Thursday, September 7, 2017

Peeking into the Handlooms of West India

Peeking into the Handlooms of West India

India over the centuries has been the abode of a plethora of handloom weaves in cotton as well as silk. Each part of the country boasts of its unique hand woven fabric lengths and sarees. The feeling of owning and draping handloom sarees is one that can’t be expressed in words. Fast paced life has shifted much focus to western wear and convenient wear stealing the spotlight from Indian handloom. But, come festivities, marriages or traditional celebrations; handloom is what everyone desires!

Here’s a sneak peek into some gorgeous handloom sarees from West India.

Mangalgiri Cotton : 

The name of Mangalgiri Cotton sarees may not be listed amongst the most popular handlooms but the pretty checks, stripes and zari borders make these bright colour sarees from Andhra Pradesh very desirable and getting popular among the handloom and specially cotton lovers. The feeling of the fabric may be a little stiff but undoubtedly that makes it very durable and it also softens with use giving it a very comfortable feel and perfect for the hot climate of Western region.

Paithani :

Paithani from Maharashtra, one of the most popular handloom weave that’s designed in pretty bright, colours, just right for celebratory occasions. These sarees are made from particularly fine silk and zari which lists them in the category of luxurious and popular silks. OnlyPaithani is also making the Paithanis in pure cotton, which is how they used to be originally weaved in, the finest of the cotton interspersed with zari in pastels and bright shades showcasing colorful motifs on the pallu.

Cotton Paithani :

Cotton Paithanis are creating quite a rage among the saree lovers so if you wish to own one, head to OnlyPaithani and select from the lovely colors they have to offer.

Maheshwari sarees :

Maheshwari sarees and fabric lengths are woven in Madhya Pradesh and are very popular as they are so very light and summery. These are woven with silk and cotton threads which are often combined to make stronger threads that weave soft and elegant looking handloom fabric. There are various border patterns that are woven on a maheshwari like the Lehriya (waves pattern), Diamond, double border, Ganga Jamuna (opposite borders) with silk and zari.

Patola : 

Patola is the pride of Gujarat. The weave can be called a double ikat which results in the smooth layers of the fabric length. It is an intricate weave and the designs are generally characterized by geometric shapes, floral patterns, animals and abstracts. The pallu of a real Patola saree used to have real gold zari woven in it making it a really prized possession. As the real patola sarees turn out to be very expensive given the time it takes to weave one, a lot of handloom lovers are turning towards dupattas in Patola as well.

The innumerable number of traditional designs, intricate weaving methods, unique dying techniques, array of varied design appeal starting from sheer rustic to glamorously gorgeous, make Indian handloom extremely exciting and matchless. Discovering them is like untangling a mysterious weave created in the looms!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Fabrics of Maharashtra : Narayanpets, Ilkals and Khunn

Fabrics of Maharashtra : Narayanpets, Ilkals and Khunn
Apart from the paithanis, the other sarees that have had a great influence on the maharastrian attire since centuries are the Ilkal and the Narayanpet sarees paired with the soft khunn material used for the blouses.

The Narayanpet fabrics have been known to be patronized in Maharashtra since the times of Shivaji Maharaj. These sarees are known for the best quality fabrics and durability. Narayanpet is a small town located around the border of Andrapradesh and Karnataka, traditionally has been a weaver town. The Narayanpet is a very simple saree, used to be make in only cotton traditionally. With new demands, is not extensively made in a blend of cotton and silk or in pure silk. The saree typically is plain, with a contrast or complementing border which is about 5-6 inches wide and two thin lines with tiny temple design woven in resham and zari. The pallu too is a very simple one, mostly plain with 3 horizontal lines. Rarely some paisley motifs are woven between them. A saree takes anywhere between 2-4 days to complete and is entirely handwoven.
Unfortunately, the Narayanpet sarees have seen a steady decline in buyers and now barely 2000 looms exist in this town struggling for survival. Reasons for the decline being not just that the new generation doesn’t want to get into weaving, but also the meagre amount of money being paid to the weavers. This is essentially because the demand has declined as cheaper versions are available in powerlooms and also some blame could be put on the changing fashions. Moreover, the educated new generation is not interested in the profession due to the hard labour and long hours to bring out the finished product, even then the returns are not lucrative to make them stay in the profession. Narayanpet has it GI identification as well.

