Chanderi, in Ashoknagar district of Madhya Pradesh (MP), has taken the world of fabrics by storm, and for good reason too. Chanderi sarees are known for their light weight, pure texture, elaborate zari border and glossy transparency.
It is the single filature method of weaving and the fineness of the yarn used that produces the outcome of a fabric so sheer and so fine in texture, that it is a tribute to the spirit of the weavers who are the authors of this wonderful creation.
Enhancing the beauty further is the ‘Butti’ or motif, which is an interlaced, hand-woven, shape, consisting of gold, silver or copper coated threads. The bigger version of the ‘Butti’ is popularly known as ‘Butta’. A major difference in the making methods is that the ‘Buttis’ of hand-woven Chanderi sarees, retain their shape and appearance throughout the life of the fabric, with no thread coming out from the ‘Butti’ structure.Chanderi – continued excellence over time despite the changes
Chanderi Sarees can have either silk or cotton as the base fabric. Brilliant floral designs or batik, adorn the cotton version of the saree, while the silk saree has zari brocades with embroidery of different patterns as Zari Zardosi, Ari, Gota, Chikan, to name a few.
Buttis once only hand-woven on the fabric, have been replaced by gold-printed ‘Butti’prints on the silk fabric body.
The elegance, and the grandeur that the Chanderi Saree lends to the wearer, makes it ideal for special occasions, marriages or social functions. It could also serve as corporate-wear.
Known for its sheer quality, fine texture and marvellous work in art and design, the hand-woven variety especially, extracts a lot of patience, dedication and craftsmanship in its making. Today though the power looms have reduced the ardour in the making of the fabric, the difference in quality is still visible.
A weaving art since royal times, this ethnic tradition has still survived the test of time, thanks to the people of Chanderi, as families upon families have whole-heartedly devoted their lives in sustaining it.