In India, the saree maketh a woman. This one garment is appropriate for almost every occasion and purpose. There are so many varieties of materials and so many different styles in which they are available that you can never look the same every time you wear it. However, with designers using chiffon and georgette and crepe and net for their sarees, the traditional Indian handloom market was for a while going through a slack. But today, this is not the case anymore. Handloom sarees are fast regaining their lost glory and so many designers and garment chains are turning to them. Below, five typical traditional sarees that are now extensively worn by Indian women of all ages.
1. Ikkat sarees are traditional handloom sarees characterized by a method of dyeing using wax. Geometric patterns are made on silk or cotton material to give the saree a very smart look. Ikkat sarees are very popular among young working women. Another variant of this, the Pochampally ikkat, is made on a silk base exclusively in south India.
2. Bomkai sarees are also silk based sarees traditionally woven in Odisha. These are characterized by a solid base body color and a very intricately designed border and pallu. These patterns are made in tiny boxes and different colors.
3. Assam silk sarees are the most popular sarees in eastern India. Traditionally known as Muga silk sarees, minimalism is the word that defines them. They are very simple, in light colors generally, and easy to drape, perfect for a casual ethnic look.
4. Baluchari saree is a famous traditional sarees of West Bengal. They are generally matt finished unlike most other silk sarees and that is what makes them stand out among the others. The designs on them are generally episodes from the epics and mythologies. The designs are generally done in the fine quality thread but sometimes it is done in gold or silver zari. It is then known as Sonachuri.
5. In West Bengal, there is a method of fine needlework called, Kantha stitch. This is generally done by hand manually by the rural women of Bengal. From flowers to Radha-krishna to abstract patterns, these sarees are a piece of art. Each of the sarees is hand-crafted and unique to themselves. They are either done on cotton or even silk material. Different colorful threads are used for making the stitches.
With the changing trends in fashion, the famous saying comes to life - “Old is gold”. This line stands true as the age-old traditional sarees are now often considered more trendy than western attires. Sarees are an integral part of Indian culture and these traditional sarees can never go out of fashion. Be it a corporate event or a brunch date, an ethnic look in a traditional saree can never go wrong!