos and peep-toes help enhance the attire and make you look slimmer and taller.
3. Wearing heavy jewelry
A saree is never complete without some jewelry. But it is important to make sure it is not overdone. Too much of mismatched, loud or colorful jewelry can ruin the look of the saree and make you look gaudy. The trick is to keep it simple and minimal so that the beauty of the saree is enhanced with one statement piece of jewelry. It also helps you to look younger!
A word of advice! Heavy necklaces don’t suit women with fat on their neck and collar bone.
3. Carrying the wrong bag
Via Southindiafashion.com and Desiroyale.com
It is important to make sure that your handbag is given due consideration so that overall style quotient is not ruined. Clutches and potli bags go best with sarees as compared to huge bags if you are attending a party.
4. Misfit blouse
The beauty of a saree is attributed to the blouse it is paired up with! A loose blouse makes you look old fashioned and sloppy while a tight blouse reveals the back’s fat and makes you look undefined and unstructured!
Blouses should be made with delicacy and skill to truly enhance your beauty. Make sure you get your blouse stitched to perfection – not too loose or not too tight.
Just remember to wear the right bra while taking measurements for a blouse, so that it does not pop out over the shoulders or at the back!
5. Choosing the wrong petticoat
Just as a badly done blouse can ruin a saree, so can the colored petticoat! A brightly colored petticoat being too visible ruins the saree’s beauty. Also, see to it that the fabric and fitting of the petticoat are perfect so that it does not play spoilsport!
Too long or too short petticoats should be avoided, and so are flared petticoats, since they make you look shapeless. Loose petticoats can create folds that can ruin the look of your saree and if it is loose over the waist, it gets heaped up which makes the waist look fat!
If your petticoat is too narrow, it makes you very uncomfortable and you may end up walking like a duck! Take care to wear a petticoat of floor length, if you opt to wear high heels and a sheer saree.
Tips and tricks for choosing accessories for sarees!
We have lined up 8 simple tips and tricks to answer the million dollar questions – how to choose accessories for sarees?
Occasion, color, patterns, body type, complexion
The key in choosing accessories for sarees is not only to coordinate with the colors, but also with the pattern, your body type, complexion, and occasion.
For example, when you are wearing sarees with lots of patterns, simple accessories are the best. Too many accessories and too much jewelry can make the prints look tacky!
Matching accessories to body types
When you wear sarees, you need to consider your body type before choosing the right accessories. That’s because sarees accentuate your curves a lot more than other attires.
Tall, thin women look best with short, slouchy bags like hobos and clutches.
Petite women should avoid oversize bags since they overwhelm their small frames.
Short women should steer clear of handbags with long straps. Plus-size and hourglass-shaped women look best with medium-sized bags.
Plus-size and hourglass-shaped women look best with medium-sized boxy or structured handbags to balance out their curves.
Shape of your face
Women with round faces should not choose heavy jewelry. Small earrings would give the illusion of an oval look (which is always desirable) whereas long earrings would make your face more round. And when you wear heavy jewelry, a saree with limited or simple patterns always work.
When you wear heavy jewelry, a saree with limited or simple patterns always work.
If you are wearing a saree with a colorful border, it is advisable to wear a long chain so that the pendant steers clear of the border design on the saree.
Interested in simple hacks to glamorize your saree attire? Check out this informative video.
Bindis that work for you
For long faces, a round bindi will look good. If you have a square or round face, go for a long bindi. The choice of bindi also depends on the look you are aiming for.
A fancy shimmery or stone-studded bindi gives you a mature look and is perfect for silk sarees while a plain, small bindi gives you a cute, girlish look and is best for daily wear sarees.
Luckily for women, the color of the bindi need not always match the saree!
Complexion, sarees, and accessories
All accessories should complement the saree which in turn complements the skin color.
For fair complexioned women, white, off-white, peach, or yellow colored sarees are the best options.
For dark or dusky women, sarees in a dark color like dark pink, dark purple, maroon or green suits them best.
What jewelry to wear with saree?
Jewelry should be worn according to the occasion and look of the saree.
Plain cotton sarees look best with simple studs, or a light dangling earring, a thin gold chain and a couple of gold bangles to complete the look.
A saree with silver zari looks best with silver or diamond jewelry while a saree with gold work teams up well with gold jewelry.
