20 Apr 2017

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Handloom Sarees of Chanderi

India has a rich cultural heritage, right from the festivals, food, languages, India is a true example of unity in diversity. According to the regions, the apparels are worn also vary across the country. But one apparel doesn't change and that is a saree, although the style of wearing a saree may change depending on the region.

To top them all, handloom sarees in India have a charm of their own. Basically, a handloom is a machine used for weaving, so a handloom saree is a saree made by weavers on a machine by hand. You can check this video to get an idea of how that's done. Although many types of looms are involved in making a handloom saree.

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Handloom sarees is a traditional, ancient textile art of India. Handloom is a family tradition to weavers of India for whom handloom sarees is their bread and butter. Each region of India has a peculiar handloom saree which is unique in terms of the yarn or warps and wefts used for making the saree as well as the design and motifs used. But we will not go deeper into all types of handloom sarees but would rather know more about Chanderi sarees.

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Whenever I hear the word handloom the next word that comes to my mind is a saree. As stated earlier, saree has been worn by Indian women since ages and it adds to the beauty of an Indian woman. I remember my Mom's first handloom saree that is a Chanderi saree which was orange in color. Way long back as a kid, I used to believe that since it had a golden zari, it's called Chanderi 😜. Now so many years later I know how dumb I was ☹️.

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Chanderi, a town in Madhya Pradesh is known for its handloom sarees, hence the name Chanderi sarees. Handloom sarees from Chanderi are famous for the mix of silk and cotton. Chanderi sarees produced use three kinds of fabrics, pure silk, cotton silk and Chanderi cotton. Before Industrial revolution, weavers used to make Chanderi sarees out of hand spun cotton. After 1930, they discovered Japanese silk which later was inculcated in warps of cotton sarees.

Chanderi sarees have distinguishing light-weight, glossy feel, and transparent texture. The motifs are uniquely made up mostly of geometric shapes, peacocks, flowers and traditional coins. The zari is golden or silver made up of fine silk.

The weavers of handloom sarees are indeed our heritage who put in long, pain-staking efforts of making each handloom saree a masterpiece. Did you know handloom sector is second largest economic activity after agriculture? It is important to preserve our heritage of handloom sarees which is diminishing with the onset of machine prints and ever evolving technology. Hope I was able to provide the right information about handloom sarees and especially about Chanderi sarees.
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