The present day silk weaving tradition in India revolves around sari, an ethnic dress that is worn in most parts of  the country. The combination of shine and the glamour associated with silk has led to the creation of a myriad of traditional sari styles, with each region lending its unique flavor to Indian ethnicity. 

Silk sarees in India

     Silk saris are often created with zari (fabric woven with thin gold and silver wires) work on them. The main silk weaving centers are Banaras, Surat, Chanderi, Murshidabad, Mysore, Assam, Kancheepuram, Tanjore, Dharmavaram etc. Banaras is one of the leading silk sari producing centers of India. It is known for its heavy gold-silver brocades. Hair thin wires of gold and silver are obtained by heating the metal and passing it through minute holes. These wires are then used with silk yarn for weaving.

     The Amru silk brocades of Banaras are not only famous in India but also abroad. Patola silk saris are the pride of Gujarat. These saris are created by using the resist dying technique. There are two types of Patola saris. The Rajkot patola is only vertically-resist dyed (single ikkat), while the Patan patola is horizontally-resist dyed (double ikkat). The yarn is resist dyed before it is used in weaving. Patola saris are known for their flaming bright colors and geometric designs interspersed with folk motifs.

     Maharashtra is known for its Paithani silk saris, which generally come in kum-kum colors in combination with a contrasting color. Paithani are generally decorated with the gold dot or coin motif. Ganeshpur, a village in Bhandara district in Maharashtra is famous for the Kosa silk.

     The state of Madhya Pradesh is famous for Chanderi, Maheshwari and Tussar silk saris. Chanderi sari is known for soft colors and the harmonious balance between the border and the body of the sari. These saris are also known for their contrasting colors and the depiction of animal and human figures on them.

      Maheshwari sari is known for its elaborate patterns and border. These saris have exotic motifs done in zari and pleasant colors, both inspired by nature. Tussar silk or Kosa silk is valued for its purity and texture as it is available naturally in shades of gold-pale, dark, honey, tawny, beige, creamy, etc.

     Tussar silk saris are considered auspicious. It is a special variety of silk, as the cocoons are raised on Arjun and Sal trees. They come in a range of colors and are decorated with a variety of natural motifs. Tussar silk is also produced in Bihar. Silk Bombkai Sambalpuri saris from Orissa are also in single and double ikkat. In contrast to the ikkats of Gujarat, theses saris are sober in color and decorated with curved forms. The pallav of these saris have floral and animal patterns on them.

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