Ilkars too have a similar story. Originating from the Ilkal town of Bagalkat in Karnataka and dates back to 8th century AD. Once upon a time these were the daily wear sarees woven in cottons and woven in silk to be worn for special occasions. Cotton silk Ilkals have also gained popularity over the years. The speciality of these sarees is the joining of the saree with the pallu portion which is normally weaved in blocks of red and white and temple design is incorporated in them. An ilkal takes about 7-10 days to be weaved. The handwoven silk Ilkals are made of very high count silk and hence are quite heavy compared to other silk sarees. Also the irkals have a very textured finish and a lovely shine when held up close. The borders are typically contrast and have a couple of woven zari pattis running through them. Illkals come in some very vibrant as well as soothing pastel shades. Even though the patterns and pallu are very simple, the Irkals look quite elegant and rich.

Paired with a beautiful patterned khunn blouse, these traditional sarees will make any woman fall in love with traditional handlooms. The khun fabric was originally made in Guledgudda in Karnataka and has been very popular in Maharastra for ages. It gained popularity due to its soft feel, variety of colors, brocade textures and durability. Its available in an huge array of designs and two tone jewel colors and can be stitched in different garments. Teamed with traditional sarees or cotton sarees, these look absolutely graceful and stunning.
Off late, the khun has been well-revived and picked up by some of the major designers to be incorporated in western wear, bags, home decor and the possibilities are truly endless.

These handloom sarees are truly a treasure and an inseparable part of our rich heritage. We certainly hope that these sarees and handlooms get their due and reach the people who truly understand and appreciate this dying art. At a time when government is too doing its bit through the Make in India movement and similar such programs, we certainly hope these arts find more buyers which will help the craftsmen who truly weave a part of their souls in these fabrics.

Irkals : Cotton irkals start at Rs. 1500/- and very good quality ones can go upto 12000/-

Narayanpets : Rs. 2000 to Rs. 5000

Khunn materials : Rs. 200 a meter onwards for good quality materials.

To buy Ilkal sarees online visit :

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Fabrics of Maharashtra - Paithani

Sarees have been a part of Indias culture for ages and no matter how modern the Indian woman has gotten, there is rarely one who would not be bewitched by this splendid length of garment. Saree references have been found during the Indus Valley Civilization and has also been mentioned in the Rig-veda, which is dated to be written in 3000 BC.

From daily wear to wedding trousseau, sarees have been an essential piece of clothing for the Indian woman. And even though more convenient forms of daily wear have taken over, the allure of this beautiful handloom art cannot be ignored. The paithani has been beautifully described as a poem made in silk and gold, and aptly so.

The tradition of handlooms of Maharashtra is centuries old and have seen some really glorious days in the past. Of the various styles of handlooms sarees that have been popular, very few remain to this day, and are almost fighting for survival. The advancement of machinery and powerlooms have surely affected the beautiful art of handloom weaves.

Paithani sarees, since ages had been known as precious garments, handwoven in silk and gold, for those with discerning and refined tastes and has been coveted in Maharashtra as a precious heirloom which is passed down from one generation to the next. Legend has it that in olden times the Paithani was traded in return for gold and precious stones. This truly royal fabric is still woven in the traditional ways and is renowned as the “Mahavastra” – the great, royal fabric, fit to be worn at weddings and special occasions. No wonder its been one of the most important piece in any girls wedding trousseau.

Of all the handlooms being woven in Maharashtra, Paithani remains the most well known for its intricate weaves and richness. The art of Paithani weaving is almost 2000 year old and have evolved over this period. Flourishing in the town of Paithan, from where the name also originates, the motifs and designs on Paithanis have been heavily inspired by paitnings and sculptures found in the Ajanta and Ellora caves. The earliest of the Paithani sarees were woven in the best quality cotton and then progressed to be woven in silk. The easiest way to identify a real paithani weave is to check the reverse of the weave which should exactly replicate the front design and should be void of any loose threads. That being said, a lot of jacquard work is now also incorporated to create more colourful patterns in the Paithani.

