I have been writing about (sari-nation) and refering to the importance of silk sarees (timelessness). So lets go into the details of the types of silk and how to style them write so you can shine at the next shaadi 😉
In India, sarees differ from region to region just like our traditions. But for now lets take a sari safari :
1. Kanjeevaram : a typical weave of kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu its the most famous silk from all of the south. Its a thick brocadish silk with a sheen from the way its woven. Popularized by bollywood actresses its also the most expensive. The gold shines on its own and is a heavy silk saree basically with borders or temple borders but now comes in different varieties as per the changing times.
Style tip : this Saree is very heavy and shiny so jewellery should be minimalistic but with less shine. The blouse can be contrasting to give the outfit more colour, appeal and trendiness.
2. Banarsi : coming from its namessake city in Uttar Pradesh, it is the most popular silk saree and is ideally a part of every bridal troussea. This saree is thicker silk often infused with brocade and gleaming zari work. Intricate threadwork of designs ranging from floral, animals, brocade to architecture. The threadwork is duller than the silk.
Style tip : since the saree is so elaborate they look best with muted blouses, metallic colours look good too or you can opt for the saree colour. Jewellery should be one coloured as a variety may look too shiny and bright. The saree has to be the focal point because of its sheer beauty.
3. Tussar : tussar silk is crisp and flowy and comes from all regions in different varieties. These sarees have a distinctive gold sheen and are very light weight. They have thread work or prints on them and use contrssting colours.
Style tip : since the colours are many the blouse should be a single colour of one of the design colours. Jewellery can be heavier as the saree is light weight, this is a good option for the summer months due to the airy fabric.
4. Paithani: originating from Maharashtra and often worn by traditional Marathi brides, paithani sarees are known for extravagant aanchal though the saree overall only has borders. In olden times, real gold and silver threads were used for the weaves. Anchals have intricate threadwork of flora and fauna traditionally.
Style tip : these sarees have a silky shine and are plain overall. Traditionally worn with a solid coloured blouse of the border. To add an extra oomph try pairing it with a similar print blouse as the aanchal in one of the bold colours used on it. Kundan and gold jewellery complete the look.
5. Orissa silk : orissa produces the finest silk in the country but has different varieties. Moga, pasapalli, temple, bomkai, ikat, tissue, sambalpuri and different tribal silks make these sarees unique because of the weave and the work. They don’t have too much shine and are softer and lighter and the silk is also more breathable.
Style tip : designs are simple and aanchal is heavy so the blouse can be brighter than the saree shade in a bold colour. Chunky jewellery looks good and ethnic with these sarees.
6. Kashmiri silk : silk threads mixed with pashmina gives rise to the exquisite silk sarees with elegant kashmiri embroidery. The fabric is soft and glides but adorned with borders and lovely aanchal work.
Style tip : this saree is simple but very elegant and blouse becomes a centre piece of colour . Plain brocade silk or sequin blouses would work well to add the needed shine. Jewellery should be a solid colour so it does not rake away from the beautiful embroidery. This saree is warmer than all other silk sarees due to wool blend.
Jamdani dhakai silk
7. Baluchari : originting from Murshidabad in West Bengal these are machine loomed silk sarees with a China silk texture. Lustrous silk fabric but mostly having prints of Bengali tribes or floral intricacies. Overall printed saree with printed borders and have elaborate panel work on the aanchal. Now even adorned with motifs giving it a royal look.
Style tip : blouse should be monotone or maybe even dull metallic to enhance the beauty of the saree. Single colour jewellery with stone would make your royal look even more exquisite maybe only opt for big earrings and thick kadas.
8. Chanderi: these sarees are woven from ancient times in Chanderi, Madhya Pradesh. They are light and translucent in nature. Popular for its pastel shades, simplicity and thin metallic borders, this breathable saree has been in vogue for a while especially during rising temperatures.
Style tip : plain sarees are easy to style but remember to do it right. Printed blouses look better but brocade choices could be debatable. For subtle sexiness try a sequined or embellished low cut choli blouse. Jewellery should be understated or maybe use a heavy necklace as a focal point.
9. Maheshwari : these sarees get their name from the town of Madhya Pradesh where they are woven. Traditionally silk was used but over the years these sarees have become more popular because of their cotton blend also known as cotton silk. The fabric is very light and airy with a tight weave of lustrous geometric zari borders. The uniqueness of this saree is the reversible border which means that the saree can be worn from both sides. Their designs were traditionally inspired by the walls of the Maheshwar fort. They have a wide variety of patterns including chattai, diamond, chameli (jasmine) and brick. Vegetable dye shades of green, purple, pink,gold and brown are used and normally come in dark hues.
Style tip: simplicity is elegance is epitomized by the sarees so keeping that tone the blouse can be montone of one colour complimenting the saree. Keeping it simple even with jewellery will work with this look.
10. Khadi silk : popularized by Gandhiji this yarn is spun on the charkha. Also known as ‘Raw Silk’, these are sarees are cooling in summer and warm in winters due to their unique weaves. Popular designs are prints of mango booties, hand paintings or even borders. Not extremely formal but are good to wear during functions, they have a dull sheen in their threads.
Style tip : since these sarees are simple and more casual printed blouses look trendy but in contrasting colours. Jewelery should be complimentary and not too elaborate.
I haven’t elaborated on all but only the most popular styles. Bandhini and patola are prints which are also on silk sarees making them very sought after. Brocade is a design of silk sarees which is the most popular and found in all types especially kanjeevarams and banarasis.
The beauty or exquisiteveness of the silk is based on its weight. The sheen, print and intricacies are the other important factors while selecting one. I personally find that the blouse is what makes or breaks a saree so pay special attention, ensure it compliments or contrasts and only if the saree is plain then maybe overshadows the saree. Just the fabric and design is not important but the entire cut actually shows the beauty of the blouse you can find your perfect style in all buttoned up.
Silk sarees have also become a status symbol, so the price has become pivotal to exclusiveness of the saree. The vivah pattu is the most expensive saree mainly due to the Raja Ravi Verma painitings depicted on its aanchal.
Personally I think silk sarees look good on everyone irrespective of age and body type. They are timeless and some can even be family heirlooms based on their exquisitiveness. I plan to have an excellent collection of all the unique silk sarees so go ahead start your own and dress like royalty.
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