Kundan jewelry matches up well with chiffon sarees and temple jewelry suits silk sarees. South Indian coin jewelry works well with designer sarees. Gold plated jewelry will match all your traditional sarees.
Jewelry with a combination of traditional and western designs is best suited for a faux georgette saree.
Check out this short video that has a treasure trove of tips to fill your wardrobe with the right clothes and accessories.
Saree accessories for parties or wedding
For parties or weddings, the best accessories would be an embroidered bag embellished with sequins, threadwork or beads, chandelier earrings, choker necklace, a large cocktail ring, bangles, hip chain (kamarbandh) and anklets.
The kamarbandh works best if you are attending a wedding. It is recommended that you drape your saree on your lower hip when wearing a kamarbandh. However, the kamarbandh doesn’t look good if you have a broad waist.
Saree accessories for work-day
For work-day occasions, simple accessories like delicate jewelry (subtle earrings, thin bracelet, long sleek chains with small pendants), classic watch, large satchel or shoulder bag and open-toe heels or chappals work best. This will accentuate your looks and make you look younger!
Read our comprehensive guide on the 5 types of Indian Wedding Sarees, how they are made, where to buy them, and how to keep them in pristine condition. Click here to read our article.
3-step guide to choosing your accessories for sarees
If all of this advice is too much for you to consider, we have come up with a simple, 3-step process to find a perfect set of accessories for sarees.
Step 1: Choose the right saree for the occasion. If you are planning on attending a wedding, a silk saree might be the best bet. For example, accessories for silk sarees may not work very well with other types of sarees or outfits.
Step 2: Select the right sarees based on your complexion. Your choice of sarees should ideally serve as a contrast to your complexion and not become a camouflage! If you have a wheatish complexion, pick colors from the opposite ends of the color spectrum, i.e., light colors or dark colors. Avoid picking mustard or olive colored sarees!
Step 3: Now that you have the right saree, it’s time to pick the right set of accessories. Choosing the accessories based on your body type will certainly make you a smart woman with an understated sophistication that will turn heads.
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Posted in Grooming
Tagged with: Accessories, Fashion, Grooming, sarees
Via The Chennai Silks
South Indian bridal sarees are popular for a reason!
South Indian bridal sarees define the bride in any south Indian wedding. The saree colour may reflect any of the colours of the rainbow from violet to a deep vermillion red or even be in the moonlight white favoured by the Keralite bride. The saree length, draping style and the accompanying jewellery may vary widely, but the saree is as much an essential part of the wedding as the groom!
But why are south Indian brides such sticklers for the tradition?
The culture of the most conservative city in the south, Chennai will help us understand.
Wake up around 5 AM in Chennai and head to one of its many beaches, you are bound to see at least a few women in a saree and sporting Nike shoes getting their morning exercise. The saree clad women would declare, the airflow around the midriff helps them keep cool in hot Chennai!
After enjoying the cool air, take a bath and head to one of the traditional temples – Kapaleeswarar in Mylapore, Ratnagirishwaarar in Besantnagar, Mardeeswarar in Thiruvanmiyur. You will find the Goddesses in the temples resplendent in a 9-yard saree and amongst the devout, many saree clad women, some even in a 9-yard saree.
Walk into any office employing a large number of women, say a local Bank on a Friday. You could be forgiven for thinking you have walked into a mela (fair/market) of some sort – each of the women will be resplendent in sarees, flowers and bangles.
Tired of the cultural onslaught, head to a night club in the evening. You will find at least one woman in a lacy saree looking especially sexy and gorgeous!
The story would repeat from city to city, only the locations would change. In Bangalore, it would be the Lalbagh or the Cubbon park for exercise. In Mysore, it would be the Brindavan gardens and the Chamundeswari temple.
So when the saree is great from the beach to the nightclub via the temple, why forego saree on the most important day of the bride’s life?
Every major region in south India – Kanchi, Arni, Mysore, Uppala, Mangalagiri, Chettinad, Gadwal, Pochampally, Nellore – competes to produce the most unique yet traditional south Indian bridal saree. And to cap it all off, unlike the Christian gown or the heavy north Indian lehengas, the south Indian bridal saree can be, and should be, worn on all special occasions long after the actual wedding!
And whether you have maintained a svelte figure or expanded from a 200 ml coke bottle to a 1000 ml coke bottle, the south Indian bridal saree drapes every figure beautifully. No wonder the south Indian bride continues to swear by the saree since the days of Indus Valley civilisation!