The Paithani saw many changes as various dynasties and kings rules Maharastra over the period but flourished the most as the Maratha empire took over. The Peshwa Daftar and other contemporary Maratha records are full of references to the Paithani, its golden brocade in particular and Paithani weaves on clothings like Rumal, Shela, Dupatta, Tivate, Batti, Dhoti, Khann, etc, show that the art was not limited to sarees in particular, and was a highly preferred garment by the royal men as well. Many references of orders for various Paithani garments have been found to be placed during the Maratha empire, and especially during Nanasaheb Peshwa’s period.

Even though now peacocks have become synonymous with the Paithani, so much so that a lot of ladies believe if there are no peacocks then its not a paithani, the Ajanta lotus motif was the most used on ancient paithanis. As time progressed, peacock being the beautiful bird that it is, became the most popular of the designs woven on a paithani. Floral designs have also been very popular, especially during the Peshwa times, but are also expensive to weave. While the peacock (mor), parrot (tota-maina/muniya) are well-known, some of the other designs are the Bangdi-mor (peacocks in a bangle), lotus (kamal/ajanta kamal), Asawali (vine/vel), swan (hans). The most typical lattice style woven border is known as the narali border.  Small buttas woven on a paithani also are in different shapes like paisley (kairi/kuyiri), flower, coin, star etc.

This art of weaving Paithanis was limited to Paithan city till almost the 17th century. Raghujibaba Patil, the founder of Yeola city, took along with him some families from among the expert weavers in the late 17th century from Paithan to Yeola. Besides paying them very handsome salaries, he provided them with all civic facilities. The weavers were sincere enough and devoted enough time and effort to their art and so were successful in making Yeola too a known name in textile markets. After that, Yeola Paithanis were popular next only to the Paithani Brocades of Paithan.

Another big reason for the decline of Paithani manufacturing in Paithan was the deadly attacks on the Paithan city in the late 17th century by the Pindharis. The textile industry fell prey to these brutal attacks and weavers took refuge to Yeola and other towns.

The paithanis, which were woven in gold and silver in during the times of Peshwas, were seen as a fabric fit for royalty and hence unaffordable for the commons. As times progressed and weaving techniques changed, the gold and silver zari was replaced by regular plated zari for economical reasons. The paithani though has not lost its lustre and still is as desired by every girl and woman in Maharashtra  and is also known as the “Mahavastra” – the great fabric for its royal heritage and the intricacy with which its woven. We hope this love for paithanis remain in centuries to come and we are able to carry on this tradition for many more generations.

Paithanis in pure silk and good quality zari – begin at about Rs. 7500/- and can go up to Rs. 5L or more

To buy paithani sarees online please visit

Monday, December 7, 2015

Banarasi Weaving - A Tale as Old as Time

Banarasi Weaving- A Tale as Old as Time
Banaras is one of the oldest cities of India and is well known for religious reasons as well as its exclusive length of silk sarees. The typical sarees which reflect the creative specialty of the weavers in this city are known as “Banarasi sarees”. Over time, the looms and the artistic flare of the weavers have given birth to a wide variety of designs and weaves, using the strands of silk in distinct ways blended with metallic threads or zari and also muslin in some cases. They have been given individual names and have captured millions of hearts all over the world.

Situated in the west bank of the Ganges, the city of Banaras has its own old world charm. The weaving traditions and the tale of silk has been an integral part of its history. However, Banarasi sarees have beautifully adapted to changes in motifs, colours and weave preferences along the flow of time. The history of weaving is deeply embedded in the culture of the city and at the very mention of the name Banaras, silk sarees surely come to mind.

The weaving traditions of Banaras can be traced back to the fourth and the fifth centuries when the handmade textile was preferred with bird, flower and animal motifs by the elite. Later on with evolution of new designs and styles the ‘Butidar’ gained popularity during the thirteenth century. Banaras as a city has seen waves of changes from being a center of Hindu culture to being a seat of Buddhism and also experiencing modifications in the way of life and weaving alterations with the advent of the Mughals followed by the British. Every time the weavers of Banaras adapted to the new flavor flawlessly, with great enthusiasm and expertise. The myriad changes in patterns in fact helped the Banarasi sarees to grow and keep its freshness intact for ages.

