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Saree is the most ancient and traditional form of garment draped by the women in India. Sarees are mainly made by these two methods which are hand woven and machine woven sarees. In today’s fast-moving world where everything is about competition, machine woven sarees have made their way in the textile industry. But we all know that a machine woven saree is incompatible in front of the exclusiveness of a hand woven saree. Hand woven sarees are not only adored in India but also in many other countries which makes these sarees so special and expensive. However, you can be tricked, while purchasing hand woven sarees so you can try avoiding these mistakes while shopping for the same.

You can try avoiding these mistakes while buying a hand woven saree:

  •  Buying Similar Looking Sarees

 You will find many sarees having similar colours and embroidery patterns in the market. No two real hand woven sarees can look exactly the same when kept side by side. Avoid buying sarees which has too many replica designs. Every hand woven saree is a unique piece in itself.  

  • Missing Marks And Tags

We get caught up in the features of the saree so much that we forget about the handloom mark and GI tags being stated or not on the saree. A handloom mark and a GI tag certify the authenticity and originality of a hand woven saree. It also shows the hard work of the weavers in India. You should always look for the GI tag or handloom mark while buying hand woven saree.

  • Misjudging Artificial Dyes As Natural Dyes

Many shopkeepers sell duplicate sarees mentioning as natural dyes. Don’t misjudge artificial dyes with natural dyes. Natural dyes depict the rich colour and legitimate texture of a real hand woven saree if looked very closely. You can compare it with other handloom saree dyes for a better judgement.

  • Getting Tricked By The Embroidery Designs

You may get tricked by the beautiful embroidery designs of the saree and end up buying the false hand woven saree. Hand woven embroidery done by traditional methods like Phulkari, Chikanari and many more, is by experienced artisans. Observe if there are any loose threads or rough designs to avoid buying the false one.

  • Messed Up Reverse Side

You may fall for the beautiful design by just looking at the front side of the saree. But the reverse side design should be the exact replica of the front side design. A hand woven saree consumes a lot of time and hard work to be made with precision. If the reverse side is messed up having loose stitches and threads then it is not a hand woven saree. The simplest way to spot by just reversing the `Pallu’ of the saree which has most of the embroidery work done.

  •  Looking for Accuracy In Patterns

We all look for accuracy in the patterns, designs and such factors while buying a saree. Keep in mind that in a genuine hand woven saree you would never find accuracy in designs and patterns. It is a stunning and delicate work done by hand. Examine carefully certain minor flaws and some additional colour spills while purchasing the sarees because it is made manually.

We hope that we may have helped you know some points about hand woven sarees and mistakes you can avoid while purchasing hand woven sarees. Just keep these small tips and tricks in mind and you are ready to ace hand woven saree’s shopping!
Naarangi Crafts is there for you to help you resolve your traditional wear fashion related queries and authentic hand woven sarees.

Mentioned in Vedas and found in the records of Indus Valley Civilization (3300–1300 B.C.E.), the Indian saree is the oldest form of garment in the world which is still in existence even after more than 5000 years. Although being so ancient form of clothing its demand and popularity has always been on all-time high. Be it on ramp or at leading fashion shows or on streets of rural and urban India it is worn by politicians, actresses and farmers alike. Let us explore some interesting tales behind different sarees in India.

  1. Paithani Saree – Maharashtra

It is named after the town of its inception i.e. Paithan. A saying that goes with the Paithani sarees is that they are “hand woven poems in gold & silk”. The craft of weaving the sari was invented in 200 B.C. and flourished during the Satvahana era. These sarees symbolise intellectually refined elites.

  • Chanderi Saree- Madhya Pradesh

Chanderi saree also got its name from the town where it is made i.e. Chanderi town in Ashoknagar district of MP. It was the favoured fabric of Indian royal women because of its soft, light texture and transparency and remains so even today. Weaving a handwoven Chanderi saree takes over 3 days or sometimes more, depending on the complexity of the design.

  • Kanchipuram Sarees- Tamil Nadu

Kanchipuram is a type of silk made in Tamil Nadu and the sarees made from this silk are known as Kanchipuram Sarees. They are also known as Kanjeevaram Sarees. Distinguished by their wide contrast borders these sarees are worn on special occasions and festivities. In many of these sarees the rich woven pallu shows the painting of Raja Ravi Verma or the epics of Mahabharata & Ramayana. These sarees have been recognized as Geographical Indication (GI) by Government Of India in the year 2005-06.

