Coming right from the central part of the country - Madhya Pradesh,Chanderi sareesare renowned for their unique transparent texture, light weight, warm to bold shades and intricate motifs. Together making it a thing of sophisticated beauty! Available across three different kinds of fabrics - Pure silk, Chanderi cotton, and Silk Cotton, behind it is a deep laden history of its origin and evolution through the years - from being discovered by a god to adorned gracefully by royal households.
Here are 6 exquisite things about the Chanderi that will make for an interesting read and urge you to own a piece of this ageless fabric -
The ‘Chanderi Fabric’ has been derived from the small town of Chanderi located in Madhya Pradesh. The centre of weaving was established in the state around 7th century BC, rose to prominence only in the 11th century when it became an important trade route for Gujarat, Mewar and the Deccan regions. The beautiful state holds a lot of historic and cultural significance!
The weaving of Chanderi fabric gloriously bridges the gap between the traditional and the modern! Although it is said that the fabric came into existence since the 11th century, the Vedic scriptures suggest that it was found by Lord Krishna’s cousin - Shishupal. From the fabricated art being bought in by artists of Jharkhand to developments in industrial revolution, the fabric has gone through numerous stages of evolution. What a moment of pride for anyone adorning this fabric with an intriguing story and history!
The intricate process
How interesting is the fact that - The making of one fully finished piece of a Chanderi sarees takes at least 1 to 2 months for its designing, dyeing to the weaving process.
The cotton yarns are sourced from different parts of the country - Bombay, Ahmedabad , Madurai while pure silk is procured from Kashmir or Bangalore. Even imported from China, Japan or Brazil! For the Zari work the threads used for fabricating the piece with embellishments is sourced from Surat.
The designs for each saree are first painted on a plain sheet of paper, then recreated on graph papers called the Naksha or Talim. The sourced yarns are then dyed further in different colours for weaving and finishing of a Saree.
At present, the Chanderi fabric is available across lively colours and soft shades of pastels, adding a sense of vibrancy and grace to a saree or any other attires made from this fabric. This makes it a perfect choice for bold women throughout the seasons of summer and spring.
The Chanderi sarees were known as ‘woven air’ for their delicate structure and a transparent look. It is said that The Maharani of Baroda who also patronized the royal weave, could identify the originality and finesse of the fabric by rubbing it on her cheeks. Moreover the fabric could also be folded into matchboxes! But what makes this fabric so light yet sturdy?
It is Kolikanda - a special root from where the fine count cotton for Chanderi is extracted. A pure Chanderi silk is ultra soft with an uneven surface and a glossy finesse.
TheChanderihas always been admired by the royalties amongst the kings and queens for its sophisticated look and design. Especially because of the gold zari borders and unique motifs designs! No doubt, the fabric flourished well under the Mughal era and the Rajput kingdom - from fine quality Chanderi turbans exclusively being created for Maratha rulers to being a preferred choice for gifting to amongst emperors.
Motifs and Design
One of the most intriguing thing of a Chanderi sarees is its serene motifs intricately embellished on the fabric. The round dots known as Butis are hand woven on the Chanderi fabric, using several needles varying in sizes, each motif is then coated with gold, silver or copper dust. The inspiration for these beautifully fabricated designs and patterns is taken from nature as well as abstract prints - floral art, peacock, geometric designs, coins and beyond.
The Chanderi sarees are here to stay with their light weight, beautiful colours and unique designs. They are super comfortable to carry and give one a sophisticated look and style! A perennial attire, a Chanderi sari will always be treasured in the Indian heritage and culture and this makes for a good reason to own a piece and add some style in your wardrobe, the traditional way! Check out our top pick of sarees from the Handwoven Chanderi sarees collection -
Rust Pure Silk Chanderi Saree
An ode to craftsmanship, the Pure Silk Chanderi Saree in rust color looks simply ravishing. The handwoven pomegranate motifs complete the look along with the zari borders, a classic and a perfect match for all your special occasions.
Red Pure Silk Chanderi Saree
This magnificent Pure Silk Chanderi Saree in vibrant red colour with contrasting Mashroo borders speak of authenticity in themselves. The beautiful floral motif designs handwoven by crafters complete the look of this delightful piece making it ideal for a day or an evening event.
Black Pure Silk Chanderi Saree
Make a statement with this striking black Chanderi saree in pure silk and an appealing design. Handwoven by skilled craftsmen, the Mashroo borders and floral motifs in shades of soft pink and light green makes this piece even more charming and perfect for any occasion!
Teal Pure Silk Chanderi Saree
A gorgeous piece handcrafted in pure silk, this Chanderi saree in teal blue color is soothing yet lively to the eye. Always a top choice of the women with taste, the intricate Nakshi border in Gold and Anardana booti design on the saree takes one back in time to the kings and queens.
Dark Brown Silk Chanderi Saree
Elegance beholds this Handloom Chanderi saree in shades of dark brown and intricate work of Zari. Made in pure silk fabric, the gold and silver polka dots all through the saree gives it a vintage look, ideal for a formal event or a casual gathering with friends and family.
Author - Aarushi Sharma