The floral motifs reflecting Islamic patterns and the ‘Jaal’ or the Mughal lattice designs gained popularity during the 16th century and within a few hundred years, it was gradually phasing to a fresh style that mirrored close resemblance to geometrical patterns that quintessentially matched the wall papers with an essence of Victorian style.

Designs have surfaced with new combinations and the current trends are a blend reflecting the revival of traditional patterns, beautifully matched with modern hues, preferred motifs and the sense of style.

Different types of Banarasi Sarees:
Since, the existence of typical Banarasi sarees has a long trail, the designs and kinds of the drapes are available in a wide variety. Just a few of them are Katan (Pure silk), Kora (Organza), Jamdani, Brocade, Tanchoi, Jangla, Tissue, Brocade, Cutwork and Butidar.

Katan Banarasi:
The Katan Banarasi is a length of sheer pleasure, woven from pure silk. It’s a true reflection of artwork from the house of Banarasi weavers and has an unparallel and timeless beauty. They typically come with Indian motifs with pure silk threads woven on a handloom.

Organza or Kora is variety of Banarasi saree that looks dazzling with it’s interweave of zari and silk threads. The elegant and rich woven brocade borders of the sarees are uniquely made with different counts of warp and warp counts creating an array of designs.

The silk Jamdani from Banaras is technically a variety of brocade. During the Mughal period, it was exclusively woven for the royalty. In these sarees, the silk threads are generally brocaded with cotton and in very rare cases with zari. The Jamdani, is originally a product that came out of the handlooms of Bangladesh. But the excellent ability of the Banarasi weavers to adopt other designs from different regions helped in quickly gaining expertise in these muslin sarees which were worn by the royalty during the hot summer months.

Banarasi brocades were meant for the royalty and that is why it was created with the sheen of gold and silver. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? But even history gives its evidence, as the brocades are also mentioned in the Rig Vedic period c. 1750-500 BCE with different names where fabric of gold are described ‘Hiranya Vastra’. Since olden times, Indian brocades have been in popular demand even in countries like Tibet, where the fabric is used for traditional rituals.

A new innovation in Banarasi brocade is called ‘Silkora’ which is a blend of silk and cotton.  Brocades use zari with silk threads to form different patterns and are available in different price ranges depending on the intricacy of work and the threads used.

Tanchoi sarees are well known for their unique and traditional paisley designs that are generally woven in zari or metal threads. It is a bridal banarasi saree with an intricately designed pallus showcasing lavishness of the weave and conventional motifs. Other patterns that can be spotted on tanchoi sarees are flowers, birds like peacocks and parrots. These are preferred sarees for cooler months and are worn during festivals or weddings.

The butidar Banarasi sarees are a variety of brocade designed with small ball like motifs woven with zari and silken threads. The different types of motifs or ‘Butis’ as they are traditionally called, include patti (leaf)  buttis, Angoor Bail (grape vine), Jhummar Butti, Bauchar butti, Jhari butti and Latiffa Butti among several others. They have a wonderful appeal with a light and shade effect and are popular choice for special events.

The Banarasi sarees have an endless tale to tell since the traditional cottage industry handicraft has seen change of taste, weaves and motifs through ages with the weavers adapting designs from other regions of the county too including Bengal and Gujarat. However, the handloom industry is facing a slow death and being replaced by the power looms. The higher weaving cost and the cheaper imitation of Banarasi silks is pushing this work of art towards extinction. It’s every Indian woman’s dream to equip their wardrobe with at least few kinds of Banarasi, and choosing the handloom versions will permit the age old textile craft to survive the test of times.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Get Groovy With Pure Silks This Diwali!

