Paithani saree is becoming popular all over the world because of its uniqueness. In fact, it is commended as one of the most beautiful sarees in the world. Nearly every bride, especially in Gujarati and Maharashtrian families, chooses a paithani saree to wear on their special day.
Today, we explore the world of this special saree. You’ll learn amazing facts about paithani silk saree, types of paithani saree, the cost of getting paithani saree, pieces of jewelry that go with paithani sarees, the specialty of paithani saree, among others. Let’s begin!
What is Paithani Saree?
Paithani sarees are named after the paithani region in Maharashtra state, where they are woven. The saree is handwoven to perfection using the finest of silks and cotton.
What sets part paithani saree is its unique weaving technique.
Paithani saree is woven in a simple pit or throw shuttle frame loom without having any designing devices. During the weaving process, the picks are not moved directly from one end to the other end of the saree, width-wise, but the weft yarn of small lengths are returned being interlaced or interlocked with the threads of different weft colors as per design.
The paithani saree’s signature pallu features an intricate peacock motif or a golden zari fabric. Paithani sarees are also found in contrasting borders and base with zari in the border, and pallu and the motifs of flowers, chandeliers, and birds are in colorful weave design.
What is a Paithani Silk Saree?
Paithani silk saree is a rich fabric that employs pure silk threads and silver dipped zari. It is a brocade saree that is completely handcrafted with the traditional tapestry technique.
Paithani silk saree is a splendid combination of pure silk and fine silver zari, exquisitely handwoven and adorned with beautiful motifs where the craftsman creates beauty through mental imagery.
The main material used for weaving paithani silk saree is mulberry silk yarn and zari thread. Additionally, filature silk is used as warp, and chandrakala silk is used as weft. Paithani saree is also made from pure gold and silver zari. The saree has a showy display that makes it both special and high-priced.
Finally, the paithani silk saree is woven in several colors such as black (kali chandrakala), light black (uddani), yellow (pophali), blue (neeligungi), a combination of green, red, and pink (pasila), a blend of green, white, and red (pheroze), and a mixture of green and red (samprus) among others.
Types of Paithani Sarees
Paithani sarees are classified into three categories: motif, weaving, and coloring
Classification by motif
These types of paithani usually have designs of birds such as parrots, peacocks, and flowers. They are usually woven using gold threads of silk. Here are the examples;
Munia brocade: Munia means parrots. This type of paithani saree has parrots woven on the pallu and in the border. Normally, the parrots are in leafy green color.
Bangadi mor: Mor means peacock, whereas Bangadi means bangle. Therefore, bangadi mor means a peacock in bangle or a bangle shape. This type of saree has a peacock woven onto the pallu, and sometimes the design has a single dancing peacock.
Lotus brocade: Lotus motifs are used in pallu and sometimes on the border. The art on the pallu is usually flowers.
Balgandharva Paithani: This type of paithani has meenakari butting all over the saree.
Tissue Border Paithani: Paithani with tissue border have different designs on pallu such as peacock, lotus, and parrot, among others.
Classification by weave
Kad/Ekdhoti: This paithani uses a single shuttle for the weaving of weft. However, the color of the warp yarn is different from that of the weft yarn. Ekdhoti has a narali border and simple butting such as paisa (coin) and watana (peas).
KaDiyal Paithani: Unlike Kad paithani, the warp and weft of the border of this type of paithani are of the same color, while the body has different colors for warp and weft.
Classification by color
This paithani saree group is well known for the rare light and shade effect produced by blending two different color threads during the weaving process. These include;
Raghu: This is a parrot green colored sari
Shirodak: Shirodak is a pure white sari
Kali chandrakala: This type of saree is pure black with a red border
What is the Cost of Paithani Sarees?
The cost of paithani sarees vary depending on the type of paithani and the country you are in. however, the estimated prices of paithani sarees (5.5m, 6m, and 6.3m) in India is as follows;
5.5m (without blouse piece) – Rs 400 per piece (Min); Rs 2500 per piece (max)
6m (with blouse piece) – Rs 800 per piece (min); Rs 4000 per piece (max)
6.3m (with blouse piece) – Rs 750 per piece (min); Rs 2500 per piece (max)
Why is Paithani Sarees Expensive?
