CHANDERI SAREES BY ARTSYINDIA
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SAREES OF MADHYA PRADESH: AN ODE TO ELEGANCE AND TRADITION
Sarees hold a cherished place in India's cultural heritage, and each region boasts its unique weaving techniques and designs. Among these, Chanderi sarees from the small town of Chanderi in the Ashoknagar district of Madhya Pradesh stand out for their timeless elegance, delicate craftsmanship, and captivating allure. These ethereal fabrics have not only won the hearts of women across the country but have also transcended borders, becoming a global symbol of grace, tradition, and refinement.
A GLIMPSE INTO THE RICH HISTORY:
The history of Chanderi town dates back to ancient times, believed to have been crafted as early as the 13th century. Located amidst the picturesque landscape of the Vindhya Range, Chanderi emerged as a prominent center for textile production, thanks to the patronage of various ruling dynasties. Over the centuries, the art of weaving these sarees has been meticulously passed down through generations, preserving its traditional techniques and handloom practices.
CRAFTSMANSHIP AND WEAVING TECHNIQUES:
Chanderi Silk Clothing are renowned for their lightweight, sheer texture, and luxurious feel. The average time a skilled weaver dedicates to crafting a single saree can range from 4 days to an astonishing 28 days. The essence of these sarees lies in the intricate weaving process and the combination of three types of fabric—Cotton, Silk, and Zari:
- Chanderi Cotton Sarees: Crafted from pure cotton in both warp and weft, these traditional sarees are ideal for everyday wear and offer exceptional comfort. They often feature delicate zari work or contrasting borders, and some are adorned with Ajrakh prints or block prints, adding a touch of sophistication to their simplicity. The price range for these sarees varies between Rs. 1500 to Rs. 3000.
- Chanderi Silk Sarees: These sarees are the epitome of opulence and grandeur. Pattu Silk, a lustrous silk material, is used for both warp and weft, making them the preferred choice for special occasions and celebrations. The silk threads are intricately woven into fine patterns, often featuring elaborate motifs and designs. The price range for these sarees varies between Rs. 5500 to Rs. 30,000.
- Chanderi Silk Cotton Sarees: This blend combines the elegance of silk in the warp and the comfort of cotton in the weft. These sarees strike a balance, making them a popular choice for formal gatherings and events. The price range for these sarees varies between Rs. 2500 to Rs. 8000.
TIMELESS DESIGNS AND MOTIFS:
One of the defining characteristics of this artform is the intricate traditional designs and motifs that adorn them. Common patterns include peacocks, floral motifs, geometric shapes, and celestial elements like the moon and stars. These designs are often delicately woven into the fabric using the traditional 'extra weft' technique, giving the sarees a unique charm. The colorful threads provide a wide range of hues, including Red, Black, White, Cream, Yellow, Golden, Purple, Pink, Green, and grey.
THE ZARI MAGIC:
The allure is further enhanced by the use of zari, a thread made of fine gold or silver. Zari work involves skillfully incorporating metallic threads into the fabric, adding a touch of glamour and opulence to the overall appearance of the saree. The shimmering zari work creates a beautiful contrast against the soft fabric, making it a favored choice for marriages, weddings, and festive occasions.
EMBRACED BY FASHION AND BOLLYWOOD:
Sarees have not only captivated the masses but have also found their way into mainstream fashion and Bollywood. Renowned designers have seamlessly incorporated Chanderi fabric into their collections, showcasing the versatility and timeless appeal of these sarees. Bollywood celebrities such as Kareena Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Sridevi, Vidya Balan, and many others have gracefully adorned these silk sarees both on and off the silver screen, popularizing them among younger generations.
PRESERVING TRADITION IN MODERN TIMES:
Despite the advancements in technology and ever-changing fashion trends, Chanderi weavers have admirably kept their ancient art form alive. However, like many traditional crafts, Chanderi weaving faces challenges in the modern world. It is imperative for us, as consumers, to actively support the handloom industry and choose to embrace the elegance, heritage, and sustainability of these handwoven sarees.
To promote the production and sale of Chanderi Silk, the Central Government established a Handloom Park and an exhibition hall in 2008. This park, sprawled across 10 acres, houses 240 looms operated by over 400 weavers, facilitating the continuation of this art form.
In recognition of their unique origin and cultural significance, Chanderi Handloom received the GI (Geographical Indication) tag from the Department of Industrial Property and Intellectual Property India (DPIIT) of the Government of India in 2019. A GI tag is a prestigious designation that links a product to its specific place of origin, emphasizing its authenticity and distinctiveness.
Chanderi Ethnic wear represent not only pieces of fabric but also the embodiment of artistic heritage and the skilled craftsmanship of India. Adorning oneself with a pure and authentic Handloom saree is akin to draping in a piece of history and tradition, celebrating the timeless beauty and elegance that have been cherished for centuries. As we continue to honor our cultural roots and heritage, this art form will undoubtedly remain an evergreen symbol of grace and sophistication for generations to come.
HOW TO WEAR A CHANDERI SAREE
What You'll Need:
- The Saree
- Matching blouse
- Petticoat (underskirt)
- Safety pins
- Bobby pins
- Well-fitting bra
- High heels (optional)
Step 1: Choose Your Saree Style:
- Decide how you want to drape your saree: traditional style, Gujarati/Bengali style, or Lehenga style.
Step 2: Prepare Your Base:
- Wear the blouse and petticoat. Make sure the petticoat is tied securely around your waist and reaches your ankles.
Step 3: Begin Tucking:
- Take the loose end of the saree and tuck it into the petticoat at your right hip, not too tight.
Step 4: Create Pleats:
- Hold the saree near your navel and make 5-7 pleats, making sure they are the same width and facing left.
Step 5: Tuck the Pleats:
- Tuck the pleats into the petticoat, slightly to the left of your navel. Keep them straight.
Step 6: Make the Pallu:
- Drape the remaining fabric over your left shoulder and secure it with a safety pin.
Step 7: Adjust and Neatening:
- Check that the saree isn't too tight or loose around your waist.
- Ensure pleats are neat and pallu drapes nicely.
- Use bobby pins to secure pleats and pallu if needed.
Step 8: Finishing Touches:
- Add matching jewelry, like earrings, bangles, and a necklace.
- Style your hair to match the saree and use hairpins if desired.
- Optionally, wear high heels for an elegant look.
- Practice makes perfect.
- You can use pre-stitched pleat sarees for convenience.
- Safety pins are helpful.
- Ask for help if needed.
Wearing a saree can be graceful and comfortable with these steps.
HOW TO SHOP FOR A RIGHT SAREE ONLINE
Here's a guide to help you choose the right Saree for different occasions:
1. Chanderi Cotton: These are light and comfy. Wear them for regular days or work.
2. Chanderi Silk: These look fancy and luxurious. Perfect for festivals, weddings, and parties.
3. Chanderi Silk Cotton: These are a mix of silk's richness and cotton's comfort. Good for office parties and semi-formal gatherings.
4. Sarees with Zari Work: These are all about glitz and glam. Wear them for weddings and big celebrations.
5. Sarees with Delicate Prints: These have subtle designs. Great for casual events like brunch or daytime gatherings.
6. Sarees with Traditional Motifs: These have classic patterns. Wear them for cultural and family events.
7. Plain Sarees with Minimal Embellishments: Simple and elegant, great for office meetings and formal events.
8. Sarees in Bold Colors: These are vibrant and eye-catching. Perfect for parties and stylish get-togethers.
Remember, what you like and what feels comfortable is important too. You can also add jewelry, shoes, and makeup to complete your look for any occasion.