Introduction: Indian handloom sarees are an intricate part of Indian culture and heritage. They come in different varieties, colors, designs, and draping styles. In this article, we will explore some interesting facts about handloom sarees.
- The Costliest Saree Ever Woven:
The costliest silk saree ever woven was sold for Rs. 3,931,627 ($100,021; £50,679) on 5 January 2008. It was made by Chennai Silks, India and features reproductions of 11 paintings by the celebrated Indian artist Raja Ravi Varma. The saree took a total of 4760 man-hours to produce and weighs around 8 kgs. It is flanked by 11 paintings by Raja Ravi Varma, with the main image being a reproduction of Varma’s famous ‘Galaxy of Musicians’.
- Thinnest Saree Ever Woven:
The lightest saree ever woven, weighing only 60 grams, was single-handedly woven by a man named Nalla Vijay, with the help of his brother and his wife of Sircilla village in Telangana. He gifted the saree to Michelle Obama when she visited India. The saree was woven with pure silk thread and took 15 days to complete.
- Draping Styles:
The saree is an unstitched fabric that is draped in tens of ways according to the tradition of each state, especially during festivals and religious rituals. There are traditional styles such as Nivi, Bengali, Gujarati, Maharashtrian, and more. In addition to these, people have started inventing new modern styles.
- Handloom Saree Industry:
The production of handloom sarees is important for economic development in rural India. It takes two to three days to complete a single saree, and several regions have their own traditions of handloom sarees. According to the 2010 census, 44 lakh families are engaged in hand weaving, and in 2011-12, the handloom industry wove 6900 million square meters of cloth.
- Varieties of Handloom Sarees:
There are more than 100 varieties of handloom sarees, with each region having its own unique style. Some popular varieties include Ikat from Odisha and Telangana, Kalamkari from Andhra Pradesh, Bandhani or tie and dye from Gujarat, Patan Patola from Gujarat, Brocades from Uttar Pradesh, Zari work from Madhya Pradesh, and Kanjeevaram from Tamil Nadu.
- Rich Pallu:
The pallu is the end of the saree and features intricate designs either hand painted or hand woven. It is an important part of the saree and adds to its overall beauty.
Emotions Attached with Sarees:
There are several emotions attached to sarees. For example, a toddler holds his mother’s saree end (called pallu) and walks behind her, which gives him/her tremendous security. When a woman sees her lover, she blushes and hides her face behind the pallu and sees through it mischievously. When a woman is ready to fight or do some serious work, she tucks her saree into her petticoat. When a mother sees her child crying, her first reaction would be to wipe the tears with her pallu.
Indian handloom sarees are not just pieces of cloth, but an integral part of Indian culture and tradition. They are a symbol of elegance, grace, and beauty. Each saree tells a story and reflects the cultural diversity of India.