There is absolutely no need to especially highlight the importance of Diwali, when it comes to dressing up, for the Indian woman. The festive occasion itself inspires everyone to flaunt their best attires. What can be better than the good old loom woven lengths of pure silks? They are not only a treat to the eyes but also a pleasure to wrap around. Receiving guests, visiting friends and relatives adorned in heavy handloom silks surely stir in an extra bit of enjoyment to the event. Especially when people praise your choice of silk, that’s the moment of ‘sheer joy’ only a lady can understand! Alternative fashion trends come and go but the authentic handloom silk never lose its luster.

Indian handloom sarees starting from the age old Banarasi, Paithani, Kanjivaram, Chanderi, Patola and their likes have always been the most preferred ‘festive time’ sarees. Heavy golden temple borders, peacock design bootis, lotus motifs are some of the most graceful embellishments offered on authentic loom weaves. Diwali drapes demand something more than the ordinary events. It’s surely the time to flash some bright colors and gaudy drapes. If you want to know what the trending hues are this season then let us keep you informed that the general move is toward the cooler and softer side of the color spectrum. An assorted, ethereal mix of understated bright shades, bold and beautiful natural hints of green, blue and yellow is what is in demand. White, black and shades of red never go out of style. If you are the kinds who prefer the not so jazzy sarees, there’s good news for you. has plenty of pure silk sarees in the show case that are designed without zari bootis, yet flashes a superior look.

Break away from the monotony of the everyday rigmarole and pamper yourself while the festive mood is in the air. Pair your saree with suitable accessories and the diva look comes easy the traditional way!

Indian sarees are known world over for their grandeur and extravagant display of arty traditions and that’s the reason why it is no more restricted to India during festivities but globally women have started adorning these graceful lengths of silks while the festive spirit is on.

Paithani sarees, are one of the choicest silks that India has to offer. Their splendid colors and intricate motifs suit any special occasions whether it’s Diwali, a wedding or a family get-together. Hand woven in the looms in a small town called Paithan in Aurangabad, these paithani silk sarees are made of very fine silk. The blend of silk and zari is usually woven on the principles tapestry. The most attractive Paithani sarees come with motifs like peacock, flower pot, parrot, swan and lotus designed on the pallu, border as well as bootis all over the length.

This Diwali, be a head turner with the classy conventional look adorning your pretty self with a hint of sophistication and grace. Checkout the special Diwali collection and you might just come across your dream saree!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Traditional Silk’s the Choicest Attire for Navratri

Traditional Silk’s the Choicest Attire for Navratri
Everyone loves keeping with up with the current trends but no matter what the fashion world follows, festive occasions surely demand something traditional. Yes! The conventional silk sarees with heavy zari border, temple pallu and peacock motifs definitely take a front seat when it comes to celebrating social occasions like Navratri, fun filled Dandiya and Garba evenings with friends and family.

Authentic handloom has no parallel and that’s a proven fact. Gaudy colors laced with gorgeous motifs grab the eye balls anytime, anywhere. Who would not like to be the show stealer in gatherings and show off their rich choice? Selecting from a range of handloom silk sarees that India has to offer makes the platter varied and luring for the fashion conscious. Paithani from Maharashtra, Kanjeevaram from Tamil Nadu, Chanderi from Madhya Pradesh, Banarasi from Uttar Pradesh are just a few examples of the rich culture and art work that India has to offer., caters to your festive needs through the amazing collection that mirrors the essence of Indian traditional sarees. A blend of excellence in design and quality, the collection has much to offer in terms of weaves and tasteful hues and color combinations.

Looking back at the Indian mythology and the Veda’s, the Goddesses, who are acknowledged as the source of power, prosperity and knowledge also adorned the classy drapes that bring out femininity, grace and a glimpse of confidence. Navratri, the time of the year when the Devi is worshiped, demands suitable attire that truly speaks of heritage and culture. What can be better than a heavy border silk handloom saree at an occasion like this?

The special Navratri saree collection in our showcase has something for everyone, the admirers of flashy colours and heavy zari work as well as the ones who like it muted and simple. With a special attention to Paithani, which we specialize in, the range offers not only the typical patterns but also something that’s awe inspiring and new. The exclusive drapes come directly from the weavers loom with innovative style elements blended well with the quintessence of age old traditions.

