Paithani Sarees, Maharashtrian Paithani Saris, Handwoven Paithani Sarees

The famous traditional silk sarees of Maharashtra are the Paithani sarees. A hand-woven sari having vibrant colours and intricate designs, a paithani saree is considered as a valuable possession in every Maharashtrian family. Paithani saree is named after the Paithan town in Aurangabad Maharashtra state where the saree is woven by hand. No Maharashtrian wedding ensemble is complete without the Paithani saree. Paithani Saris give a very elegant look with style and royalty. Teamed up with the appropriate accessories, these saris add enormous grace and beauty.
Paithani Saree of Maharashtra
Paithani Sarees' Fabric
The Paithani sarees are made of pure silk in rich, vivid colors and decorated with gold embroidery. In the modern Paithani sarees, silver threads coated with gold are used instead of pure gold threads. It takes time to create a paithani saree, ranging from a month to years and hence the saree is expensive. Even in today's advanced world, the methods of weaving Paithani have not changed at all and this saree can cost anywhere between R. 6000 to Rs. 500, 000. The saree is also considered holy in Indian tradition. The paithani saree is indeed a legacy of art and is the glory of Maharashtra.

Paithani Sarees: Designs and Motifs
Paithani saris are reputed for their distinctive intricate weaving in pure silk and gold. The paithani sari has played a meaningful role in weaving together the cultural fabric of Maharashtra.  The specialty of the paithani is its border and pallav. The Paithani silk saris are one of the richest gold brocade saris with stunning gold patterns woven in them. Known the world over for its uniqueness. It is one of the most beautiful saris in the world. It is beautifully crafted, with an exquisite zari border. Distinctive motifs are woven into the sari. The designs available in the border and pallus are like tara (star), kuyri (mango), mor (peacock), paisa (coin), pankha (fan), popat (parrot), kamal (lotus), rui phool (flower), chandrakor (moon), kalas pakli (petal), narli (coconut) and so on. In the pallu, the base is in gold giving the whole sari an embossed look. Paithani sarees are generally decorated with the gold dot or coin motif. 

Popular Colours of Paithani Sarees
The paithani sarees have a special dhoop-chaav (light and shade) effect which is created by bringing two different coloured silk threads. The sarees are available in plain as well as spotted designs. Among other varieties, single colored and kaleidoscope-colored designs in the Paithani sarees are also highly demanded. The kaleidoscopic effect is produced by using one color for weaving lengthwise and another for weaving widthwise. The shades vary from vivid magenta, peacock greens and purples. The dominant traditional colours of vegetable dyes included blue, red and green, black and white, black and red, pink, purplish red and yellow.

Buying tip: Classification of Paithani Saree
If you are interested in buying a paithani saree, consider the following classifications. 
  • Classification by motif: Here the popular motifs are Bangadi Mor, Munia brocade and the lotus. The word "bangadi" means bangle and "mor" means peacock. Lotus motifs in 7-8 colours are used in pallu.
  • Classification by weaving: There are two ways of weaving the saree. The Kadiyal border Saree in which the warp and the weft of the border are of the same colour while the body has different colours for warp and weft. The other weaving technique is the Kad/Ekdhoti, where a single shuttle is used for weaving of weft. The colour of the warp yarn is different from that of the weft yarn.
  • Classification by colour 
    • Raghu: Parrot green coloured Saree.
    • Kalichandrakala: It is a pure black Saree with red border.
    • Shirodak: It is a pure white Saree.

Paithani Saree Design Gallery
purple paithani sari with woven peacocks on anchal
Handwoven Paithani Saree in Black with Zari Pallu

Handwoven Paithani with Real Zardozi

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