Saree: Types of Sarees

by Aashima on May 6, 2011 · 14 comments

India is a country of many costumes and dresses. Yet saree remains one of the most widely accepted garment across the country. For a six (sometimes nine) yard rectangular piece of cloth, a saree is very versatile and comfortable piece of clothing. A saree can make a woman of any age or shape look stunning. Its sheer simplicity, practicality and the hint of sensuousness makes it a hit with a major population of women in India.

Sarees come in endless varieties. They can be categories on the basis of their fabric or embroidery or print etc. There are a number of known types of sarees in India. Here are a few that are hugely popular:

Chikan

chikan sarees

Chikan is basically an embroidery style from Lucknow, UP. Chikan is believed to have been introduced by Nur Jehan, Mughal emperor Jahangir’s wife. Traditionally chikan work meant white on white embroidery but today white threads are used on various color muslin cloth.

Benares Brocade

banarasi saree benaras brocade

These are highly sought after variety of sarees. These are historically known to be one of the finest sarees in India and are known for their gold and silver brocade work, fine silk and rich embroidery. These are decorated with elaborate engravings and are thus very heavy.

Tant

tant sarees
The tant cotton sarees are best suited for hot and humid weather. These typically have elaborate pallus and broad gold threadwork borders.

Jamdani

jamdani saree
Jamdani sarees usually have very transparent but fine texture cloth resembling muslin. These display elaborate and ornate workmanship. These are preferred for office wear. Peacocks are a favourite motif as are vines and flowers.
A specific variety of Jamadani saree called Daccai, is woven painstakingly by hand on the old fashioned Jala loom, and many take even up to one year to weave a single sari.

Kantha

kantha sarees
Kantha is a type of embroidery popular in Bangladesh and in West Bengal, India. Kantha sarees are known for its delicate thread embroidery.

Baluchari

baluchari saree
The Baluchari sarees are figured silk saree produced in the town of Baluchar in Murshidabad district of West Bengal. Baluchar sarees essentially have a silk base and avoid strong contrasts. These have detailed scenes from religious epics of India depicted on them and also other figures like horse with a rider, women smoking hookah and court scenes.

Ikat Saree

ikat saree
Ikat is a near universal weaving style common to many world cultures. Likely, it is one of the oldest forms of textile decoration. Ikat, or Ikkat, is the method of weaving that uses a resist dyeing process similar to tie-dye. ikat sarees typically have heavy threadwork borders and pallus with geometric ikat patterning.

Chanderi

chanderi saree
The chanderi sarees are seen as the most sophisticated variety of sarees. These are produced in Chanderi town of Madhya Pradesh. These are generally plain, light and highly translucent sarees with golden borders and small booties all over.

Venkatgiri

venkatgiri saree
Venkatagiri town in Andhra Pradesh is famous for its Jari cotton sarees. The fabric is popular for its softness and durability. The sarees are suitable for all climates.

Gadwal

gadwal saree
These are a mix of cotton and silk. There is complicated joinery involved and this gives the silk/cotton mix sari its charm. But its so popular because it is possible to fold a 5.5 meter Gadwal saree to the size of a match box.

Kanchipuram/ Kanjivaram

kanjivaram saree
Kanchipuram town in Tamil Nadu is also known as Silk City since the main profession of the people living in and around is weaving silk sarees, more than 5,000 families are engaged in this industry. Kanchipuram or Kanjivaram sarees are richly brocaded silk sarees with broad borders of zari and striped pallus.

Paithani

paithani saree
Paithani variety of sari is named after the Paithan region in Maharashtra. These are hand woven, fine silk sarees. Colourful flowers are the typical motifs. They are considered the richest sarees in Maharashtra.

Bandhani

bandhani saree
Bandhani, also known as Bandhej, is a type of tie-dye practiced mainly in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. After the processing is over, results into a variety of symbols including, dots, squares, waves and stripes. Bandani sarees are made in bright and contrasting colour combinations.

Also Read:
Sarees and Suits for Diwali
Saree: Sizzling Indian Sarees for Diwali

image: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Priya May 6, 2011 at 3:57 pm

oh god..i want all…def chanderi is on my list next….

Reply

calicoaster May 6, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Nice compilation Aashima!! :D :D :D

Reply

Tapaswini Swain May 6, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Wowwww awesome, looks nice, I love all Sarees !! :waytogo:

Reply

Swati May 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm

“Chandni & Bandhani..” :woot: :woot: :woot:
Rest all for My Mum.. :smug: :smug: :smug:

Reply

Aruna May 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm

will add pochampally and Mysore silks also to this list. Mysore silks are very light and very soft. Pochampally is an Andhra pradesh speciality..there is a town called Pochampally close to Hyderabad

Reply

varshini May 6, 2011 at 5:25 pm

wow aruna…even i love pochampally…i have one pocham pally silk sari :)

Reply

shanaiia May 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Bandhini sarees :) but the chiffon n georgette kinds..not silk ones…

Reply

sari May 6, 2011 at 6:05 pm

U shud add Kalamkari…dying art….

Reply

akhila May 8, 2011 at 8:34 am

Ashima, good job on this endless compilation…never knew these before.

Reply

Gautam Patel September 12, 2011 at 11:17 pm

This is a very nice article, thank you for kindly using my photograph of the beautiful Baluchari saree. If you want to see more sarees then click here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gautamjpatel/sets/72157622268946935/

Regards
Gautam

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