Weddings have a prominent place in the Indian way of life and the traditional saree assumes significance for such a grand event. The wedding saree with all its finery and trappings is specially designed and created for the memorable occasion when vows are exchanged, new relationships are created and a fresh journey into life begins for the wedded couple.
The saree, traditional attire for most Indian women; a national heritage, has today assumed the level of a fashion statement. Indian weddings are special occasions when the saree is displayed in all its dimensions of variety, finery, opulence and one-upmanship.
Silk has always been a popular fabric yarn in all corners of India where mulberry and other forms of silk like Muga, Eri, Tussar are cultivated. Traditionally silk handloom sarees have always been used for special occasions like weddings, traditional festivals and as bridal attire. Nowadays parties, important social events, corporate functions have also become those exclusive occasions meant for the use of silk handlooms.
North or South, East or West, Silk is always the best, is the belief of every Indian woman with the backing of age old tradition which considers it as a fabric material of purity from God’s times.
Let’s see which corner of India offers what for the lady who likes her silks.
South Handloom Silks are famous for their soft feel, rich thread work, attractive motifs and patterns, contrast borders in a wide range of vibrant colours. No South Indian wedding or anniversary function is possible, even today, without the Silk ‘Pattu’ sarees being on display. The bride, the women in the family, relatives, guests who attend, all appear in their resplendent silk sarees of different varieties or traditional styles. It is a fine display of new incorporations of designs, patterns, colours and adorning features like zardozi, ari, gota and other forms of embroidery, kundan work, mirror work, chamki work etc.
There are very many traditional silk handlooms in the south like Mysore, Kanjeevaram, Dharmavaram, Arani, Rasipuram, Venkatagiri, Coimbatore, Pochampally, Narayanpet, Bangalore, Uppada, Gadwal, Mangalagiri Silks. Bangalore and Mysore in Karnataka, India, are famous for their individual brands of silk, especially the Mysore variety, which has since long been cherished for its unique qualities.
Kanchipuram or Kanjeevaram Sarees also have a special place in the fabric world. Like the Mysore Silks, the Kanchipuram Silks are made of pure silk, with motifs having zari of silk threads dipped in liquid gold and silver. The appeal of the Kanjeevaram Silks lies in the elegant broad borders with colours and designs different from that of the body. Typical motifs are sun, moon, peacock, swan, lion and mango. Themes like jasmine flowers scattered between boundaries, parallel lines running across or temple structures are quite popular.
The Northern India of course has the century old Banarasi Saree with its traditional decorative finery and extremely rich zari work in pure gold that is a necessary part of the wedding, the sangeet ceremony, the mehandi rasm, the reception and other grand occasions like parties, festivals like Deepawali, Dushhera, Holi etc.
Chanderi Silks of Madhya Pradesh (MP), are known for their sheer quality, fine texture and marvellous work in art and design. Chanderi Silks have zari brocades with embroidery of different patterns as Zari, Zardosi, Ari, Gota, Chikan, to name a few. Tussar Silk, also known as ‘Kosa’ Silk is ‘wild silk’, of a deep golden colour and good texture, and is from the forests of Jharkhand, Chattisgarh. This fine silk yarn also known as Vanya silk is what is available for the tribals to show their artistry and craftsmanship in hand painted thematic art in eco-friendly colours and exotic batik, sharp and detailed miniature depictions on well-woven Tussar Silk fabrics, known for their zari borders, motifs and the hand crafted designs that enrich them.
Turning eastward we come across Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, the North Eastern states, silken offerings which are a necessary part of weddings. Assam Silks, made from Muga (golden silk), Mulberry Silk or Eri Silk with zari work or multi-coloured threads with patterns like fruits, flowers, diamonds, animals, birds as motifs. Meghalaya is well known for its handloom woven fabrics in. Meghalaya silks in Eri, endi and sometimes mulberry silk are known for their durability and texture, offering canvas for beautiful eye-catching patterns of zari in zardozi, chikan, ari and gota. Fashion prints of batik, block, bandhini lehriya, adornments with kundans, beads, and pearls, together add to the allure of the Meghalaya Silk fabric.
Bengal is famous for its handloom silk saris – fine, smooth, of good texture, airy and
light on the body. Popular for the comfort Bengal Silks are preferred in colours of red, green, yellow, blue and their shades. Silk brocade designs suited to the base colour, are decorated with attractive motifs. Jamdhani hand weaving is a necessary accompaniment for Bengal fabrics where cotton and gold thread weaving create motifs of geometric patterns and floral designs in colourful hues. Dhania Khali and Thangail are popular weaving styles, Nature, the sun, the moon and stars being some of the popular motifs.
Western India has its share of wedding silks in the famous Paithani sarees in pure silk and dazzling golden zari with double colour, shimmering effect and a grand peacock adorned pallu. Besides this jazzy offering from Aurangabad, Maharashtra, the sensational silks of Kota with their fine count weaves and the silky tales of Rajkot in exquisitely designed versions are other delights.
For all varieties mentioned above, and under a single roof, Unnati with an association of three decades with master weavers and their art has it all and much more.
– A social cause of promoting traditional excellence through encouragement of quality handloom sarees in fine silk, cotton and other fabric materials, –
– Providing opportunities for weavers to excel in their craft through brilliant fusion of traditional and trendy,
– Creating awareness of India’s rich heritage in handloom fabrics through novel, innovative and inspiring creations from all corners of India at attractive prices wholesale and detail,
the Unnati zeal and passion for traditional handlooms has not dimmed but increased manifold in its progress forward.
Weddings are a necessary part of life, celebrated with pomp and splendour in all parts of the world. But Indian weddings are celebrated with gusto and gaiety for the Indian society at large to come out in numbers and spend their time in revelry. The silk saris of grandeur that find their place of pride in the Indian wedding and as exclusive as the occasion, make it special for the Indian woman who attend, who utilize this heaven sent opportunity to flaunt their silky treasures, arouse envy and exchange notes for future purchases.