The fascinating multiplicity of handwoven sarees and their dynamics

Sarees produces with hand weaving techniques in India produce a chivalrous allure to the texture of the six-yard piece as well as the person draping it. These pieces are the epitome of cultural richness of the Indian subcontinent in its refined artistry, as well as adept, and top-notch craft. This tradition of production as well as consumption of sarees woven by handloom textile yarns is deemed to be perpetual in the Indian understanding and arena of fashioning vogue. It is loved, donned, symbolized, and experimented within today’s Indian households, as much as it has been in earlier days. The hierarchical flow of Sarees, as a mark of divinity in femininity, has been passed on to daughters by their mothers, as tradition for a long time, as observed in Indian traditions. It is a carefully measured element of investment which further depicts the angelic charm of conventional Indian attire.

It would be an obtuse understatement to say that India consists of a number of handloom eaves and rather foolish to question the diversity of sorts of sarees and their yarn styles. It is affirmative to say that almost every household that produces the six-yard pieces with handlooms have a classification of their own product ranging from thousands of such households in thousands of such regions in India. The coastal southern parts of India, dominantly producing silk sarees, keeping in mind of the humid weather, the mid regions, with harsh summers, weaving sarees in cotton, and cotton blend fabrics, such as Kota Doria, Chanderi, and Maheshwaris, with finally the northern parts of India, which experiences bleak and cold winters, mastering in saree weaving in woolen and cotton-woolen blends of fabrics.

This takes us to a curious for of uncertainty and doubt. It is noted across times that Indian women, however sensitive to fashion trends, as well as collecting recent pieces, are mostly accustomed to stock-piling these sarees, and only wearing a few selective ones. For Indian Immigrants in foreign countries. It is a matter of growing xenophobia against brown skin people, mostly being from the Arab, as well as the South-East Asian countries. However, Indian women are standing up against such stereotype, and donning the streets with colourful and seamless six-yard pieces, and are clearly not ‘Sari’ about it, as rightly put by Malini Nair in her 2016 article in The Times. Although, the curious case now turns up to the women of our times in the Indian households which opt to barely wear all the sarees they own, mainly due to growing ‘hassle-free' and ’comfort’ garment in mainstream fashion. It is also however noted that, now ladies are less aware that in actual, sarees could be worn in more than a hundred drapes, in accordance to its fabric, styling, region, etc. And that, it still remains as top contender to be the coolest garment to wear in tropical seasons. Contemporary women, throughout ages had opted sarees as a daily-wear garment due to its nature of leaving enough space for air ventilation with keeping oneself adequately covered.

 Also, women had experimented with draping styles and actively achieved the right comfort and agility to perform daily and routinely activities. This clearly strikes out the misconception that saree draping and using them as daily wear garments are a matter of hassle. Moreover, the garment itself requires ample air as well as flexible folds to actively sustain its shine and texture which could only be carried out by being brought out of the closet, and worn. This information clearly resolves the generational problem of maintaining equilibrium in quantity and quality in women’s wear, and what better option there is, than the breathtaking handloom six-yard pieces. Such elegance matched with the never-ending need of this generation in experimental clothing could easily fill the void, and revolutionise, traditional clothing dynamics.

Another misapprehension regarding traditional wear and handloom sarees is its inflexibility and in-adaptability to match with the Indian weather. As mentioned earlier, the roots of handloom saree weaving stretch-out to thousands of regions and their respective, as well as distinct products. These styles are extremely elastic and modifiable for different occasions, being casual or formal, and also for different weather conditions. Some parts are known for their rich silk and cotton blended sarees, such as Kanjivaram, Mysore, Pochampalli, Jamdani, Baluchari, Paithani, Banarasi, Bandhini, Sambhalpuri, and more known for their flexibility in draping and their compatibility to distinct weather conditions. Whereas other regions with handloom weaving being their cultural identities such as Himachal Pradesh with woolen blend shawls, Jharkand’s very own Tussar Silk and the extremely attractive sarees produced in the yarn.

It is time to let-off illusions regarding Indian traditional wear, especially handloom sarees and its inability to match-up with comfort and weather caused inconveniences. Indian handlooms are, and have been perfectly capable of considerately apprehending, as well as garnering the needs of Indian women, and producing the some of the finest pieces of garments, the world had ever seen.

1 comment

Nice post

Ankit July 08, 2022

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