The Complete Guide to 14 Different Types of Sarees From Across India
Introduction: The Origin of the saree and Where It Came From
The saree is the traditional dress of women in the Indian subcontinent. The word saree is derived from the Sanskrit word “sareeka” which means “long piece of cloth”.
The saree has a history that dates back more than 3000 years ago. It was originally worn by Hindu women in ancient India and has been worn by many other civilizations since then. There are many different types of sarees, but they all have a few things in common - they are long pieces of fabric that are wrapped around the body, they can be draped over one shoulder or both shoulders, and can be held together on one side with a belt or pin.
The Different Types of Indian Sarees for Women in India
The Indian saree is the most popular and traditional dress for women in India. It can be worn in different styles such as drape style, shalwar-kameez style, and so on.
Many types of sarees are available for women in India. The most popular are pure Kanjivaram silk, cotton silk, and pure cotton.
Kanjivaram Silk Saree - Tamil Nadu
The Kanjivaram Silk Saree is a traditional silk saree from Tamil Nadu made of pure silk. The saree is popularly worn by brides in South India and is known as Bridal Kanjivaram. It is intricately woven with gold and silver threads, which makes it look very rich and luxurious. The Kanjivaram Silk Saree has a long history and was originally worn by the royals on special occasions. Kanjivaram sarees are one of the most popular and sought-after sarees in India. Kanchipuram is a town in Tamil Nadu, where these sarees were originally made. These silk sarees are made out of pure mulberry silk and are woven with the ikkat technique that gives them their unique patterns and designs.
The Kanjivaram Silk Saree has been around for more than 400 years, but it became popular in the 18th century when the British Raj began to import raw silk from India because of its beauty and craftsmanship, which was unmatched by anything else at that time. It can be paired with any other type of Indian clothing like a Lehenga, Anarkali or Choli. It can be worn at weddings, festivals and other occasions.
Banarasi Saree - Uttar Pradesh
Banarasi Saree is a traditional Indian dress, worn by women of the Indian subcontinent. It is also known as the "Punjabi saree". The term Banarasi is often used to refer to the saree made in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The saree is usually made of silk, georgette, tussar, organza, chiffon, and cotton. The saree can be draped in many ways and can be worn with blouses that are often embroidered with motifs from nature like flowers or birds.
The Banarasi Saree is a symbol of the traditional Indian culture and is one of the most popular sarees in India. It has been worn by women for centuries and has evolved to suit the changing times. The Banarasi sarees are known for their fine weave, intricate patterns and vibrant colours. Banarasi Saree is most often worn as a traditional Indian Saree for weddings, festivals and other special events.
Chikankari Saree - Uttar Pradesh
The Chikankari Saree is a traditional saree worn by women in the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. It is one of the most popular and expensive Indian sarees. Most Indian weddings are incomplete without the bride wearing a Chikankari Saree. The word “chikan” in Hindi means embroidery and “karai” means work. The Chikankari Saree is also known as the "Chikan work" or "chikan embroidery". The Chikankari Saree was introduced to the world by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and became popular during his reign in Punjab.
Chikankari sarees are made with intricate embroidery work, which takes days to complete. The embroidery work on these sarees is done by skilled craftsmen called ‘chikankaris’. It is believed that the chikankari art was brought to India from Central Asia by the Mughals and evolved in India over time. It became popular among the royal families of Awadh, who then passed it on to their subjects.
Chikankari Sarees are very popular because of their elegant and classic look that never goes out of style. They can be worn at any time - be it during a wedding or any other occasion, such as festivals or parties.
Bandhani Saree - Gujarat
The Bandhani Saree is one of India's finest varieties of sarees. It has been worn by Indian women for centuries as a symbol of their culture and heritage. The saree is made of cotton and is made by tying intricate knots by hand.
Bandhani Saree, which means "tie-dye" in Hindi, is woven with intricate patterns and designs. They are believed to have been woven by the wives of soldiers who were away at war during the 18th century. The women would weave these sarees while waiting for their husbands to return home, so they could be gifted to them on their return. The art of bandhani is believed to have originated in the Gujarat region of India.
It is also believed that these Bandhani Sarees are blessed with magical powers to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck to the wearer. Women wear it on special occasions like weddings, festivals and religious ceremonies. The saree is traditionally worn with an unstitched blouse/choli, which can be made from any fabric such as cotton, silk or chiffon.
Nauvari Saree - Maharashtra
Nauvari saree is a traditional Maharashtrian saree that was introduced to the world by the weavers of Nauvar, Maharashtra in India. The sarees are woven with pure silk and cotton thread in a fine weave and are often embellished with zari, embroidery, lace and mirror work. The weavers introduce new fabrics and patterns every year to keep up with the changing times.
Nauvari means "nine-yard" in the Marathi language. The Nauvari Saree is a nine-yard saree with a blouse and petticoat. The Nauvari Saree can be worn on any occasion - be it weddings or festivals.
