Here’s taking a minute to sit back and appreciate the scintillating beauty of Indian weaves and textiles

On our 75th Republic Day, we dive deep into the rich archives of WeaverStory that celebrate the diverse crafts and textiles of India.

India never fails to amaze. Drive 50 km from the capital city, and the closest village presents a visual spectacle of textiles and indigenous crafts that begs you to study their intricacy and delicate workmanship. Try moving to the west, deep in the fecund land of Gujarat and Rajasthan, and find yourself smitten by elaborate block printing techniques like Ajrakh or by the likes of Bandhini, a resist dyeing technique. Or perhaps move to the south—the land of Kanjeevaram sarees and Madras checks that will have you immersed in pops of colours and cheerful patterns. But when you're through, don't miss the remarkable mangroves in the east and the genius of batik printing.

Jawaharlal Nehru once said, “The history of India may well be written with textile as its leading motif.” Celebrated as the quintessential fabric of India, we won our freedom in Khadi. Reminiscing on those days of Mahatma Gandhi and the Khadi Movement that contributed to India’s struggle for freedom, handlooms have always been a meaningful textile and, to date, remain a symbol for a better and more sustainable future.

Ahead, we break down our trunk of fascinating weaves and textiles, which we hope will help you appreciate the diverse corners of our country a little more than usual.

The age-old Banarasi weave from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh


A prominent emblem of India’s rich cultural legacy, Banarasi sarees have been considered signature heirlooms that usually become hand-downs from our mothers and great-grandmothers. While we all may have at least one Banarasi saree packed neatly in the dusty corners of our wardrobes, what makes them so unique is the memories and the emotional intimacy attached to them. Perhaps the idea of carrying a piece of someone you love on your special days. This Republic Day, we're not just looking at this impeccable weave for a source of visual appreciation, but we take a moment to remember how our lives are entwined within the drapes of a Banarasi saree, capturing a shared intimacy wherever we go.

Chanderi Sarees from Madhya Pradesh


The soft allure of Chanderi sarees is hard to miss. With a buttery handfeel and a graceful glimmer, these sarees are perfect to wear for your everyday wins and also your special days. Originally discovered in a small town called Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh, Chanderi sarees, also called ‘bunni hui hawa’ by the locals, were later popularised by the Mughals, who admired their rich quality and fine texture.

While reliving a slice of history with this little anecdote, make sure to invest in a Chanderi saree if you haven't already.

Batik Sarees from the quaint villages of west Bengal


There’s something about Batik sarees—vivid in shades of burnt orange, mustard, and deep carnation, these sarees are reputed for their intense resist dyeing technique and intricate motifs. Dating back to the 12th century, Batik is known to be the pride of Bengal and has found its way to our coffers at WeaverStory

Here, find a surreal amalgamation of bright hues and indigenous patterns plucked straight from the heart of west Bengal and finally painted across six-yards of pure Mulberry silk.

Ikat Patola from Gujarat


While delving into a captivating realm of weaves and textiles, here’s another gem from Gujarat: the Ikat Patola. With its origins dating back 700 years, this intensely complex weave first emerged in the central parts of southeast Asia, somewhat around the 11th century. Patolas, characterized by abstract designs and geometric motifs, have some seriously whimsical names, like paan bhat, meaning peepal leaf motif, or fulvali bhat, meaning floral motifs. Translating these beautiful motifs onto sarees, find our trunk full of Ikat Patolas that enjoy heirloom status in a handloom vocabulary.

The classic Kanjeevaram from South India


A Kanjeevaram saree immediately brings to mind images of Tamil brides dressed in gilded sarees replete with jewellery and at least two layers of gajra enveloping their dainty buns. The south-Indian influence has travelled all across, carpeting the map of this diverse country. You may as well find brides in the north appreciating the rich allure of a Kanjeevaram saree—almost labelling it a must-have for the wedding trousseau. Blended in with rich gold and zari threads, the regal appeal of a classic Kanjeevaram is hard to miss. Think thick and bold; Korvai borders in popping hues; Zari checks; and small boota detailing all across the length and breadth of this exquisite drape.

Find a select curation of Kanjeevaram sarees here

Kota sarees from Rajasthan

Whether you wear sarees every day or not, having one Kota Zari saree in your wardrobe of authentic weaves is highly inevitable. Traditionally known as Masuria sarees, the history of Kota Zari predates the 17th century and was initially popularised by the Mughals in Mysore. Later, Rao Kishore Singh facilitated the shift from Mysore to Kota district in Rajasthan, which led to its permanent settlement. There are several types of Kota sarees; however, the most extravagant of them all has to be the Kota Zari. Woven from real gold and silver threads, these sarees embody the heritage weave in intricate patterns and colours.

Find a stunning curation of our Kota zari sarees here

Author- Haiqa Siddiqui