Traditional south Indian bridal sarees
The south has as many traditions as there are regions, and one region’s tradition is another region’s sacrilege. The Telugu bride is most often seen in a white saree with a red border, the kind you would see on a picture of Goddess Saraswathi. No matter what the religion is, you will not find a south Indian bride in white saree either in Andhra Pradesh or Kerela. The white saree always has red or a gold coloured border.
Wearing white is the ultimate sacrilege in most parts of Tamil Nadu, especially Kongunadu, where the bride can be draped in any colour except white or off white.
But the Kannada bride agrees with the Telugu bride and wears a white 9-yard saree with a deep red border and green bangles (as seen below).
Via Prati Photography on Flickr
The Iyer bride, on the other hand, has worn the same deep maroon 9-yard silk saree with a gold border for generations. Seen below is an Iyer bride.
She will wear the same saree at her son’s Upanayanam, at her Grihapravesam and even her daughter’s wedding! And the best thing about choosing a saree over every other bridal wear option? It will always fit just right!
The Kerala bride stuns in a white saree with gold border. The saree remains white, whether the bride is a Hindu or Christian. The Muslim bride of Kerala goes for the more familiar maroon colour.
Via Weddingsonline.in and Scott Stadum on Flickr
The accessory choices range from simple, delicate to styles rivalling those seen in Tirupathi!
Via Pinterest and Rohit Ajitkumar on Flickr
The Kodava bride wears a maroon sari of varying complexity, at its simplest, it looks a lot like the Iyer wedding saree. It is draped differently, though.
Via Lavannya Goradia on Flickr
South Indian bridal Saree Draping Style
The saree draping style followed commonly all over India, the Nivi style, was apparently a 19th-century innovation of Maharani Indira Devi of Cooch Behar in the 1900s.
South Indian bridal sarees are worn by each community in their traditional styles. The Iyers of Tamil Nadu drape a 9-yard saree in the traditional ‘madisar’ style. I have seen my sister race around on a scooter in traffic rule-less Pondicherry, I assure you this style is very movement friendly.
The Iyengar style is very similar, the Pallu goes over the other shoulder.
Kodavas drape it in a style where the pleats are pinned at the back and the pallu comes to the front over the shoulder.
The Kannadiga bride also goes in for a 9-yard saree very similar to the Maharashtrian style. A lot of Karnataka traditions dovetail neatly with Marathi traditions.
South Indian bridal saree designs
The de facto standard for bridal sarees is Silk, since even Indus valley days. In those days it was limited to a select few, now it is ubiquitous. In fact, South India leads the way in silk production.
Kancheepuram leads the way for south Indian bridal silk sarees. The silk, from mulberry silkworms, comes from south India and the zari from Gujarat. In genuine traditional Kanchi silks, the body, border and pallu are all woven separately and then joined together in the final saree. The pallu may feature elaborate scenes from the Mahabharata or a Raja Ravi Varma painting.
Arni silks are native to the Thiruvannamalai district of Tamil Nadu. Arni boasts the distinction of weaving the first national flag hoisted atop the Red Fort in Independent India! Chettinad Cotton sarees is famous for their contrasting colours, they also make silk sarees in the same fashion. Thanjavur silk sarees once boasted royal patronage. Dharmapuri, Salem, producers of mulberry silk, also weave their own sarees. The story of South Indian bridal sarees is dominated by Kanchi, relegating other regions in Tamil Nadu to the background.
Need more ideas before you shop? Check 1000+ south Indian bridal sarees collection on Pinterest!
Retail chains like RMKV, Pothys, Chennai Silks offer a dazzling array of choices and innovations. Each of them also come up with eye-catching banners, catchy jingles and intriguing concepts for sarees. RMKV has set a record by making a single saree with 52 colours! Pothys has woven 1000 different popular flowers into saree patterns.
These stores also push the boundary of south Indian bridal sarees by incorporating north Indian style embroidery into the sarees!
Karnataka is the leading producer of silk in India and it shows in Mysore silk saree. These sarees typically have less zari and more silk, making it light and easy to drape. Mysore silks are only sold through KSIC.
