Paithani Sarees

paithani saree
Paithani, a name that immediately invokes the grandeur of the rich, vivid silk and gold weave. The Paithani Sarees are being woven from the past 2000 years old. In the making of a Paithani saree pure silk is used along with the zari or gold threads drawn from pure gold. It takes almost six months to one and a half years to weave an intricately brocaded Paithani saree.

Paithan, a town 56 km. from Aurangabad in Maharashtra is the home of the Paithani saree. The art is as ancient as the river Godavari. The Maratha Peshwas had a special love for this Paithani fabric. The paithani is still most celebrated textile of Maharashtra. Over the years the traditional method of weaving these sarees has remained unchanged. Women operate wooden looms and weave the sarees in vivid blues, purples, and magentas, mixed with gold threads. Traditionally the colour of the border and pallu is different from that of the main body of the saree. The types of paithani designs are the

  • asavali (vine and flowers)
  • akruti (square flower forms)
  • narli (coconut form)
  • pankha (fan)
  • rui phul (a kind of flower)
  • kalas paldi (a petal form)

Storks and swans, golden lotus, bangdi-mor (peacock with a bangle), tota-maina (parrot-mynah), buma-parinda (pheasant bird), bebesti (bird of paradise), and anarvel (pomegranate flower) were popular motif. The kamal or lotus flower motif, the flower on which the Buddha is depicted standing or sitting, the hans or swan and the asharfi or gold coin are also seen in paithani weaves

The borders and pallus were made of gold mixed with copper to give it strength. Gold and copper were blended and spun into the fine zari. In more recent times the zari is made of silver drawn into a fine thread and washed with gold. The working out of a particular design varies in intricacy, necessitating variations in the quantity of material used and in the price range as well. Often, to make the saree more affordable the silk is substituted with cotton. Many skilled workers have left Paithan and made their way to Yeola near Nasik in northwestern Maharashtra.

Price range of Paithani goes from ten thousand to One lakh or more depending upon 'jari work' !