Manufacturing cost and time-consuming
Creating the design for a paithani sari isn’t relatively easy. It takes a lot of time and hard work. The making process of a paithani saree can take time. Mostly, it can range from a month to years.
Remember, the craftsman has to fish out skeins of brocade and colored threads from the cupboard, then begin to recreate the design into a sari on his manual loom, one thread at a time. All these processes are realized at the cost of the paithani saree.
The materials used to make paithani are very expensive.
Paithani is a sari made of silk and zari. An example of the material used to make paithani is the Bangalore silk and pure silver zari, which is very expensive. Paithani saree’s body is weaved from pure silk, whereas the pallu and the border are made from pure gold and silver zari. The cost of these materials is rather expensive.
Fashionistas believe that one of the reasons why the paithani saree is expensive is because of the weave. The weave is over 2,000 years old, and it’s usually done in the same technique as the Persian rug. Paithani is an heirloom sari, and once, it was even used as currency because it was so expensive.
How Can We Identify Pure Paithani?
Nowadays, customers get cheated. Common silk saree or semi paithani are often sold under the guise of an original paithani saree. So, be aware!
Below are essential ways to identify pure paithani sarees;
- Each type of saree is unique. No two paithani sarees look the same. This is because paithani sarees are handwoven. However, the design might look similar due to the manual weaving process.
- On the contrary, you will find thousands of the same pieces of machine-made Paithani sarees readily available since they are mass-produced.
- The front and reverse sides of a pure handwoven paithani look the same. That means no threads are coming out from the pallu’s flipped side, as in the case of any machine-made silk saree. During the weaving process, the weaver weaves these sarees on a handloom so that both sides look similar and beautiful, which is not done by any machines.
- Generally, pure paithani sarees have patterns of birds such as peacocks and parrots, flowers, bangles, and geometric character creepers weaved.
- No extra warp or weft thread is applied for designing.
- Pure paithani saree is usually available in basic colors since the threads are dyed in natural dyes.
- A pure paithani saree is heavy and requires a lot more care due to natural dyes and gold and silver thread colors.
- The border of an original paithani saree is often in a particular style. For instance, the munia brocade has parrots woven on the saree’s border.
- Pure paithani saree is relatively expensive compared to other machine-made saree. Therefore, you should always doubt the authenticity of a cheap paithani saree.
Which Paithani is best?
Several types of paithani saree can come in handy for an attractive look. However, we highlight for you the best paithani that you should never miss in your collection.
Here are they;
Hot pink and parrot green bordered saree
This type of paithani saree tops our list because of its richness and grandeur. The saree is a cosmic zari design with a mix of parrot, algae green, and a pink tinge. The muted self-design that subtly elevates the golden motif will add value to a bride’s trousseau.
Burnt orange and Diya motifs design
This type of paithani is made of violet Diya motifs with hues of blue and bottle green zari borders, making it a stunning piece. This paithani saree is among the best because the burnt orange color gives the gaudy element out of the equation.
Indigo blue with peacock monogram
Peacock always symbolizes elegance and beauty, and therefore, this type of paithani is not an exception. The saree has a deep azure blue color with a golden polka dots design, a golden thread border embellished with peacock motifs and a thin lavender lining. Just perfect for a wedding ceremony!
Olive green and gold lotus design
What makes paithani stand out all about the exquisite zari, vibrant colors, and a hefty border (mostly in gold). This type of paithani checks all the elements of an authentic paithani saree. It has akruti print throughout the body, a resplendent pallu with a lotus design, and colored floral zari work.
Black and green saree with Meena booti design
This paithani saree is an excellent canvas that uplifts any design and optimizes the beauty of conception. This combination of black silk saree with meena booti (a standard design of paithani saree) and the regal gold and green border is just a stunner. It’s one of the best because you can team it up with a bold green bindi and jhumkas for an exquisite look.
What is the Specialty of Paithani Sarees?
There are several reasons why paithani sarees stand out among other apparel. The following explains why paithani sarees are so special;
Sources of Inspiration
Paithani handicraft is considered a matter of pride and prestige, especially in Maharashtrian. Brides are considered to be all-rounders if they’re well trained in the craft of embroidery of the paithani.