Pochampally in AP is famous for their ikat dyeing technique. In the Ikat dyeing techniques, bundles of yarn are tied together tight in the pattern desired, then the due is applied to the yarn. The wrapping may be modified and the process repeated for more elaborate patterns. This yarn is then woven into a fabric. The difficulty in aligning the dyed yarn correctly during weaving gives rise to the typically hazy look of the Ikat prints. This technique is used on silk yarn to produce smooth, light bridal sarees.
Gadwal sarees from Gadwal in Telangana once boasted royal patronage. The pallu is silk, body cotton and border Zari in these sarees. These separately woven sections are then joined together in one breathtaking saree.
Venkatagiri sarees are produced in the Nellore district of AP, they once wove cotton with a sari border exclusively for the Venkatagiri Rajas. Changing social norms resulted in the weavers importing silk yarn from the south and adapting their weaving techniques to south Indian bridal sarees.
Eco-friendly south Indian bridal sarees
The modern impetus to spare other lifeforms from suffering for our pleasures has led the movement towards ahimsa silk. The silk is woven from cocoon discarded by the worms, as they mature into moths and fly away to freedom and adventure.
And the innovator who came up with the idea of letting the silk worm live and use the discarded cocoon to make yarn? Kusuma Rajaiah, a south Indian. Who else but a native can understand how hard it is for us to abandon the idea of silk and go with plant-based fibres. Seen below is an Ahimsa bridal saree.
Interestingly, examining silk fibres from Indus valley under a microscope suggests it was made after the moth flew away from the cocoon. This makes Indus valley, in 2400 BC, the first producer of ahimsa silk!
Kanchi weavers are said to be descendants of Sage Markanda who himself wove tissue from a lotus stalk. It is then logical to want to weave exquisite south Indian bridal sarees from plant fibres, isn’t it? Cotton, Banana Fibre, Bamboo Fibre, Aloe Vera, Jute all fit the bill. People even weave fabrics from weeds!
Cotton is the most common of course. Mangalagiri, Pochampally, Chettinad all traditionally produce fabulous cotton sarees. Walk into any Fabindia store, you are sure to find at least one cotton saree fit for a bride.
On the other hand, producing cotton fabrics consumes a lot of water and cotton is buffeted by the Monsanto scandal. And there are a lot more innovative options.
As a nation, we are bananas (but not a banana republic, thankfully), especially in the South. We eat banana fruit, banana stem, banana flowers, eat on banana leaves, why not wear Banana? Banana Fibre is extracted made from the banana bark, the outer covering of banana stem.
At the Anakaputhur Weavers Cooperative Society, banana fibres are mixed with cotton and silk threads and sold at Rs 1500 for banana cotton sarees and Rs 3000 for banana silk sarees.
Aloe Vera is omnipresent these days – Moisturisers, Juices, Medicines. Aloe Vera has also woven its ways into sarees.
Eco-conscious couples are saying goodbye to traditional wedding sarees and instead opting for an organic cotton bridal dress with zero-waste and vegan food! Check out interesting examples of how they are doing it and changing traditional practices on their head! Click here to read this article.
Bamboo fibres are fast rising in popularity for their breathability, silky texture and softness. They need the addition of cotton for durability, though. Here is an exquisite bamboo saree.
Vétiver or Khus is added to our drinking water, is woven into screens to keeps us cool in summer. The fibre extracted from this root is also woven into exquisite sarees. Seen below is a saree woven using vetiver fibres.
And speaking of Kancheepuram and Sage Markanda, it is possible to extract yarn from even a lotus stem! It is practised in Myanmar, but, perhaps, it is not very productive.
Levi has come up with jeans made with cotton and recycled plastic bottles. Saree cannot be far off, can it?
For edgy south Indian bridal saree blouse designs, check out our the collection of 21 blouse designs that will turn heads! Click here to browse.
5 tips for buying your south Indian bridal saree
There are a few tips to keep in mind when shopping for the south Indian wedding saree.
Zoom on your bridal style: Skim through websites and fashion magazines and form a mental picture of the look YOU want. Start with a Pinterest search to give you some ideas. Go to Pinterest.com and search for “South Indian Bride.” Here is what you will see.
Save the pins you like or explore the curated boards from other Pinterest users. Zero in on the style you like and keep looking till you get a shortlist of at least half a dozen south Indian bridal sarees.
Where to window shop: Picture may be worth 1000 words, but it cannot capture reality in all its hues. Here are some great places to window shop and compare prices depending on where you live.
