The traditional Indian silk saree is more than just an outfit. Silk is a status symbol worldwide and is a part of many traditions in different cultures.
But India is possibly one of the major countries where silk holds a special place in every indigenous culture aspect. India is culturally diverse, but every state’s culture has unique silk attire ingrained in it.
The silk saree is part and parcel of the quintessential Indian woman and is usually a staple in every woman’s wardrobe. In all stages of life, of both women and men, silk plays a key role. One of the significant silk apparel that has unending demand in India is the silk saree.
Kanchipuram silk saree, Banarasi silk saree, Uppada silk saree, Patola silk saree, Assam silk saree, etc. There are a plethora of designs for the Indian woman to choose from. This range of options is perhaps one of the primary reasons the Indian silk saree enjoys global patronage today.
The silk saree is an exquisite addition to any wardrobe. It beautifully drapes around a woman’s body, accentuating her shape with demure grace.
Why Is Silk So Important?
While several stories trace the origin of silk to China and other parts of Asia, it is undebatable that Indian silk sarees have somewhat of a monopoly on the silk fashion industry. Ranging from scarves, sarees, shirts, veshtis, angavastram, and much more, silk adorns all genders and ages.
One of the primary reasons for this fact is the versatility of the silk yarn. The silk yarn comes in various forms depending on the worm’s feed, the kind of cocoon, and the extraction process.
Each type yields a different form of silk, which allows for thousands of variations in textures and weaves. The traditional saree is a long-running and flat fabric; each saree is unique only in design, color, texture, print, material, etc.
The basic form of the saree varies very little across cultures within India. Silk is the prime yarn for bringing variety in this apparel; with different silk types, people can get different kinds of sarees.
Another reason silk plays a primary role in Indian traditions is because of its value. Silk has had undeniable value since its initial discovery. Even today, silk is regarded as a class above other fabrics.
Because of it being one of the first fabrics (alongside cotton and wool) to come into existence, silk has a history with the human race, making it an inseparable part of many human traditions.
The use of silk in ceremonies is a concept passed down through several generations of Indian heritage, continued till today.
The Indian Silk On The Global Stage
While silk sarees have persevered through ages within India, they have also garnered global attention. Some of the famous Indian silk sarees that enjoy a global fan base are,
Kanchipuram Silk Saree
The Kanchipuram silk saree is perhaps the most famous silk saree originating from Tamil Nadu. It is discernible with its broad borders and zari work, indigenous to this part of the subcontinent.
The body of the saree and the border are usually in contrasting colors, and the zari sports floral or mythical motifs. The pallu is heavily gilded with zari work, portraying the craftsmanship of Kanchipuram silk weavers.
Banarasi Silk Saree
The Banarasi silk saree originates from Banaras in Uttar Pradesh (Varanasi). This saree stands apart with its silver and gold brocade work, which adds a sheen to the material, catching the light exquisitely.
The designs and patterns usually sport a repetitive motif of floral or Mehendi designs in zari. This elaborate zari work tends to make the saree heavy and falls beautifully along a woman’s curves.
Assam Silk Saree
The Assam silk saree is one of the most coveted silk sarees in India for its finish. The saree gives off a golden sheen when hit by light but otherwise follows most silk sarees’ dual-color or tricolor pattern. The design work is austere but simple, making it one of the topmost silk sarees a woman should own.
Mysore Silk Saree
The Mysore belt in Karnataka is one of the largest silk producers in India, attested by the famous Mysore silk saree. This saree is made by the purest form of silk and the zari work, making for a genuinely opulent outfit. Mysore silk sarees come in bright and vivid colors, perfect for outdoor and indoor occasions.
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Tussar Silk Saree
The Tussar silk saree originates from Bhagalpur in Bihar. This saree is lightweight, making it perfect for everyday and office wear. It comes in neutral or subdued tones, and women generally match it with a brightly colored blouse (depending on the occasion).