Since it is a dowry luxury, the paithani saree depends on special occasions such as weddings and other such ceremonies. Brides normally wear paithani sarees to suit the occasion.
Paithani saree is a global appeal
Paithani sarees have gained popularity beyond the boundaries of Maharashtra. It has managed to capture people’s hearts in India, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, among other countries.
Paithani sarees are very suitable. Women can use the attire in any formal occasion and celebrations such as get-togethers, corporate bashes, social parties, and other events. Paithani saree’s vivid hue makes it the center of attraction on any occasion.
Adorned with special dye colors
Paithani dyes are formed from shade colors such as lavender, red, purple, ochre, sky blue, Prussian blue, magenta, peach pink, royal blue, violet red, Pasila, Gujri, and Mirani.
The manufacturing of the paithani saree is extremely exceptional. It requires skilled labor and artisans having in-depth knowledge of the fabric, its threads, and dyes. Also, it’s woven with extreme caution as the silk threaded sticks are very fragile. This makes the paithani saree unmatched with any other fabric of its kind.
Unique motif designs
Another factor that makes the paithani sari so unique is the motifs used and the combinations created by interweaving yarns of different colors. The paithani saree’s body is often plain or has tiny motifs of lotus flowers, a dancing peacock, or small parrots.
Paithani saree requires a special way of maintenance. It is dry cleaned to keep it away from harsh sunlight, which might damage its silken threads. The saree’s gold zari may get frayed upon tough washing.
What Jewelry Goes with the Paithani Saree?
Since paithani is a typical Marathi style, it’s important to go for Maharashtrian pieces of jewelry. You can also try out some of the traditional jewelry to complement your paithani saree.
Below is a list of common jewelries that goes with the paithani saree;
Women wear this type of ornament on their noses. It complements the paithani saree, and it’s often worn on special occasions such as weddings or Pooja. Nath consists of pearls and studded with a pink or white stone in the middle. One of the famous nath studded with basra pearl and emerald is the Bramhani nath.
This is a choker-style necklace woven with the gold beads very closely. This neck piece comes with adjustable dori that you can adjust according to your neck’s size. It creates a sense of aestheticism when teamed with paithani saree.
This type of jewelry is a long necklace that has many layers of golden bead strings. A beautiful mohan mala has multiple layers of golden beads, varying from 2-8 layers.
This jewelry is commonly known as the coin necklace or temple necklace. It’s a beautiful necklace with coins decorated with intricate carvings of the Goddess Laxmi and Lord Ganesha. Lakshmi haar is usually worn with a paithani saree during religious ceremonies.
This is the most common jewelry among Maharashtrian women. It is as special as Mangalsutra. This jewelry is made with golden beads (Jav Mani) and 21 leaves shaped pendants. Every pendant has its own specific meaning; 10 pendants define the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu, 2 pendants have ruby and emerald stone, 8 pendants are for ashtamangal, and 1 pendant is taviz.
The antique bun pin (ambada) is tied around the hair. Also, ambada is a traditional hairstyle tied in a round shape. The hairstyle together with the jewelry complements the paithani saree.
This is a traditional ear cuff studded with pearls. Sometimes you’ll find it fully golden to beautify your ears.
This is another traditional pearl choker style necklace crafted from pearls.
Like other traditional necklaces, the rani haar is set with three pearl string layers and a pendant in the middle. It gives the wearer an impressive, attractive, and gorgeous look when worn with a paithani saree.
It’s also known as armlet or bajuband. Traditionally, women wore the jewelry on both armlets, but now it’s worn only on a single armlet. It has a flat studded design with stunning stones in the middle.
Women like to wear this type of ornament on the helix part of their ears. It’s commonly worn among Maharashtrian and Northern women. It’s usually designed with pearls, but now there are many fancy diamonds and oxidized bugadi available in beautiful designs.
Where Can You Buy Paithani Sarees?
You can either buy your paithani saree through an online shop or walk-in store.
Here are a few online shops and walk-in stores that sell high-quality paithani sarees. You can buy your paithani sarees anytime. Just visit either of the shops.
Shree Vaishnavi Silk and Paithani sarees
Prune, Maharashtra, India
Gayatri Paithani and Silk sarees
Prune, Maharashtra, India
Bengaluru, Karnataka, India