A guide to understand which Chanderi saree is for 'you'

Lovingly called 'woven air', Chanderi sarees are a popular choice for the contemporary women of today. Chanderi sarees are born in the heart of India, at a small beautiful historic town called 'Chanderi' located in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. The sarees are skilfully handwoven here and is the primary source of income for the population in Chanderi. It houses about 6000 looms as of today. 

Apart from the handwoven Chanderi saree which is protected under the Geographic Indication Tag, the sarees are machine made in powerlooms and handcrafted with Blockprints, Dabu, Bagh, Sanganeri print, Ajrakh, Bandhini and the list if infinite. It's preferred by both the maker and the wearer due to its lite and glossy texture. 

Amongst these are the recent variety of the hand painted collection Handpainted Chanderi Saree - Chowdhrainwhere pastel coloured chanderi sarees are painted with flowers with delicate free strokes of paint. These sarees are a dream! 

The Machine made handcrafted Chanderis are for you, if the following is your criteria

  • Budget friendly - range from Rs. 1500 onwards
  • Perfect for Casual and work wear
  • Carry the saree 12-14 hours straight without having to adjust at all
  • Prints is your choice without any motifs and zari 

Moving to the Handwoven Chanderi sarees which are a part of almost every house in Chanderi as the looms are fixed to the pit in the houses and one of the family member is always found weaving at any given time of the day. 

Authentic Chanderi Sarees are mostly woven in two varieties, Katan Silk Chanderi and Silk Cotton Chanderi but currently also woven in Tissue and pattu silk. 

Now, let's find out which amongst these are for 'you'

1. Katan Silk Chanderi

Chanderi is known as 'woven air' owing to the fact that they are super lite and gossamer weave amongst all weaves of India and Katan silk chanderi brings that name to Chanderi. 

This category under chanderi is woven with Katan Silk in the weft and Resham in the Warp along with zari border and zari motifs on the body using the extra weft technique. The degumming process doesn't take place here hence its weightless. These sarees were worn by the Royal Families, the Scindhias since like forever.

Here is the checklist:

  • Price ranges from Rs. 5000 and above
  • They are transparent and thats why gossammer!
  • Usually come in woven Nakshi, eknaliya, Banebaar, Jacquard borders. Traditional borders are 'Mehendi lage Haath' and Banebaar 
  • Require a bit of a skill to drape as they are tad bit fluffy and smooth - but once you are settled, no turning back. 
  • Always made with zari, no thread motifs 
  • Best Suited for Occasions, Festivals, Weddings etc. 

2. Silk by Cotton Chanderi

Most popular choice amongst Chanderi is the silk by cotton where the weft is silk and warp is mercerised cotton. The cotton blend makes it very easy to drape and  best suited for summers. This variety is widely available in machine made fabrics for Block printing. 

Here is the checklist:

  • Easy Drape. Period. 
  • Ultimate comfort and a perfect choice for summers
  • Number one choice for the work wear. 
  • Price range from Rs. 2500 and upwards
  • Usually plain zari borders and are woven in variety of motifs from nature inspired flora to jaal of flowers all over the body
  • Its versatile - depending on the motif work it can be carried well on an occasion, to work, to casual everyday wear

3. Tissue Chanderi 

From yardages to sarees these are the shimmery chanderi weave that could stand out in any gathering. Most women love this fabric for the fact that they shine and make a good drape. 


  • Price range from Rs. 8000 and above
  • A little fluffy but a gorgeous drape.
  • Most royal looking of all.

4. Chanderi Cotton


Even though Cotton, the Chanderi weave makes it much lighter and transparent than the usual cottons. This is only available in one design in various colors and without a running blouse piece. This is one of the oldest designs woven in Chanderi and still remains to rule the hearts. 


  • A must for summers because of the lite weight 
  • Most Comfortable cotton saree available
  • Most versatile as it comes with white thread buttis, one can just pair it with any blouse
  • Makes for the smartest and chic workwear

5. Pattu Silk Chanderi


Silky Smooth, Lustrous and exuberant - think of all the adjectives for a saree! Pure Silk by Silk, this variant is the most recent advancement for woven chanderi. From Bollywood Celebrities to Common People this variant is the first choice. Similar in texture to the heavenly Kanjeevarams, these make up for the 'must haves' in your wardrobe. 


  • Price range from Rs. 10,000 and above
  • Its the most lustrous, silky and gorgeous weave of all
  • Usually come in plain zari borders and lovely pastels
  • Super duper easy to drape and maintain 
  • The luxurious feel of the fabric along with light weight again as its a Chanderi - this is the ideal choice for your trousseau 

Apart from the above there are other experimental weaves which Karigars try their hand on and the list is endless. All in all choose any category and you are assured that they are light in weight and comfortable drape. 

Hope you find this guide helpful, let us know what you think in the comments below or email us at hello@chowdhrain.com


Leave a comment