Tant Saree - West Bengal
Tant sarees are traditional Bengali sarees that originate from Bengal in the east and are usually worn by Bengali women. They are made from cotton thread, which makes them light and transparent. Tants are handlooms used in West Bengal to weave sarees and textiles. The earliest records of weaving sarees in Bengal date back to the 15th century in Shantipur. From the 16th to 18th centuries, the art flourished during the Mughal rule, when it was extensively patronised alongside muslin and jamdani by the royals. Bangladeshi weavers were rehabilitated in West Bengal after the partition of Bengal in 1947.
It was in Phulia, near Shantipur, that these weavers from Tangail (in Bangladesh) found their new home, bringing with them their ancestral weaving traditions. The weaving communities of the Hooghly and Bardhaman districts of West Bengal have developed their own signature styles over the years and are renowned for their Tant saree varieties. Tant sarees can be worn on any day and at any time because they are lightweight and never go out of style.
Bomkai Saree - Odisha
Bomkai sarees originate from Bomkai village in the Ganjam district, but they are mostly produced in the Subarnapur district by the Bhulia community. There have been many fashion shows featuring Sonepur handloom sarees, Sonepuri paatas, and silk sarees that have been identified as Geographical Indications of India.
Bomkai sarees are usually worn for habitual wear, while silk sarees are worn for ceremonial purposes. On the border of the saree, you can usually see a fish design, which is believed to represent success and wealth. There is a lot of thread work in the border and pallu of this piece. Bomkai sarees have a tribal tinge to them and are known for their simplicity. Usually, they are dyed to complement the red, black, and white backgrounds. Despite their originality, Bomkai sarees are now available in a wide variety of designs and colours. Weaving the warps correctly produces multicoloured end pieces with designs such as Lotus, Temple, Square, Tortoise, etc.
Chanderi Saree - Madhya Pradesh
Chanderi is a small town in Madhya Pradesh's northern region. This region is known for its forts, hills, and lovely Chanderi sarees. The artistry behind this six-yard piece makes it popular around the world. The shimmery texture of the fabric is achieved by weaving silk and golden zari into cotton yarns.
Artisans and designers all over the world use Chanderi silk fabric for its fine texture and transparency. Chanderi fabric is primarily handwoven on a handloom with needles with buttis and motifs. It is a long, cotton saree with a weave pattern called ‘chanderi’. The colour of the chanderi saree can vary from white to yellowish beige.
Women traditionally wore it in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, but now it has become popular all over India. There are different types of chanderi like Chanderi silk and Chanderi cotton sarees available on the internet that you can buy online at an affordable price.
Kasavu Saree - Kerala
Kasavu saree is a traditional saree from Kerala. It is a beautiful saree with intricate weaving and embroidery. The pattern of the Kasavu saree usually comes in white and light shades of pink and yellow. There are different types of Kasavu sarees for weddings, festive wear, etc. Kasavu Saree is very popular among Keralite women because it is one the most elegant dresses to wear on any occasion.
The Kasavu sarees come in various colours like black, brown, pink, green, orange etc. Some of the most popular designs are Malaika, Ullukkadam and Nadanthara. It is a floor-length, heavy, pleated garment that takes the form of a skirt. The fabric traditionally used for this type of saree is silk, but nowadays cotton and other fabrics are also used. The Kasavu sarees are usually associated with big occasions such as weddings or festivals, but they can also be worn on any occasion like in temples or at parties.
Muga Saree - Assam
Muga silk is a type of wild silk originating in Assam, India. Muga is a type of silk fabric which is woven with gold and silver threads. The fabric is then dyed to its signature orange-red hue. Muga Sarees are typically worn by women on ceremonial occasions such as weddings, religious festivals, or other special occasions. The most famous type of Muga saree is the one that is worn by the bride on her wedding day.
The origins of Muga Sarees can be traced back to the early 18th century when they were first created in Assam. The weaving technique was developed to produce more durable clothing for the local inhabitants who were engaged in farming and other manual labour-related professions.
A natural yellowish-golden tint and a shimmering, glossy texture distinguish this silk for its extreme durability. They were exclusively worn by the royals. Silk from Muga is highly prized for its fine texture and natural golden gloss, which makes it one of the most expensive varieties.
Phulkari Saree - Punjab
Phulkari Saree is one of the traditional sarees of Punjab. It is a handwoven saree with gold and silver thread embroidery. It is woven with a mix of cotton, silk and gold or silver threads. The phulkari pattern is usually woven on the sarees in the border and usually consists of flowers, leaves, vines, creepers and other natural motifs.
"Phulkari" refers to traditional Punjabi needlework. Despite the flower motif, the designs also incorporate geometric patterns, such as flowers (phul) and shapes (akari). Kurtis, dupattas, stoles, sarees, salwar suits, and juttis are all examples of this style of clothing art. In traditional Phulkari, thick fabrics were used, especially cotton fabrics called khaddar. In modern times, phulkari is done on all kinds of fabrics, including lightweight cotton and chiffon. Phulkari sarees are now available across India and can also be purchased from online stores.