Chennai: Thiyagaraya Nagar (aka T Nagar) is the hotspot for South Indian bridal sarees in Chennai. Legendary saree chains vie with one another for your attention and you will find the latest and the greatest bridal sarees!
Mumbai: Matunga and Dadar are great places to shop for south Indian bridal sarees in Mumbai. Marine Lines, SV Road and Juhu also have a variety of stores that sell bridal sarees.
Bangalore: Commercial Street, MG Road, Jayanagar and Malleshwaram have a variety of bridal saree shops you can choose from. For more details, you can read this article.
Hyderabad: Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills, Basheerbagh and Panjagutta are some of the places where you can shop for your bridal sarees in Hyderabad. More details can be found here.
How to buy your bridal sarees: Shop a few months in advance. At least 2-months lead time will be required to get your accessories and blouse shopping in place. When you go to a store, here is a suggested approach to shop bridal sarees.
Explore different saree types (Kanchivaram, Mysore Silk, etc) based on your budget. Shortlist one or two sarees from each type before selecting the sarees to purchase.
The lighting at the store may be dimmer than the light you will have at the marriage hall. Make sure you shop for sarees during the day and take the saree out of the store to make sure you know exactly what you are buying.
When you shop for expensive bridal sarees make sure you know what the store return policy is and thoroughly inspect the sarees before purchasing them.
For dark or dusky women, sarees in a dark colour like dark pink, dark purple, maroon or green suits them best. Choose saree colours based on your complexion.
Don’t forget the accessories: Keep your wedding jewellery in mind when narrowing your choices, you want them to complement your saree.
When buying your south Indian wedding sarees, remember to keep in mind your hairstyling, bangles, blouse, jewellery and the bridal makeup that will complete your style. The bridal saree is just one piece of the puzzle. Here are some general guidelines when choosing accessories for your bridal saree.
If the wedding saree you picked has a lot of embellishments, keep your accessories muted. Heavy jewellery will not go well with an elaborately designed wedding saree.
Just remember to wear the right bra while taking measurements for a blouse, so that it does not pop out over the shoulders or at the back!
If you are wearing a saree with a colourful border, it is advisable to wear a long chain so that the pendant steers clear of the border design on the saree.
Don’t forget the traditions: When it comes to the Muhurtha Pattu, the saree worn at the actual Tamil wedding ceremony, bow to tradition. The same applies to other regions as well.
Have the future in-laws come along, and let them pick out a few sarees.
Lead them around to your choice of saree rather than outright rejecting suggestions and going with what you have in mind. It is never too early to curry favours and establish boundaries.
Keep our traditions alive. If time and budget permits visit a weaving town and buy directly from the weaver. These sarees are made by handloom, the cost is going to be higher than a similar factory product. Alternatively, go for sarees sold by KSIC/Co-Optex/Dastkar.
A word of caution when it comes to non-silk fibres – sometimes they need to mix silk into the fibre for durability/texture. If you are set against silk, check fibre composition before buying.
Andal goes into raptures describing the Lord coming down to take her hand in marriage in Vaaranam Aayiram, but she doesn’t say anything about her own bridal saree or jewellery. Strangely moving, isn’t it?
Featured image: Neha Viswanathan on Flickr
Now that you have the bridal saree figured out, do you know how to choose proper accessories? Read our comprehensive post on choosing the right accessories for sarees. Click here to read this article.
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Posted in Bride, Indian Bride, Marriage
Tagged with: bridal sarees, Bride, Marriage, sarees, South India
Indian wedding sarees are special
Indian wedding sarees are the Rolls Royce of sarees! The saree is the world’s oldest, and perhaps the only surviving unstitched garment from the past. The four to nine metres long cloth that women drape around themselves was first known as Sati from the Sanskrit word – meaning, a strip of cloth, which evolved into Sadi and then Sari.
Over the years, this garment has not only become a sensuous, glamorous all-time wear for women but also serves as a canvas for weavers to create artistic weaves, jewelled or gold-silver embellishments, creating a completely new market for wedding silk sarees.
Encyclopedia notes that the saree is associated with grace, and is widely regarded as a symbol of Indian and South Asian cultures. That’s why Indian wedding sarees are cherished the world over.
Sarees have evolved to keep pace wth the changing times and Indian bridal sarees are no exceptions. Modern weaving techniques continue to coexist with age-old traditions in the making of Indian wedding dresses for bride.
