The 12 Different Types & Styles of Handloom Sarees in India


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A women wearing an handloom silk saree

The 12 Different Types & Styles of Handloom Sarees in India

When it comes to timeless Indian attire, nothing quite matches the grace and elegance of a handloom saree. In this blog, we will dive into the enchanting world of handloom sarees, discussing their origin, special characteristics, the ideal season to flaunt them, and more. So, let's unravel the magic of these handcrafted treasures, shall we?

Before we delve into the diverse world of handloom sarees, let's start with the basics.

What exactly is a handloom saree? 

A handloom saree is a traditional Indian saree that is meticulously rafted on a hand-operated loom. Each thread is woven by skilled artists, making every piece a unique work of art. These sarees are known for their durability, comfort, timeless beauty and beautiful drapes. Now let’s see the different types of handloom sarees in India

15 different types of traditional and modern saree draping styles to try.

1. Handloom Cotton Sarees

Handloom cotton sarees, a quintessential part of Indian heritage, embody simplicity, comfort, and timeless elegance. They are perfect for daily wear, owing to their breathable fabric. Whether it's the lightweight Bengali Tant or the vibrant South Indian Kasavu, these sarees are a must-have in every woman's wardrobe. These sarees are a testament to the skilled craftsmanship of Indian weavers who have been weaving stories in every thread for centuries.

They are woven in various regions across the country, each contributing its unique design and weaving techniques. Some of the prominent handloom cotton saree styles include Bengali Tant, Maheshwari, Kota Doria, Gadwal, and Venkatagiri, among others. Each of these sarees has its distinct charm and regional influence. Cotton is a sturdy and long-lasting fabric. Handloom cotton sarees are built to withstand the test of time, making them excellent heirloom pieces that can be passed down through generations.

Handloom cotton sarees are a top choice during the scorching summer months in India. Their simplicity and elegance make them suitable for formal occasions like corporate meetings and cultural events.

Read about the comfort of cotton sarees and the different types of cotton sarees.

2. Handloom Silk Sarees

Handloom silk sarees hold a special place in the hearts of Indian women. These exquisite creations are renowned for their opulent texture, intricate designs, and timeless beauty. Some of the most famous handloom silk saree styles include Banarasi, Kanjeevaram (Kanchipuram), Mysore silk, Paithani, and Baluchari, among others. The primary allure of handloom silk sarees lies in the silk itself.

The silk used is often of the highest quality, resulting in a lustrous and rich fabric that drapes beautifully and exudes opulence. Designs on handloom silk often incorporate elements from nature, mythology, and culture, giving each saree a unique narrative. Many handloom silk sarees feature intricate zari (gold or silver thread) work, adding an extra layer of grandeur and sophistication to the design. Known for their durability, handloom silk when cared for properly, can last for generations, making them prized possessions and heirlooms.

Handloom silk sarees are typically worn during special occasions and celebrations. Their opulence and grandeur make them perfect choices for weddings, festivals, religious ceremonies, and other formal events. Due to their delicate nature and the use of zari work, it's recommended to dry clean handloom silk sarees to preserve their quality and colours.

3. Handloom Linen Sarees

Handloom linen sarees, with their understated charm, minimalist appeal and airy comfort, have gained popularity among women looking for a fusion of tradition and contemporary fashion. These sarees are celebrated for their simplicity, breathability, and versatility.

Handloom linen sarees trace their roots to various regions of India, including West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. Linen, a natural fibre made from the flax plant, has been used for weaving textiles for centuries. Handloom linen sarees are incredibly lightweight, making them easy to drape and carry.

This feature adds to their comfort, making them a preferred choice for daily wear and casual occasions. Handloom linen sarees are most popular during the scorching summer months in India. While they are perfect for daily wear and informal occasions, their versatility allows you to dress them up for semi-formal events, such as office meetings, gatherings, or casual parties.

4. Handloom Sambalpuri Sarees

The Handloom Sambalpuri Saree is a gem in the treasure trove of traditional Indian handwoven sarees, originating from Odisha. It is known for its vibrant colours, intricate motifs, and the artistry that encapsulates the essence of Odisha’s cultural heritage. 

