Saree – a must for women’s wardrobe across Indian subcontinent!


Saree or Sari or Shari – whatever you name it, but the fact is, it is the most elegant and traditional outfit in India and Indian subcontinent.

Long ago, I was working on a project called Indian sarees, sort of a compilation of traditional sarees across India. You know, each state of India represents different types of sarees making – tie & dye, block prints, handloom weave, hand printed, embroidered etc. on variety of fabrics such as cotton, silk, synthetic, blended and so on. Under that project, I had visited many artisans, weavers, factories in India. In Jaipur, an artisan famous for his tie & dye technique i.e., Bandhej, Leheriya, Shibori, plain dyeing etc. was a Presidential award winner for his multi-coloured Leheriya! I stayed there around a week to study his craft and during that time I had designed a six coloured Leheriya saree in very fine georgette material and got it done from him. It was looking so beautifully elegant!

Saree does have that capacity and capability to make you look elegant, beautiful and gorgeous. In this article, I have tried to elaborate about sarees of India.

An un-stitched piece of woven fabric that draped over the body with one end tied to the waist and another end is fallen over one shoulder is called sari, it is derived from Sanskrit where it is called Sati or Satika, it is a women’s outfit from the Indian subcontinent. The size of the saree is varied on place and style, it can be from 4.1 to 8.2 meters (4.5 to 9 yards) in length and 60 to 120 centimetres (24 to 47 inches) in breadth. In Indian subcontinent that includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives, there are different styles of wearing sari, generally it’s three pieces set i.e., sari/saree, blouse (also called as bodice/choli/ravike/kuppasa/cholo/polka) and petticoat (also called as ghagra/parkar/ul-pavadai), and the draping style is also different across the places.  Saree is very important in marriage, especially the bridal saree, mostly it’s a read saree with heavily decorated in embroidery or tie & dye or block printed or ikkat etc. in reach silk, cotton or synthetic materials.

Few of the famous sarees in India are:

  • Kanjeevaram or Kanchipuram saree from Tamil Nadu
  • Nauvari saree from Maharashtra
  • Bandhani saree from Gujarat and Rajasthan
  • Tant saree from West Bengal
  • Banarasi saree from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
  • Chikankari saree from Uttar Pradesh
  • Paithani saree from Maharashtra
  • Gadwal saree from Telangana
  • Muga silk saree from Assam
  • Pochampally saree from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
  • Patola silk sarees from Gujarat
  • And more…
  • The materials used in these sarees are pure silk, fine cotton, zari, gold/copper/silver threads, tussar silk, 100% natural cotton, blended etc.

The size of the saree industry in India during FY 2021 was around 288 billion Indian rupees, and it is growing YoY due to the high demand in local market and also exports. E-commerce is also playing a significant role in increasing the sale. Shopping sarees online becomes very easy these days because of many convenient options and filters such as sarees under 1000, saree designer party wear, saree low price, printed sarees, block printed sarees, red saree, bridal sarees, sarees from Surat under 500 and more.

Many fashion designers, boutiques and brands are famous for their beautifully designed and crafted sarees such as Satya Paul, Momosa, Desi Butik, Kalamandir Sarees, Manubhai Patolavala, Sabyasachi, Deepkala, Kalaniketan, BharatSthali, Nalli, Ritu Kumar, Fab India, Manish Malhotra, Tarun Tahiliani, Meena Bazaar, Karagiri, Asopalav, Kalanjali and many more.

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