New trends come and go, but silk sarees are an evergreen choice that’s never replaced. Every woman’s wardrobe deserves to be equipped with some glamorous drapes which even without too many accessories can grab attention and make a woman look beautiful. Not only in India, but ‘silk saree fever’ is catching up globally and Paithani is a forerunner. Keep the tradition going and make your presence felt even in the crowd choosing the choicest of shades.

Keeping in mind the budget aspect, the range has been designed from close to Rs. 8000 up to Rs. 25, 000 and beyond. Each saree that you come across in the showcase are value for money and are unique. Our online saree outlet is a fantastic alternative for those whose busy time table does not allow them to visit the brick and mortar outlets. Pamper the woman in you and enjoy every bit of festive mood this season!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Wardrobe Must-haves: Traditional Handloom Sarees

Saree though essentially an Indian outfit has now gone international. Almost every state in India has got something special to offer in terms of weave, designs and patterns. The classical drape has evolved over the ages and is still revolutionizing. The Indian handloom is much in vogue and is a topic of discussion in fashion circles. The different weaves and designs echo excellent artistry, fine craftsmanship the rich Indian culture.

Starting from daily wear to bridal dressing, sarees are considered an essential part of a woman’s wardrobe in many countries now. This blog post is a tribute to the different handloom pure silk sarees of India which uphold some of the most elegant designs with the warp and weft of their tradition, blending threads to create inspirational lengths of fabric.
Most of the handloom sarees across the nation can considered as ‘good to go’ in any occasion but some of them simply grab the eye balls and are best known as bridal or party wear.

Let’s just take a peek into some of the most desired occasional wear sarees which every woman would love to have in their wardrobe.


Kanjeevaraam sarees have their origin in a place called Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu. These are traditionally handloom woven sarees. The sarees usually have distinct wide contrast temple borders that matches the length of body adorned with different motifs, checks or stripes. These sarees are usually woven from pure mulberry silk with motifs like peacocks, flowers, leaves, swan, mangoes and more. The price is usually determined by the intricacy of design, pattern, colour, gold or zari thread work. Kanjeevaraam sarees are usually worn on special festivals or weddings. It’s surely an essential addition to an Indian bride’s trousseau and can also be chosen as an excellent formal party wear.


Chanderi weaving culture has a long trailing history. According to mythological stories this weaving started somewhere between the second and the seventh century AD. The weave is particular to Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh and are generally made from three kinds of fabrics, cotton, silk and silk cotton which combine a fine blend of both the natural fibers. The motifs that adorn these traditional sarees include flowers, coins, peacocks and different geometrical patterns. This handloom gained popularity in the thirteenth century and became a much traded fabric during the Mughal era.

The best part about Chanderi sarees are that they come in different degree of ‘dressy look’. The lighter designs woven in cotton or silk can be worn for formal parties or occasions like festivities. The heavier designs on silk may be an ideal drape during weddings.


Banarasi sarees are most probably the best known bridal sarees. These drapes were originally woven exclusively for the royal families. These were length of fabrics woven from pure silk and real gold and silver thread. The weaving of one saree took as long as an entire year to be completed. Marked by their exemplary artistry, Banarasi sarees can be chosen from a range of Jamdani, cutwork, butidar, vaskat, jangla, tanchoi and the tissue. These silk drapes are considered as one of the perfect wedding sarees even today.


The Patola sarees originate from Patan in Gujarat. This weave was once considered to be distinctly for the autocracy but later on became a favourite with the Gujrati women. The motifs which usually adorn these sarees include flowers, dancing figures, parrots, elephants and geometrical designs.

In the modern parlance, Patola sarees are regarded as excellent party wear and a must have for a brides trousseau.


Paithani sarees are typical to a small town Paithan, in Maharashtra. These are essentially silk sarees with a traditional peacock motif and some golden work with either zari or silk thread. These dressy drapes are now available in a variety of colour combinations with multiple motifs like lotus, swans and geometric patterns. Great as wedding sarees, Paithani's are considered to be the richest saree weave of Maharashtra.

Whatever may be the weave, colour or style of the handloom silk sarees, they will always remain in fashion reflecting the grand cultural heritage of India.

Visit us at