Indian weddings require exquisite Indian bridal sarees
In India, weddings are said to be over the top. Indian wedding sarees are extravagant and ultra-luxurious, with complex, intricate and extensive embroidery and embellishments. They are created specially to make the bride look the most gorgeous on her special day, and the center of everyone’s attention.
The base fabric usually used for bridal saris are in shades of red, pink, cream or beige. The choice of these colors depends on the bride’s glamour quotient on her most special day. Some of the bridal saree works include Zari, Zardosi, Resham, Thread, Stones, Stone embroidery, Diamante, Patch, Kundan, to name a few. Other popular works include sequins, Kardana, Digital prints, Borders (velvet and lace borders).
Let’s look at 5 different types of Indian wedding sarees, where they are made, where you can buy them and how to take care of them.
1. Kanchipuram sarees
Indian wedding sarees are known by the places where they are made. Kanchipuram sarees are no exception. Kanchipuram is a town located near Chennai. Kanchipuram sarees make use of a combination of numerous colored threads.
Adding to the attraction of the saris is the exquisite and elaborate zari work. These are woven naturally and distinguished by their wide contrast borders. It is believed that two weaving communities from neighboring Andra Pradesh, the Devangas and Saligars, migrated to Kanchipuram more than 400 years ago during the reign of Krishna Deva Raya. These weaving communities sparked the growth and popularity of Kanchipuram silk sarees.
Kanchipuram sarees make use of a combination of numerous colored silk threads. Their elaborate zari work and colorful borders with motifs provide an opportunity for the weavers to keep the sarees in tune with the changing fashion. Here is a documentary that shines some light on the making of a Kanchipuram silk saree.
Traditionally Kanchipuram sarees have Indian motifs based on temples and paintings. We also see scenes from epics like Mahabharata as well as modern patterns and designs that will appeal to contemporary Indian brides.
Price of Kanchipuram sarees
According to Cultural India,
“Kanchipuram saris vary widely in cost depending on the intricacy of work, colors, pattern, material used like zari (gold thread). Simple sarees can be weaved in about 10-12 days, but decorative ones require up to 20 days of workmanship.Kanjivarams are expensive and can cost anywhere between Rs. 2000 to Rs. 50,000. The cost of the sari depends on the amount of zari intertwined with the silk. The more the zari work, the more expensive the saree will be.”
We also found that expensive Kanchipuram sarees can breach the Rs100,000 mark easily!
Where can you buy Kanchipuram sarees?
Of course, Kanchipuram is just a short drive from Chennai. You can directly buy from the looms. But if you prefer shopping in air-conditioned comfort, try visiting the huge outlets in T.Nagar, Chennai.
Caring for your Kanchipuram silk sarees
Kanchipuram silk sarees should be stored in hangars in a dark closet. You can also wrap them in cotton cloth if you have run out of hangar space! You can wash silk sarees in cold water with shampoo. Dry it in the shade and never wring your silk saree. With care, Indian bridal silk sarees from Kanchipuram will last several generations. For in-depth instructions on caring for silk sarees, please check out this blog.
Interested in learning more about south Indian wedding sarees? Check out our comprehensive blog post that lists all the varieties of south Indian wedding sarees, how to drape them, and buying tips. Click here to read this blog post.
2. Benarsi sarees
Benarsi sarees from Varanasi (Benaras) are considered among the finest sarees in India known for their gold and silver brocade, fine silk and exquisite embroidery. They have engravings on them, and that explains as to why they are relatively heavy!
Benarsi sarees traces its history all the way to the Mahabharata. However, they became popular in Indian during the time of the Mughals and was exclusively made for the royalty. These sarees have Persian influence in terms of designs and patterns and were made of gold and silver threads for the royalty.
Their special characteristics are Mughal-inspired designs such as intricate intertwining floral and foliate motifs. If you have ever been to the Taj Mahal you will see similar floral patterns there reflecting the Mughal style.
Benarsi sarees need not be always silk. They are also available in Georgette, Cotton, and Organza. Of course, we are interested in Indian wedding sarees and that automatically means silk!
If you are indulgent, you can get a pure zari Benarsi sari. But if you want silk, you also have the option of choosing different types of silk – Katan, Kora, Khadi, Tussar to name a few.
