1.Saris from West India
  2.Saris from North India
  3.Saris from South India
4.Saris from East India



  The core of any good sari wardrobe is to have at least one traditional sari from every region from India. In addition, there should be some plain, single coloured saris, to show off accessories - be it elegant jewellery or a shawl to perfection.



  A range of gorgeous saris come from Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh and Western Madhya Pradesh. The dominant characteristic of the sari of these regions is obtained by dyeing rather than weaving techniques. In fact, the three major forms of Indian resist-dyeing - block printing, tie & dye and ikat have evolved here.



   1. Saris from West India 



   1. Bandhani



    a. These are saris created by dyeing the cloth in such a manner that many small resist-dyed 'spots' produce elaborate patterns over the fabric.



    b. The traditional bandhani market has shrunk however, because of the rise of low-cost silk-screened imitations and most modern bandhani saris are made with larger designs and fewer ties than in the past. There are varieties available in two contrasting colours, with borders, end-pieces and one or more large central medallion called a pomcha or padma (lotus flower). Red and black is the most common colour combination but other pairs of colours are also found. For instance, the panetar sari is a Gujarati-Hindu sari of satin weave and Gajji silk with red borders, central medallions and a white body, which may contain regularly spaced red tie-dyed spots.



     c. Single colour saris and odhnis with white spots are also common. The most famous of this type is the Gujarati sari called Garchola It is usually red, but occasionally green, and is divided into a network of squares created by rows of white tie-dyed spots or woven bands of zari. The Garchola is a traditional Hindu and Jain wedding sari, which used to be made of cotton, but is now usually in silk. The number of squares in the sari is ritually significant multiples of 9, 12 or 52.



   2. Patola



    a. The most time consuming and elaborate sari created by the western region is the potole (plural patola) which has intricate five colour designs resist-dyed into both warp and weft threads before weaving.



    b.  Double ikat patola sari is a rare and expensive investment. A cheaper alternative to double ikat patola is the silk ikat sari developed in Rajkot (Gujarat), that creates patola and other geometric designs in the weft threads only.



   2. Gujarati Brocade



     These are extremely expensive and virtually extinct. The main distinguishing characteristics of the Gujarati Brocade Sari:



    a.  Butis (circular designs) woven into the field in the warp direction instead of the weft, resulting in their lying horizontally instead of vertically on the sari when draped.



    b.   Floral designs woven in coloured silk, against a golden (woven zari) ground fabric. Although such 'inlay' work is a common feature in many western Deccan silks, the Gujarati work usually has leaves, flowers and stems outlined by a fine dark line.



   4. Embroidered Tinsel Saris



    a.   The western region also has a rich embroidered tradition, made famous by ethnic groups such as rabaris and sodha Rajputs.



    b.   The sari with zardozi, the gold gilt thread embroidery technique, at one time patronised by the Moghul emperors and the aristocracy, is toady an inextricable part of a bridal trousseau.



    c.    Balla tinsel and khari work are the cheaper variations available in metallic embroidery, which have also become quite popular.



   5. Paithani



    a.  This sari is named after a village near Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Now also woven in the town of Yeola, these saris use an enormous amount of labour, skill and sheer expanse of material in their creation.



    b.   Distinctive motifs such as parrots, trees and plants are woven into the sari. The shades vary from vivid magenta, peacock greens and purples. In the pallav, the base is in gold and the pattern is done in silk, giving the whole sari an embossed look.



   6. Chanderi and Maheshwari



    a.   The Chanderi sari from Madhya Pradesh is light and meant for Indian summers. It is made in silk or fine cotton with patterns taken from the Chanderi temples.



    b.   The Maheshwari saris are also both in cotton and silk, usually green or purple with a zari border. The traditional block-printed tussar can also be found in contemporary designs nowadays.



   2. Saris from North India 



   1. Benaras Brocade



    a.   This sari from Benaras is virtually mandatory in the bride's trousseau. These saris vary tremendously as weavers create different products to suit different regional markets and changing fashions.



    b.   Most brocades usually have strong Moghul influences in the design, such as intricate intertwining floral and foliate motifs, kalga and bel. A characteristic found along the inner, and sometimes outer, edge of borders is a narrow fringe like pattern that often looks like a string of upright leaves called jhallr. This is almost a signature of Benarasi brocade.



   1. Other Saris from this Region



    a.   The region is also famous for producing ornate saris such tanchoisamru brocadesshikargarh brocades and tissuesAbrawans (literally meaning flowing water)- Tissue saris, usually woven with the finest silk thread are also quite popular. A classy design in Abrawans is tarbana (woven water) with a fine silk warp with a zari weft giving an almost metallic sheen. Kincab or Kinkhwab saris are the most popular of the brocades and are so covered with thezari patterning that the underlying silk cloth is barely visible.



    b.   Jamawars also come from Uttar Pradesh. These silk saris are embellished with zari threadwork. The popular theme is a jacquard weave in 'meena' colours like orange and green.



    c.   Tanchois (in zari) are another item from of Uttar Pradesh and have different designs, not just Moghul motifs.



    d.   Another type is the kora silk sari which is starched as brittle as organza.



   3. Saris from South India 



   1. Kanjeevwaram sari



    a.   No Indian bridal trousseau is complete without the 'Kanjeewaram' sari, characterised by gold-dipped silver thread that is woven onto brilliant silk. Kanchipuram is a town in Tamil Nadu with more than 150 years of weaving tradition - completely untouched by fashion fads..



    b.   Kanjeewarams are favoured for their durability. Kanjee silk is thicker than almost all other silks, and is therefore more expensive. The heavier the silk, the better the quality. Peacock and parrot are the most common motifs. Though lightweight kanjee saris are popular as they are easy to wear and cost very little, the traditional weavers do not like to compromise. While Korean and Chinese silk is suitable for light-weight saris (machine woven), only mulberry silk produced in Karnataka and few parts of Tamil Nadu, is right for the classic Kanjeewaram..



   2. Konrad sari



    a.   The konrad or the temple sari is also a speciality item from Tamil Nadu. These saris were original woven for temple deities. ..



    b.   They are wide bordered saris and are characterised by wedding related motifs such as elephants and peacocks, symbolising water, fertility and fecundity. ..



   3. Gadwal



    a.   Gadwal sari is made in cotton in a style influenced by the Benarasi weaves. While the ground of the sari is cotton, there is a loosely attached silk border. ..



    b.   Copper or gold-dipped zari is generally used in these saris. The motifs of the murrugan (peacock) and the rudraksh are popular. ..



    c.   Traditional colours for these saris are earth shades of browns, greys and off-whites. However, brighter shades have been introduced for the North Indian buyer...



   4. Others



    a.   Pashmina silk, kota silk, Mysore crepespochampallis and puttapakshi saris are also popular South Indian saris. ..



Typical wedding saris from Kerala are the nayayanpets and bavanjipets which usually have a gold border on a cream base...



   4. Saris from East India 



   1. Baluchari Saris



    a.   This sari from Bengal is usually five yards in length and 42" wide in flame red, purple and occasionally in deep blue. The field of the sari is covered with small butis and a beautiful floral design runs across the edges. The anchal has the main decoration depicting narrative motifs.Taingalsandkanthas are other speciality items from Bengal...