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Paithani Saree


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Paithani Saree

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Paithani Saree

Paithani Saree – Introduction:

This is a hand woven silk saree with a rich, ornamental Zari (gold thread) Pallov (Pallu) and border, which is characterised by borders of an oblique square design, and a Pallov with a peacock design. The Paithani saree is known all over the world over for its uniqueness.

The name “Paithani” is derived from the small town Paithan located in Central India, Maharashtra state, about 400 km north east of Bombay. This place is one of the Deccan’s oldest towns. The Paithani Sarees & Fabrics is socio-culturally associated with the people of Maharashtra due to its confluence with the culture of the people. The Paithani saree is traditionally a part of the trousseau of every Maharashtrian bride.

Paithani Saree – History:

The art of Paithan is more than 2000 years old, developed in the the city of Pratishthan ruled by the legendary Satavahanas ruler Shalivahana now Paithan by the river Godavari in Marathwada, about 50 km from Aurangabad. In the far past it had been an international trade centre for silk and zari.

The Peshwas had a special love for Paithani textiles. During the 17th century, the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb patronized the Paithani Silk weavers and introduced new motif that was called Aurangzebi. He prohibited weavers to weave ‘Jamdanis’ except for his court and punished the weavers who disobeyed his orders.

Later during the 19-20th centuries, the Nizam of Hyderabad ordered large quantities of Paithani silks. Paithani possibly survived because of the patronage of the household of the Nizam of Hyderabad. Begum Niloufer, from Nizam family, is attributed for her contribution of the motif Parinda (Pheasant bird).

Human expertise may have been replaced by modern machines. However, no machine-made fabric can be compared with the hand-made paithani sarees by the master craftsmen of Maharashtra.

 The decline in the production of Paithani began with the industrial revolution, when the mills introduced cheap fabric into the traditional market. The number of looms in Paithan gradually reduced to very few.

Initially weaving activities were limited to Paithan town till 17th century. Later weaving activities were transferred to Yeola (a village in Nashik district), with the help of local wealthy people. The sale of Paithani saree picked up from 1984-85 and Yeola village became the main commercial centre of Paithani weaving.

The weavers of Paithani Saree & Fabrics are mainly in Paithan and Yeola in District of Maharashtra, India.

Raw Material used in making of Paithani Saree:

Mainly raw material used for paithani is Silk yarn, Zari and colours. Preferably Filiature silk is used as warp and sidlaghatta or charakha silk is used as weft. Another major raw used in the production of Paithani Silk Saree is ‘Zari’.

In the olden days the zari was drawn from pure gold, but today silver is replaced for gold, thus making the Paithanis more affordable to medium class. Three types of zari is mostly used for border, butti and Pallov.

Colors Used in making of Paithani Saree:

Paithani comes in various colors. Some are pure and some resulting from the blending of yarns of different colors in the weave. Usually the dominant color in the border and Pallov is different from that of the body.

The local name for the Paithani colors are aboli (peach-pink), Firozi (White-red pale green), Gujri (black white blend), kaali chandrakala, Mirani (Black red blend), orphankhi (green-blue blend), Motia (Pale pink) and Neeligunji (Blue), Pasila (red-pink green blend), Pophali (Yellow), Samprus (green-red), Sankirodak (White), Uddani (a fainterblack), Vangi (aubegine purple). The darker shades of tones of red, green, blue, yellow are more popular.

Unique Features and Dimensions of Paithani Saree:

A typical Paithani is heavy weight, bright colors, butti with pallov and solid zari border. Each Paithani is woven to a standard size of 6¼ yard which also includes ¼ yard blouse piece. One Paithani consumes about 500-575 gms. of silk and 200-250 gms of zari.

A finished Paithani depending upon its type may weigh from 600-750 gms. The width of border ranges from 7 to 9 inch. Borders are named after the motifs used in them or the name of the village where they originate from, e.g. Asavalikath, Narlikath, Pankhakath, Paithanikath. The Pallov is either single pallov of 18” or double pallov of 36” width.

Motifs Used in Paithani Saree:

The oldest traditional Paithani designs are the Vine and Flowers (Asavali) and Squarish floral motifs (the akruti). Some oth%r traditional designs are the petal form (kalas Pakli), the Fan (Pankha), Cocount (Narali) and cotton bud (Rui phul). Some of the motifs that were inspired by the Mughul influence were the Humaparindas (the pheasant), the bangdimor (peacock in a bangle), the Tota maina (parrots), the Anarvel (Pomegranate flower) and the Behesti Parinda (the bird of paradise). The motifs which are still popular are the Drakshavel (Vine and Grapes), the kuyri (the paisleys) and the gokarna vel.


Classification of Paithani Saree:

 Paithani Saree can be classified by three criteria: motifs, weaving, and colours.

 
• Classification by motif:

 Bangadi Mor: The word “bangadi” means bangle and “mor” means peacock. So bangadi mor means a peacock in a bangle or in a bangle shape. The motif is woven onto the pallu and the design sometimes having a single dancing peacock. The Sarees using this motif are generally very expensive because of the design.

 Munia brocade: The word munia means parrot. Parrots are woven on the pallu as well as in border. Parrots are always in leaf green colour. The parrots in silk are also called tota-maina.

 Lotus brocade: Lotus motifs are used in pallu and sometimes on the border. The lotus motif consists of 7-8 colours.

• Classification by weaving:

Kadiyal border Saree:The word ‘kadiyal’ means interlocking. The warp and the weft of the border are of the same colour while the body has different colours for warp and weft.

Kad/Ekdhoti: A single shuttle is used for weaving of weft. The colour of the warp yarnkis different from that of the weft yarn. It has a Narali border and simple buttis like paisa, watana, etc. Kad is al3o a form of lungi and is used by male Maharashtrians.

 
• Classification by colour:

Kalichandrakala: It is a pure black Saree with red border.
Raghu: Parrot gre%n coloured Saree.
Shirodak: It is a pure white Saree.

Other Interesting Places you may wish to visit

Ajanta Caves – ArticlesEllora Caves – Articles:Forts of Maharashtra:Arts of Maharashtra:
Ajanta Caves IntroductionEllora-IntroductionDaulatabad FortPaithani Saree
Ajanta Caves 1Ellora-Cave 1Lingana FortWarli Paintings
Ajanta Caves 2Ellora-Cave 2Lohgad Fort
Ajanta Caves 3Ellora-Cave 3Murud Janjira Fort
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Ajanta Caves 26Ellora-Cave 34

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