The weavers of Odisha have passed down their skills through generations, making Sambalpuri sarees a symbol of the state's cultural heritage. The hallmark of a Sambalpuri saree is the use of the Ikat technique, wherein the yarns are tie-dyed before weaving.

This method results in distinctive patterns and designs that appear on both sides of the fabric. They are adorned with unique motifs inspired by nature, tribal art, and traditional Odia culture. Common motifs include elephants, conch shells, fish, flowers, and geometrical shapes, each with its own symbolic significance.

5. Handloom Chanderi Sarees

Handloom Chanderi sarees are a timeless symbol of grace and refinement, originating from the historic town of Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh, India. With a legacy of weaving that dates back to the Vedic period. The Chanderi saree is believed to have been patronised by various dynasties, including the Mughals.

It reflects the synthesis of Persian and Indian weaving techniques, making it a unique and cherished part of India's textile heritage. There are two types of Chanderi - Chanderi Silk and Chanderi Cotton. The fine fabric is known for its sheer and translucent texture, which adds an ethereal quality to the saree. They feature delicate zari (metallic thread) work and intricate brocade patterns.

These embellishments, often found on the borders and pallu (the decorative end), enhance the saree's opulence. The sheer elegance and opulence of Chanderi sarees make them perfect for festivals, weddings, and other celebratory events. Chanderi sarees with subtle designs and pastel colours can be a great choice for formal events, such as office parties or corporate meetings.

6. Handloom Pochampalli Sarees

Handloom Pochampalli sarees, often referred to as "Ikkat" sarees, are a mesmerising example of geometric precision and vibrant colours. Originating from the town of Pochampalli in Telangana, these sarees have gained global recognition for their unique tie-and-dye weaving technique. The defining feature of Pochampalli sarees is the Ikkat weaving technique, where patterns are dyed onto the threads before they are woven into the fabric.

This results in precise, geometric designs that are consistent on both sides of the saree. The sarees often feature traditional motifs like diamonds, squares, circles, and stylized flora and fauna. Pochampalli sarees are woven in both silk and cotton, making them suitable for various occasions and weather conditions. Silk Pochampalli sarees are favoured for formal events, while cotton ones are ideal for casual wear.

7. Handloom Kalamkari Sarees

Kalamkari is an ancient Indian art form that dates back more than 3,000 years. The word "Kalamkari" is derived from two Persian words: "kalam" (pen) and "kari" (work). It involves using a special pen or brush to hand-paint intricate designs and patterns on fabric. 

The Handloom Kalamkari Saree is a mesmerising masterpiece that combines the art of painting with the grace of traditional Indian attire. These sarees are celebrated for their intricate hand-painted or block-printed designs, often depicting mythological tales, intricate motifs, and vibrant colours.

Originating from the regions of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Handloom Kalamkari Sarees are a true testament to the rich artistic heritage of India. Kalamkari sarees are either hand-painted or block-printed. Hand-painted Kalamkari involves skilled artists using natural dyes and brushes to create intricate designs.

Block-printed Kalamkari involves carving intricate designs onto wooden blocks, which are then used to print the designs onto the fabric. Kalamkari sarees are versatile and can be worn on various occasions. The artistic richness and vibrant colours of Kalamkari sarees make them ideal for festivals, weddings, office and cultural celebrations.

8. Bengal Handloom Sarees

Bengal Handloom Sarees, also known as "Bengal Tant Sarees," have a long and illustrious history, dating back to ancient times and originate from the state of West Bengal, India. The name "Tant" comes from the Bengali word "tantu," which means warp and weft. These sarees are traditionally woven using a handloom, showcasing the weaver's artistry and dedication.

Bengal Handloom Sarees are primarily woven from fine cotton yarn, making them lightweight, breathable, and comfortable to wear, especially in the hot and humid climate of Bengal and also in other parts of India. Many Bengal Handloom Sarees employ the traditional Jamdani weaving technique, where patterns are woven directly into the fabric.