  • Muga Silk Saree – Assam

These sarees outlast the owner. Yes! you heard it right about the Muga Silk sarees. Once reserved only for royalty, this durable silk has a natural yellow tint in it. Although given GI tag in 2007 the Muga Silk sarees are known to be in existence since the rule of Ahom dynasty (1228-1826). And one Muga silk saree roughly takes 2 months to get completed, from rearing the silkworm to obtaining the finished product.

  • Jamdani Saree- Bengal

Considered to be Bengali Bride’s Wedding trousseau, it is typically woven with a mixture of cotton & gold thread. Historically Jamdani was known as Muslin. It is considered one of the most time consuming and labour-intensive handloom weaving. In 2013, the traditional art of weaving jamdani was declared a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

And these are the tales of just 5 sarees and many more have to be read. Although different in look, appearance, weaving technique, designs and motifs this piece of clothing binds the whole of India into one. And for adding into your collection such genuine & rich sarees from different states of India do visit Naarangi Crafts.

Saree is the traditional Indian clothing which is a staple in many cultures of the country. Even though there is no denial of its beauty, it can be boring and complicated to put on for the modern woman. That is why we have compiled 5 ways to drape a saree that are interesting and not too difficult to wear so that you are not deprived of feeling beautiful in a fabulous saree.

1. Pants and Chants

Add a pump of panache to your saree by wearing it over some pants! It looks unique and is even easier than the day-to-day saree. You can even try a kamarband instead of a belt to tip the look towards a traditional side. Wear a simple one to a brunch or a heavier one to a wedding ceremony. You are sure to stand out with an outfit like this one.

2. Mermaid Style

If an ethnic mermaid is your aesthetic, then try this style for an upcoming event. It is flowy and spread-out at the bottom and form-fitting, curvaceous down the waist. It looks beautiful with a side-bun in your hair to through off the symmetry of the saree. A mermaid style works best with a soft and flexible material to hug your curves.

3. A Dhoti Wrap

If you want to turn heads at a wedding, look quirky yet classy, then this saree is a must-try for you. The look and feel of this style are festive and fun with a tinge of culture. This style works the best with a saree that has a structure and the material is on the stiffer side. Add a chunky bracelet and hair accessories to add even more quirk to the look.

4. The Mumtaz Drape

Go retro with this look that Mumtaz wore in the movie Ram and Shyam. Any saree with a defined border and flowy material would work. It has 3 horizontal layers visible and a defined, curvy shape. The Mumtaz drape looks ravishing on all body types. Put on dramatic eyeliner and put your hair in a high bun to really get in the retro spirit. Make it a Halloween outfit or a themed party or just rock this look during an engagement or haldi-mehendi event.

5. The Lehenga Way

Why spend thousands on a new lehenga when you can just style one of your sarees, (or your mom’s) into a stunning outfit? Drape your saree the Lehenga way and put a Gajra in your neat hairstyle. Keep the lips simple and the eyes smokey to go perfectly with this style.

Use safety pins and saree pins generously if you’re someone who rarely wears a saree. It will make you feel confident and secure. Play with the above looks and find one that suits you. And don’t forget to shine on!

When it comes to Indian fabrics, there are plenty of them available. Most of them are famous as per region and have folklore attached to it. These fabrics have their unique regional flavour to them. With changing times, these textiles have also tweaked their ways. While weavers maintain the traditional ways of weaving them, there are a lot of designers that design interesting patterns. So here is how you can stylise your outfits and get the best of both the worlds, traditional and modern.