Did you know that the motifs of Benarsi sarees are based on Jasmine, Thousand Emeralds, Marigold, Betelnut Leaf, and Mango?
Price of Benarsi sarees
These sarees range in price from Rs.2000 to Rs.60,000, depending on the embroidery and works. If you want pure zari Benaras saree with hand-crafted embellishments, you will end up paying over Rs100,000.
Where can you buy Benarsi sarees?
You can purchase them at Bari Bazaar in Varanasi. There are six districts in UP that sells this saree legally – Varanasi, Mirzapur, Chandauli, Bhadohi, Jaunpur and Azamgarh districts. Chowk, Godoulia Market and Vishwanath Gali are the main markets where you see a wide range of these amazing sarees.
Caring for your Benarsi sarees
Here are some instructions on how you take care of your precious Benarsi saree.
Dry cleaning is preferred. Since it is exorbitant these days, consider washing the saree with cold water and mild detergent. While washing, first wash the saree 2-3 times with cold water and then consider using detergent or shampoo. Wash the saree alone and do not mix it with the blouse and petticoat. Avoid using a brush or rubbing the saree. Do not wring the saree. First, wash the pallu and borders, and then the entire saree. Do not dry the saree in direct sunlight.
To remove stains, use petrol to remove hard and dark stains. To remove nail paint stains, use acetone. Use a mild detergent or shampoo to remove food stains. To remove ghee, butter and oil stains, first rub talcum powder on the stain and then wash with mild detergent.
Benares sarees are lovely to wear at weddings but they are very heavy, and if stains appear on them, they can look ugly and requires a lengthy process to get rid of them.
3. Mysore silk sarees
Mysore silk is a trademark of silk sarees made by KSIC (Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation) in Mysore, Karnataka. The distinguishing feature of this saree is the usage of pure silk and 100% pure gold zari (a golden coloured thread containing 65% of silver and 0.65% of gold). These sarees are manufactured in a silk factory located in Mysore city.
The factory that makes these sarees was started in 1912 by the Maharaja of Mysore by importing 32 looms from Switzerland. In 1980, this factory was transferred to KSIC and now has around 159 looms. Every saree produced here comes with an embroidered code number and a hologram to verify authenticity.
Mysore silk sarees are also undergoing an innovating change with the use of kasuti embroidery, thickly woven pallus (the part of the saree worn over the shoulder), bandhini techniques and new colours like lilac, coffee-brown, and elephant-grey. There are 115 varieties of sarees in more than 300 shades of colors. Varieties like crepe-de-chine, georgette, zari printed crepe and semi-crepe sarees are available for purchase. The designer Mysore silk saree has zari work all over, and motifs like mango buttis, floral borders and an elegant pallu.
For more information, check out this site.
Price of Mysore silk sarees
The original sarees are priced between Rs. 1000/- to 50,000/- depending on quality.
Where can you buy Mysore silk sarees?
Badsha’s Saibeen Silks, Sukri’s Silks and Menaka Silks are all located on Devaraj Urs Road (Bangalore). They stock Mysore silks. The State Emporium and Bhojayya Shilpa Silks located in the heart of the city at KR Circle (Bangalore) is also where you can purchase Mysore silk sarees.
Caring for your Mysore silk sarees
Never machine-wash a Mysore silk saree. A saree should be either delicately hand-washed and are best dry-cleaned. At home, we can wash them in soft detergents. Soap-nut boiled in water, yielding a soft lather, is best for silks. Only pre-washed silk is washable. Read the label!
After washing, we should roll the silk saree in a white towel to remove the excess moisture, and then hang dry on a padded hanger.
4. Maheshwari sarees
Maheshwari sarees have royal origins dating back to the 18th century. Here is an extract that provides an in-depth description of the history and significance of Maheshwari sarees.
Maheshwari fabric is mainly used to design Maheshwari sarees, and it originates from the town of Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh. These sarees were first found and produced in the town of Maheshwar, hence the name. Initially, they were made of pure silk, but over time, cotton was one of the major fabrics used for these exquisitely designed sarees.
The interesting legend behind these sarees is that Queen Ahilyabai Holkar ordered various craftsman and artisans from Malwa and Surat to design a special saree with 9 yards, which later came to be known as the Maheshwari saree. These sarees were supposed to be a special gift for the royal relatives and guests who visited the palace. In fact, it was the queen herself who designed the first saree. Following this, Maheshwari sarees became extremely popular in and around Madhya Pradesh.