This meticulous process requires skilled artisans and results in delicate and intricate designs. Bengal Handloom Sarees are versatile and can be worn on various occasions.

9. Khadi Handloom Sarees

Khadi, a term coined by Mahatma Gandhi, refers to fabric that is spun and woven by hand. The Khadi movement was an integral part of India's struggle for independence, as it encouraged self-sufficiency and boycotted foreign-made textiles. Today, Khadi Handloom Sarees continue to be produced by skilled artisans across India, preserving the legacy of the Khadi movement.

Khadi Handloom Sarees is a celebration of simplicity, sustainability, and the spirit of self-reliance. Khadi Handloom Sarees embodied the essence of sustainable fashion long back even before it was a term. Khadi Handloom Sarees are versatile and suitable for a range of occasions, from casual wear to formal events. They can be dressed up or down depending on the styling.

10. Banarasi Handloom Sarees

Banarasi Handloom Sarees are the crown jewels of Indian textiles, celebrated for their intricate craftsmanship, luxurious fabrics, and timeless elegance. Originating from the ancient city of Varanasi (formerly known as Banaras), these sarees are a symbol of India's rich cultural heritage and artisanal excellence. The art of weaving intricate designs on silk and brocade fabric was patronised by Mughal emperors and has been down through generations of skilled artisans in Varanasi.

Banarasi Handloom Sarees are primarily woven from high-quality silk, known for its lustrous texture and regal appearance. The silk used in these sarees is often sourced from South India. Banarasi Handloom Sarees are ideal for a range of occasions from weddings, bridal wear, and celebrations, to formal events.

Check out our 20 Banarasi Saree Blouse Designs and pair them with your handloom banarasi saree for the perfect attire.

11. Handloom Begumpuri Sarees

Handloom Begumpuri Sarees, also known as "Begampur Sari," are a testament to the beauty of simplicity and the excellence of traditional Indian handloom weaving. Originating from a small town in the Hooghly district of Begumpur in West Bengal, these sarees are celebrated for their minimalistic charm, comfort, and versatility. These sarees typically feature plain or solid-coloured bodies with subtle borders and pallus, devoid of intricate patterns or heavy embellishments.

Begumpuri sarees are predominantly woven from fine cotton yarn, making them exceptionally lightweight, airy, and comfortable to wear. They are especially suitable for warm and humid climates. The simplicity and comfort of Begumpuri sarees make them an excellent choice for daily wear. They are perfect for work, college, or casual outings.

12. Handloom Uppada Sarees

The town of Uppada, situated in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, is the heart of Uppada saree weaving. This traditional craft has been nurtured and passed down through generations of skilled weavers in the region. Handloom Uppada Sarees have earned their place in the textile heritage of India for their exquisite craftsmanship.

Handloom Uppada Sarees are primarily woven from pure silk, giving them a luxurious and lustrous appearance. The silk used in these sarees is often sourced from various regions, including Bengal and Karnataka. The use of natural dyes enhances the depth and richness of the colours, making Uppada sarees visually appealing.

Despite their rich appearance, Uppada sarees are surprisingly lightweight and comfortable to drape. This quality makes them ideal for long ceremonies and events. Uppada sarees, with their opulent appearance and intricate designs, are a popular choice for brides. They exude elegance and are often worn during wedding ceremonies. They are also suitable for other festive celebrations and formal events.

In conclusion, handloom sarees carry India's rich cultural heritage and craftsmanship. Whether you're drawn to the timeless beauty of silk or the understated elegance of cotton, there's a handloom saree for every occasion. So, why wait? Get your hands on these elegant handloom sarees from Tulsi Silks and add a touch of tradition to your wardrobe.

Tulsi Silks, your ultimate destination for exquisite silk sarees, caters to both Chennai and beyond. Explore our timeless handloom collection featuring Banarasi, Uppada, Gadwal, Patola, Ikat, Chanderi Cotton, Printed Cotton and Linen

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