Saturday, August 29, 2009

Maheshwari sarees

Maheshwari sarees:

This saree, as revealed by its name, has its origin in the town of Maheshwar, established by the austere queen Ahilya Bai who desired to live away from the bustling capital city of Indore. The intricately carved stone walls of her palace and temple are the inspiration for the elaborate patterns and borders of the Maheshwari Saree.

The saree woven from pure silk, is famous for its strength, elasticity and a unique luster of the fabric. The use of zari and particular texture and sheen of the "garbh reshmi" saree of Maheshwari give it a distinct identity amongst the wealth of Indian sarees and made it a much coveted item even in time as far back as 18th century India.

As is normally the case with any long regional tradition, the language of the Maheshwari sari evokes images of serene fruitful nature. The hues and shades of the fabric are referred to in the vernacular as Angoori (grape green),Dalimbi (deep pink), Gul Bakhshi (magenta), Rani (deep mauve pink), Kaasni (light violet), Jaamla (purple), Dhaani (green), Chintamani (peacock blue), Aamrak (golden), Tapkeeree (deep brown). etc.

The use of zari and kinari is also unique to the Maheshwari saree.. The golden thread is used to weave exotic motifs and designs on the flowdah (body) kinar (border) and the anchra (pallu) of the saree. Especially lovely are motifs like Guldasta, Aambuta, Ghunggroo, Chatai kinar, Bel phool, Jai phool, Hansa, Mayur, Baila Ankhi, Ambi Buti and Chandtara.

Once patronised by the royal house of this region , the magnificent Maheshwari was worn by the queens and the princesses along with Tussar and Chanderi sarees. Today, fortunately with efforts of organisations like Mrignayani, this exquisite saree is available to all those women who appreciate beauty and understand the dignified elegance, be it a marriage, a festival or a formal party.

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