Saree is one such Indian traditional attire, which is never out of fashion. Be it a wedding, a get- together, a party or any other gathering, saree is always hot favourite of every Indian woman and why not! Saree looks beautiful on woman of every shape and size or better to say women of every shape and size look beautiful in a Saree. A saree is a quintessential wardrobe staple of every Indian woman. Saree gives a woman sensuous and elegant look at the same time. This long strip of unstitched cloth is worn in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri lanka and Pakistan. It is perhaps the only unstitched garment which has survived through the ages. The concept of saree probably originated due to the ancient Hindu belief that stitching cloth made it impure.
The origin of saree dates back to Indus valley civilization between 2800-1800 BC. Men and women of that era drape long piece of unstitched cloth better described as loin cloth around their waist which had its one end passed between the legs and tugged behind, for better movement of legs. This style of clothing is believed to be harbinger of saree. This is evident from the relics of the civilisation , now available in seals and figurines. Through years sarees have gone through various transformations influenced by various civilizations and cultures like those of Greeks , Persians and Mughal. With this long history, saree is considered to be the oldest form of garment in the world that not only still exists but is high on fashion.
Saree has a strong connection with every Indian women as they have seen their mother, grandmother, aunts wearing this beautiful piece of cloth . Though the standard size of a saree is six yards ,in some parts of south India nine yards saree is also worn. Saree can be worn in different ways in both traditional and modern style. The style of wearing saree also depends on the region. There are different types of sarees specific to the region they are woven and designed. These sarees vary in fabric, pattern, motifs, designs , colours etc. Mentioning all kind of sarees would be a next to impossible task as there are so many of them.
Below are the popular kinds of Sarees woven at different parts of India:
Banarasi Silk Saree : Crafted in the holy land of Varanasi, Banarasi sarees are known for heavy work of gold and silver brocade or zari, fine silk and opulent embroidery. Originally these sarees were woven for royalty only as they used real gold and silver threads. Today a variety of Banarasi sarees are available. Their brilliant colour, opulence and texture make them very popular as bridal wear in North India.
Kanjeevaram Silk Saree: The pride of Tamil Nadu, these distinctively beautiful sarees were originated at Kancheepuram. These sarees come in vibrant colours with distinctively contrasting borders. Theses arees have richly designed borders with checks ,floral and temple designs or scenes from epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. These are favourite bridal sarees in south India.
Chanderi Saree: Originated in Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh, these unbelievably light weight and see through sarees are a perfect combination of silk, zari and cotton woven together. Due to very light weight and easy to carry, these sarees are one of the most ideal choice of India woman.
Tant Saree: These crisp cotton sarees can be best found in West Bengal, especially Kolkata. These sarees are light weight and easy to wear. These sarees have thick border and beautiful print and are available in a wide range of design, colour and style in the Indian markets . Bengali women love to wear these sarees during festivals and other occasions.
Sambalpuri Saree : The pride of Orissa, these pure handloom sarees are made from tussar silk and soft cotton. Sambalpuri Sarees has a strip of unstitched cloth ranging from four to nine meters in length which help to wrapped over the body in various style. The sarees are famous for incorporation o traditional motifs like shell, wheels and flowers.
Bandhej Saree: Bandhej or Bandhani work on saree are done in both Gujarat and Rajasthan. Traditional tie and dye art with characteristic dot patterns are the uniqueness of these sarees. The fabric of these sarees can be fine cotton, georgette, cotton silk blends , crepe, chiffon and silk variants, on which fine tie and ye work is done. The weavers of the Khatri community of Gujarat are known as the pioneers of this work.
Leheriya Saree: Leheriya is just another form of Bandhani, this is popular in Rajasthan. This follows a different technique of tie and dyeing the cloth is tied while it is going through the dyeing process to produce complex wavy patterns.
Pochampally Silk Saree : Originally from Andhra Pradesh, now in Telangana, famous Pochampally silk sarees are woven in town of Boodhan. Intricate motifs and geometrical ikat designs on combination of silk and cotton make these sarees royal and elegant.
Kalamkari Saree: Inspired by Hindu mythology these beautiful sarees exhibit beautiful designs of ancient caves and scriptures. Originally designs were hand painted on these sarees as ‘Kalam’ literally means pen now-a-days printed sarees are also available due to high popularity of these sarees.
Kasavu Saree : Originated in Kerala, the special characteristics of these sarees was thick golden border woven with threads of real gold but today keeping up with time colours and artificial threads are used.
Patola Sarees : Originated in the vibrant state of Gujarat at a small place called Patan, Patola sarees are rich handloom sarees, which come in bold ad vibrant colours and strong patterns and designs.
Assamese Silk Saree : Adorned with the delicate weaving of golden Muga silk and vehement thread work Assamese sarees are must in your wardrobe. Muga is one of the rarest and most expensive form of silk. These sarees have traditional flora and fauna patterns on them which make them extremely beautiful.
Paithani Saree : From the beautiful state of Maharashtra, these gorgeous sarees exhibits the richness of Maharashtra .Richly bright colours and beautiful designs of animals and birds on the golden border is the speciality of these sarees.
Apart from above other famous types are Phulkari from Punjab, Chickankari from Lucknow, Sambalpuri from Odisha, Baluchari from West Bengal, Pattu Sarees from Kerala, Nauvari sarees from Maharashtra, Bhagalpuri Saree, Bomkai Saree, Kantha Saree, Kota saree, Mysore silk saree and the list is unending.