  1. Stoles are amazing: This is probably the simplest way of blending traditional fabrics with modern styles. Stoles come in a variety of shapes, prints, colours and fabrics. They also serve a variety of purposes and can be called as a multi-utility piece of cloth. You could use it on jeans or compliment it with your favourite kurta. It goes really well with tops, tees and shirts as well. One can choose a silk or a crocheted stole for the chilly weather or a Chanderi and cotton one for the hot summers.    
  2. Stitch it well: Here comes the time-consuming yet result-driven part. What you need to do is pick a traditional fabric like Chanderi or Maheshwari of your choice and also a modern design like a dress, shirt or pant. Then simply brief the seamstress about the same and wait for the amazing apparel to get stitched. This might consume time to develop and envision the right design. Surely, they are the talk of the fashion industry where designers play with the bright designs, patterns and qualities of the fabric.
  3. Accessorise it up: With time and increasing specificity, the jewellery sector has also diversified. Today, modern jewellery is not only limited to traditional wear but is also developed for work and modern outfits. So if you have picked a traditional fabric for the day, add that contemporary look with interesting pieces of jewellery. This will definitely enliven the traditional outfit with some refreshing modern style.
  4. Get interesting combinations: Matching up your kurta with a smart-looking culotte is something worth trying or you could team your Chanderi pants with a formal shirt. These interesting combinations ensure that you truly get the best of both the worlds-comfort and style in the same dress. A heavily embellished skirt out of rich Indian textile like Maheshwari with your favourite shirt could also work the same way.
  5. Six yards of grace: Sarees are an evergreen attire that has undergone myriads of experiments. No matter how the fashion industry grows, saree is something that will continue to adorn Indian women and their beauty. You can also get designer saree that makes use of traditional Indian fabric like Chanderi or Maheshwari and tweak it in modern style. There are designer blouses and sarees that transform the simple six yards of fabric in the most innovative way possible.

So try one or all such ways to move ahead of your time and grace the traditional Indian fabrics with contemporary designs. Try any of these and flaunt your modern avatar in your day to day life.

Ever since times immemorial, India’s handicraft industry has been the talking point. The beautiful handicrafts, gorgeous textiles woven by the weaver drew the attention of people across the globe. Even now, they garner a lot of attention. The government also supports the artisans and craftsmen by giving financial aid, offering various schemes, trying to keep alive the traditions of generations. 

Talking about India as a whole, there are region specific weaving styles and are many in number. Every state can be further divided into many regions and hence myriads of weaving styles and patterns exist. Coming to the heart of India-Madhya Pradesh, Maheshwari and Chanderi sarees or materials are quite famous. So, what do you think? How they are made? What’s ‘their’ story? Let us explore. 

Origin and Historical background:

The origin and historical background of Maheshwari sarees dates back to the 5th century. There is a place named Maheshwar on the banks of the river Narmada. This was the capital of Malwa during the reign of Holkars. It is from here that the simple form of art got a royal status.  

It was in a way promoted by the queen Ahilya Bai Holkar, who uplifted its status by deploying a special team to weavers. Here is when the Maheshwari sarees became more popular. 

Coming to Chanderi sarees, they have derived their name from a small town in Madhya Pradesh named Chanderi itself. Here, the weavers make this lightweight saree in cotton and silk with fine zari work. These beautiful sarees exude feminine looks with royal hues. 

It’s royal connect lies in the heart of India-Madhya Pradesh. They were patronised by the royal family of Scinidias, in the year 1910. At this time, the simple cotton saree got a new friend-the golden thread motif. Since then, the chanderi sarees have no looking back and withstood the test of time.

They have evolved into better designs, colours and blending of other fabrics like silk. 

The chanderi fabric can be divided into three types, depending upon the type of material used-cotton, silk and silk cotton.  

Their making: 

The process of weaving sarees and other materials vary a lot and depend much on the fabric. For example, silk is a lustrous fabric so the type of weaving required would be such so as to enhance the radiance of the thread. All of this begins at a home with all the family members engaged in the making. The looms are quite old-school yet produce magnificent designs and patterns. Various generations of families are engaged in this process for years.  

This gorgeous textile is woven by the skilled artisans at the town of Chanderi and Maheshwari. Few types of weaving styles involved are plain weaving, basket weaving, twill weaving, etc. Different kinds of looms are present wherein weavers use different threads and colours to make nine yards of sheer magic. 

Speciality: 

The speciality of these fabrics is more or less related to their royal connect. Also, their relevance amidst the mechanised fabrics speaks of their popularity. Fashion designers are becoming aware of this and curating indo-western dresses. These are quite popular in the Bollywood industry as well, due to their beauty, colours, designs, etc. It is a heritage craft that will remain to be the first choice when it comes to traditional wear.