Know more about Paithani sari: A favourite among Maharashtrian women – Times of India

The season’s mandate this April will have the classic traditional attires see light of the day, as Maharashtra celebrates Hindu New Year in full fiesta.

No prizes for guessing the most loved garment of them all, indeed the Marathmoli Paithani! Apart from the glorious drape, Paithani has also made it to the children’s apparel with adorable parkar-polka (Marathi version of chaniya-choli) for the girls and the dhoti kurtas for boys and the gentlemen alike.

Recently even seen gracing the revered ‘Gudi’ itself, we didn’t call it reigning for nothing!

Paithani is one of the most popular handloom weave in India, widely known for their exquisite Sarees. The textile art originated at Paithan village in Maharashtra, which is also where the Saree derives its name from. While learning about the royalty from its looming, weaving patterns and movements, the vegetable dyeing, Borders and multiple motifs with their ancient inspirations may require a few trails down the weaver by lanes, we instead bring to you a short crash course with the fabulous fact files on – Paithani.

In order to simplify as per our claim, going by a primary structure of the treasured Saree, there are three aspects to grasp.

Trademark borders – Borders in a way help classify Paithani into its type. The most called for is the morbangadi (mor- peacock and bangdi – bangle), munia is another popular border and design named after parrot called munia by locals. And the brocade with florals and bird-inspired making, each being equally desired.

Grand pallus and beautiful motifs – The borders and padars i.e. Pallas often sought after depending on the motifs made on them with liberal use of gold, like that of lotuses, parrots, leaves and peacocks. One way to identify an authentic Paithani is to look out for these motifs which are intricately handwoven and look exactly the same on front as well as the reverse side of the sari.

All on a landscape of vivid colors – Silk threads sourced typically from Bangalore are manually dyed in stunning colors also named in local language as vaangi (deep violet), aboli (pale peach), firozi, morpankhi, motia (off white). These shades are then intermingled using warp and weft methods while weaving in complex patterns that create visual effect of shifting colours.

Place and people of PaithaniIndeed Paithani is named after the birthplace of the textile art, Paithan. Yet in Todays date, we no longer it made in Paithan but in Yeola, a Taluka in Nasik district of Maharashtra. Yeola is the only place in India where the Saree is handmade on more than 1000 looms. Also the art of weaving Paithani is an exclusive family affair. Unlike some of the other karigaars, in the country, this art is passed down generations with all family members irrespective of age, being involved in the learning even at as young as 13 years.

Yarn and the yarning

Heirlooms are made from natural fibres, though against the popular belief Paithani is not just made from Silk threads alone, it is available in pure cotton as well. In fact, originally, dating back to 200BC, it used to be a fine cotton weave. The royals of the following eras longed the touch of richness in this skilfully made garment that they could not unsee. Their intervention demanding the use of silk prompted the introduction of kora or shahtoot silks for weaving. Paithani thus commenced upon the journey in Resham, all the way to being the ‘Queen of Silks’ Today.

Inputs from Prachi Saraf, Founder of Vyusti– Handloom Saris.

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