THE GRAND PAITHANI

by Shatika, February 15, 2016

The brocade weaving centres of India were developed in and around the capitals of kingdoms or holy cities because of the demand for expensive fabrics by the royal families and temples. Rich merchants of the trading ports or centres also contributed to the development of these fabrics. Besides trading in the finished product, they advanced money to the weavers to buy the costly raw materials that is silk and zari. Paithani sarees were once only worn by the royalty as pure gold and silk yarns were used and they were very so rich that only they could afford the cost of a paithani.

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Today the dazzling, richly woven, multi-hued Paithani sarees are a part of the wedding trousseau of every Maharashtrian bride, including the elite, industrialists and political families. Each Paithani sari is about six meters long and includes a piece of material for a blouse. The main feature of the saree is its border and the pallu (the loose end of the sari), which is richly decorated with motifs woven with gold and silver threads. Apart from the extensive use of silk threads, what makes a Paithani saree, so unique, are the motifs used and the combinations that are created by interweaving yarns of different colors, an art that is mastered after much practice. The body of the saree is most often plain or has tiny motifs of lotus flowers, a dancing peacock or small parrots.

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The Paithan village has a rich cultural history and the Paithani saree has evolved over the years. To be coveted and loved as a precious saree, to keep for generations.

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