The grandeur of the forts in Madhya Pradesh and their designs is what played an important role in inspiring the technique, weaves, and motifs on the Maheshwari saree. Some of these popular designs include the Mat pattern (chattai pattern), along with ‘Chameli ka phool’ which is inspired by the Chameli flower. One can also see the ‘Eent’ pattern which is basically a brick and ‘heera’, which is a diamond.
Of all the Indian wedding sarees, we believe the Maheshwari silk saree is best suited for brides that prefer a lightweight and comfortable bridal attire.
Here is a video of Maheshwari saree in the making.
A unique characteristic of Maheshwari sarees is that it is reversible! You can wear the sarees on both sides. It is available in silk as well as in cotton.
The price of Maheshwari sarees can vary depending on whether it is made of silk or cotton or a mix of silk and cotton. Silk sarees can be priced from Rs1000 all the way to Rs 30,000 or even more!
Where can you buy Maheshwari sarees
The Rehwa Society in Maheshwar was formed by the son by of Queen Ahilya Bhai Holkar in Maheshwar. This is a collective that aims to empower local craftsmen to make Maheshwari sarees and also help sell their products through large retailers like FabIndia. You can, of course, go to Maheshwar if you are interested in buying from the looms there. Who knew your love for Indian wedding sarees can take you places!
Caring for your Maheshwari sarees
Maheshwari sarees are light weight and can handle a gentle wash cycle in cold water and mild detergents. If your Maheshwari saree is made of silk or is expensive, please use caution when washing. All the tips applicable for maintaining a Mysore silk saree or Kanchipuram silk saree is applicable for Maheshwari silk sarees as well.
5. Paithani sarees
Paithani sarees are named after the town responsible for its inception (Paithan), Maharashtra. They are made of exquisite silk and are hand woven. The craft of weaving this saree was invented in 200 B.C and flourished during the Satvahana era.
In the ancient days, the Paithani sarees were no less than ornamental treasures and was paid for by the western travellers in gold and gems. To date, the real Paithani sarees are handwoven with real silver or gold or pure silk.
A true Paithani saree is characterized by the borders of an oblique and square design having a pallu with a peacock, mangoes or lotuses. They are available in kaleidoscopic 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 sarees.
The greatest speciality of the Paithani saree lies in its pallu. It can also have edges lined with rare gems and precious pearls. The time taken to create a Paithani can range from 2 months to a year, depending on the pallu and border.
Price of Paithani sarees
Paithani sarees are one of the most expensive among Indian wedding sarees. Its manufacturing can cost anything from 60,000 rupees to 5 lakh rupees. It is customary to wear a Paithani saree with plenty of Gold ornaments in Maharashtra. Hope you can afford the saree and the gold accessories!
Where can you buy Paithani sarees
The numerous shops that sell sarees in Dadar market sell Paithani sarees. There are stores in Pune (Peshwai, Tathastu and Kajari) that see Paithani sarees. Of course, you visit Paithan which is about 56 kilometers from Aurangabad in Maharashtra.
Caring for your Paithani sarees
Our recommendation is not to mess your Paithani sarees and use it as gently as you can. This is an heirloom to be passed on to the next generation. All the tips applicable for silk sarees is applicable to Paithani sarees as well. Because you have gold threads to worry about, please do not wear your Paithani bridal saree and go anywhere near food.
Before you buy your Indian wedding sarees
- Make sure you take your immediate family’s preferences are taken into consideration before choosing Indian wedding sarees for your wedding.
- Identify all the rituals that require you to be attired in any traditional dress. You may have to buy multiple bridal sarees for different rituals.
- Keep in mind that the saree is comfortable to wear if you are expected to perform rituals in front of the fire.
- When shopping, you will have to drape yourself with the saree and make sure it suits you. Shopkeepers in India are more than willing to help you with the draping.
- The bridegroom’s family may also buy bridal sarees for you. Make sure you don’t end up buying identical sarees and deal with the hassle of exchanging the sarees or irritating your future in-laws.
- Make sure your preferred tailor is available to take up blouse stitching work. Please have enough time in your plan to do some alterations before the wedding.
No matter what your tastes are when it comes to sarees, create your unique biodata for marriage on Jodi Logik.
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