Draped in heritage: Exploring the diverse weaving styles of handloom sarees - Hindustan Times

Draped in heritage: Exploring the timeless beauty of handloom sarees and their diverse weaving artistry

Jun 07, 2023 02:22 PM IST

Unveiling the magic of handloom sarees: Journey into the diverse weaving styles, where threads tell stories of tradition, artistry, and elegance.

The world of handloom sarees is a treasure trove of artistic excellence, rich heritage, and timeless elegance. Each thread, intricately woven by skilled artisans, tells a story of tradition, craftsmanship, and cultural significance. From the vibrant Kanjeevarams of South India to the delicate Banarasis of the North, handloom sarees are a testament to the artistry and diversity of India's weaving traditions. Let's delve into the mesmerising world of handloom sarees and explore the different weaving styles that have captivated hearts for generations. Get ready to be enchanted by the magic of handloom sarees and discover the exquisite beauty that lies within each meticulously crafted masterpiece. (Also read: 8 Beautiful regional sarees of India you must have in your wardrobe )

From the vibrant Kanjeevarams of South India to the delicate Banarasis of the North, handloom sarees are a testament to the artistry and diversity of India. (Instagram)
From the vibrant Kanjeevarams of South India to the delicate Banarasis of the North, handloom sarees are a testament to the artistry and diversity of India. (Instagram)

Diverse Weaving Styles of Handloom Sarees

"Handlooms, steeped in antiquity and revered through the annals of time, have been an integral part of India's cultural tapestry. Handlooms hold a deep-rooted association with Indian deities, as each colour is often associated with a particular deity, green silk saree for Mahalakshmi, yellow for Saraswathi. This sacred connection has elevated hand-woven sarees to a revered status, embodying femininity, spirituality, and a profound connection to cultural traditions. Renowned for their elegance and grace, hand-woven textiles serve as exquisite expressions of artistry," says, Karthik Monju Selvan, Co-Founder and Creative Director, Drapery Silk.

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He further shared with HT Lifestyle, "The magnificence of the Indian handloom industry lies in its diversity and the distinct weaving techniques practised across the nation. Each region boasts its own unique style, reflecting the cultural nuances and traditions of its people. It is an industry that provides livelihood to countless artisans, standing as the second-largest employer in rural India. The handloom tradition breatheslife into communities, preserving traditional craftsmanship and serving as a testament to the remarkable skill and artistry of the weavers."

"In the mystical land of Tamil Nadu, where weaving clusters paint a colourful tapestry of tradition, a remarkable gem shines brightly. Arni weaves a story that intertwines grace, elegance, and a touch of ethereal magic. Arni's skilled artisans, like master storytellers, breathe life into each delicate thread, crafting timeless pieces that capture the essence of beauty," says Karthik.

Weaving Techniques:

Here are some weaving techniques suggested by Karthik Monju Selvan that make your six yards look timeless:

1. Korvai weaving: Korvai weaving is a revered traditional technique originating from Tamil Nadu, India, where a main weaver and a helper work in tandem to create exquisite silk sarees that are emblematic of the region's rich heritage. The hallmark of Korvai sarees lies in their thick zari borders, woven with metallic threads, which represent the grandeur and opulence associated with these garments. The body of the saree, woven separately, showcasing a contrasting colour to the border, resulting in a visually captivating interplay of colours.

2. Jacquard weaving: Jacquard weaving allows weavers to achieve intricate patterns and designs on woven fabrics. The technique involves using a Jacquard loom, which enables the weaver to control each individual warp thread, allowing for a high level of precision and complexity in the woven patterns.

3. Petni weaving: Petni weaving is a traditional technique where two sets of warp, either of varying colours of the same yarn or different yarns altogether, are fused together. It is a labour-intensive process that requires intricate craftsmanship.

4. Jangla weaving: The technique used in Jangla weaving involves intricately weaving floral creepers and vines into the fabric using metallic threads called zari. This requires great precision and skill to achieve the desired level of detail and intricacy. The result is a fabric adorned with shimmering metallic motifs, showcasing the artistry and expertise of the weaver.

5. Zari to zari weaving: Zari to Zari weaving is a technique where zari yarns are used to warp together one or both ends of the fabric. This method is commonly employed in the creation of handwoven sarees. By incorporating zari yarns in both the warp and weft, the resulting fabric acquires an added sheen and elegance. Traditional brocade sarees typically use zari as the weft yarn, while silk is used for the warp. However, in the zari-to-zari method, the inclusion of zari in the warp adds an extra level of shimmer and sophistication, creating a saree that stands out with its enhanced lustre.

6. Veldari: Veldari is a weaving technique that involves the horizontal placement of additional warp yarns, often using zari yarns, in a spaced-out format within the body of a saree. These additional warp yarns are inserted during the weaving process to create a distinct design element. The spaced-out placement of these yarns results in intermittent glimmers of shine and texture throughout the fabric, adding a touch of elegance and visual interest to the saree.

Silk sarees manufactured in Arni are predominantly using a mix of all of the above-mentioned techniques.

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