The Vintage Weaves Edit: Reviving India's Time-Honoured Indigenous Weaves

Have you ever been enchanted by the beautiful landscapes of Kanchipuram or mesmerised by the vibrant colours of Banaras? We mean, who wouldn't be, right? These indigenous weaves have woven their magic into the hearts of artisans and connoisseurs for ages! In this blog, we will go back in time and unravel the secrets of vintage weaves that have been absolutely timeless. So, let us dive in and discover the soul-stirring world of India's timeless weaving traditions.





The Korvai weave can be traced back to ancient South India, where skilled weavers developed and refined the technique. Korvai weaving is particularly associated with silk sarees from Kanchipuram, Arani, Salem, and Madurai. 

The first and foremost weaving technique on the list is Korvai. It is a special weaving technique from Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu where sarees are woven in two parts - the borders and the body. Further, the process involves skilled weavers joining these parts together using a unique interlocking method. The result is a flawless saree that looks stunning! These sarees are loved for their intricate designs and bright colours which makes them perfect for special occasions that deserve a touch of elegance. Moreover, they suit all kinds of women from different age groups and body types



 Handloom Peach Pure Katan Silk Banarasi Saree With Gold Cutwork Booti


Cutwork is a weaving technique in which the excess weft or the patterning weft is flung across the width of the cloth with a shuttle. The patterning weft runs from selvedge to selvedge and is intertwined between the structural threads that make up the textile throughout the weaving process. Unlike Kadhwa weaving, this technique leaves a float of threads on the back side of the saree. This is further removed after the entire fabric has been woven.

Cutwork sarees display precision and glamour for every event on your calendar. From a surreal charm to its traditional persona, the sarees exude a sense of class and completeness when worn with stunning statement jewellery. Wrapped in Indian heritage, the sarees woven using the Cutwork weaving technique are timeless and classy in every bit.



 Handloom Black Pure Katan Silk Banarasi Saree With Kadhwa Booti


Kadhwa is a luxurious weaving technique found in Banaras where gold and silver threads are woven into the fabric. The process is painstaking but the end result is a resplendent saree adorned with opulent motifs and shimmering patterns. Moreover, these sarees are a symbol of richness and have been a favourite among royalty for generations.




In the Gupta period, Kimkhab was known puspapata or cloth with woven flowers. During the Mughal period when the technique was very popular with the rich, the great centres for brocade weaving were Benaras, Ahmedabad, Surat and Aurangabad.  

Kimkhab, or 'golden brocade,' is a technique that combines gold or silver threads with silk to create sumptuous art pieces. The lustrous sheen and intricate patterns of Kimkhab fabrics make them a regal choice for bridal wear and grand celebrations even today.

Hand Block Print: 



The origin of block printing is said to be in China about 4000 years ago before it spread to the rest of the world. In the 4th century, the presence of block printing was identified in Egypt and other parts of Asia. 

A time-honoured technique, today, block printing is majorly practised in Rajasthan and Gujarat in India. In this technique, the artisans use finely carved wooden blocks to stamp patterns onto the fabric and create visually captivating designs. The process involves multiple stages of dyeing and printing, resulting in beautiful and unique art pieces with a touch of artisanal charm

Hand Embroidery: 


 Light Pink Hand Embroidered Georgette Parsi Gara Saree With Multicolored Border


Practised all across the world, embroidery stems from China and the Near East. In 30,000 B.C. archaeologists found fossilized remains of hand-stitched and decorated clothing items, boots and even hats. 

Hand embroidery is a beautiful craft where skilled artisans weave eye-catching pieces using needles and threads. From the dazzling Zardozi work in Lucknow to the delicate Chikankari in Uttar Pradesh, hand embroidery adds stunning details and a touch of elegance to the saree. Fashion enthusiasts adore these stunning designs for their artistry and sophistication. Each stitch is a labour of love that creates exquisite masterpieces and elevates any outfit while leaving a lasting impression. If you seek a touch of grace and finesse in your attire, hand-embroidered sarees are the perfect choice!




While Tanchoi is closely connected to Banaras and its ancient tradition of silk weaving, its roots can be traced back to China. The most commonly-held belief is that this mesmerising weaving technique made its way to India through Parsi traders travelling the renowned silk route. 

It involves weaving multicoloured silk threads and creating a shimmering effect on the fabric. The unique combination of silk and zari threads lends Tanchoi sarees a rich and regal appearance, especially for grand occasions and celebrations.



 Offwhite Handloom Mercerised Cotton Jamdani Saree With Pyramids On Pallu


Jamdani was originally known as Dhakai named after the city of Dhaka, one of many ancient textile weaving centres in Bengal. Under the Mughal Empire, the Persian term Jamdani gained popularity, since it was the court language of the Mughals. 

Jamdani is a weaving technique that creates ethereal and delicate patterns on fine muslin. It involves adding supplementary weft threads to the warp that results in complex yet beautiful and poetic motifs. Jamdani sarees are a symbol of timeless elegance and are cherished by many.

Ek Naliya: 


 Handloom Red Chanderi Silk Saree with Gold and Silver Zari Jaal


Neon Pink Handloom Pure Chanderi Silk Saree With Eknaliya Bird Motifs

Ek Naliya is an intricate Ikat weaving technique practised in Odisha. It involves tying and dyeing individual warp yarns to create unique patterns before weaving. The precision required for this technique results in appealing and harmonious designs, making Ek Naliya sarees a true work of art.

Single Ikat: 


Lastly, single Ikat is a technique widely used in Telangana where only the warp or weft yarns are dyed before weaving to create geometric and intricate designs. The beauty of Single Ikat lies in its simplicity and the skill required to align the threads accurately, so that the piece results in a stunning and distinctive outlook.

In a world dominated by modern designs and techniques, reviving India's time-honoured indigenous weaves is essential to preserve our cultural heritage and support the livelihood of skilled artisans. These vintage weaving techniques not only produce exceptional art pieces but also carry with them the stories of tradition, artistry and history. So, the next time you drape a handwoven saree or wear a block-printed dress, remember that you are adorning yourself with a piece of India's glorious legacy that continues to weave its magic through the ages.

Author- Sushmita Singh