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Chanderi Saris

Light weight structure, graceful designs, glossy transparency and dynamic colors make Chanderi sarees popular widely. Basically, Chanderi is a name of a city in Ashoknagar district of Madhya Pradesh, which has great historical significance. Surrounded by striking hills southwest of the Betwa River, it is a wonderful city. When it comes to history of this city, it takes us back to the 11th century, when it was contiguous to the major trade routes connecting the antique ports of Gujarat to Malwa, Mewar, Central India and Deccan.


Located on the edges of two cultural cities of Malwa and Bundelkhand, Chanderi is the origin place of Chanderi Sarees. These sarees are designed and woven in this city that is positioned in beautiful Vindhyachal ranges. According to mythology, this place was founded by Shisupal, cousin brother of Lord Krishna. It is believed that the culture of weaving started during the 2nd century in Chanderi. In the present scenario, this city has become a prominent center for traditional weavers of sarees. Owing to high demand, this place has become a hub for Chanderi Sarees. This saris are made with a combination of silk and cotton with a special weaving technique. Initially, only Muslim weavers were involved in producing sarees in India, but later in 1350 the Koshti weavers from Jhansi shifted to Chanderi. The business of Chanderi sarees was at its peak during the Mughal period.


With every passing year, the industry is going through advancements in terms of method of weaving, technology, tools and composition of fabric, etc. At Chanderi, designing and producing sarees is not a business, but is a heritage, culture and tradition that are carried out by some regional craftsmen and artisans. These artists are master weavers and are often patroized even by celebrities and royal families.


Initially, Chanderi fabric was woven with handspun cotton warp and wefts. Following the industrial revolution in the 1930's, the artisans founded Japanese silk. They used Japanese silk to weave silk sarees and mixed it with cotton fabric. In compared to older version of sarees, they got good profit along with appreciations because of the combination of silk and cotton. Unlike other kinds of sarees, Chanderi is an expensive and classy fabric.


In order to complement the charm and gorgeousness, Chanderi sarees are embellished with zari woven works that is generally woven by hand interspersed with the fragility of the extra weft motifs has for times immemorial pleased the refined tastes of the royalty. Chanderi saree has an amazing blend of traditional feel and modern look. Its sheer texture and transparency is highly appreciated among modern, fashion conscious people.


Chanderi saris are produced from three types of fabrics including pure silk, Chanderi cotton and Chanderi silk cotton. Nalferma, Dandidar, Chatai and Jangla, etc. are some popular motifs that can be founded on many sarees. When it comes to patterns, most sarees have traditional patterns such as old coins, flora art, peacocks, and geometric designs, etc. The artisans design the sarees using these patterns. To add class in the sarees, gold and silver brocade, fine silk and lavish embroidery is done by the artisans over the sarees.


HOW TO DRAPE A SAREE



STEP 1


Two essential pieces of garments, that go alongwith the Sari, need to be chosen carefully to compliment the Sari. These are:


  • petticoat - which is a waist-to-floor garment, tied tightly at the waist by a drawstring. The petticoat color should match the base sari color as closely as possible. No part of the petticoat, of course, is visible outside the Sari, after having worn it.


  • blouse - which needs to be tight-fitting and whose color needs to be chosen keeping the look of the sari in mind, can be short sleeved or sleeveless, with a variety of necklines. The blouse ends just below the bust.



STEP 2


Start wearing the sari by tucking its plain/upper end into the petticoat, at a position which is a little bit to the right of the navel. Make sure that the lower end of the sari should be touching the floor, and that the whole length of the sari comes on the left-hand side. Now wrap the sari around yourself once, with the sari now coming back in the front, on your right side.



STEP 3


Make about 5 to 7 pleats of equal width of 5 inches, starting at the tucked-in end. Gather the pleats together, neatly, ensuring that the lower edge of the pleats are even and just off the ground and that the pleats fall straight and evenly. A safety pin may be used to stop the pleats from scattering.



STEP 4


Neatly tuck the pleats into the petticoat, at the waist, slightly to the left of the navel, in such a manner that they open to your left.



STEP 5


Drape the remaining fabric around yourself once more left to right, and bring it round your hips to the front, holding the top edge of the sari.



STEP 6


Slightly raise the remaining portion of the Sari on your back, bringing it up under the right arm and over the left shoulder so that the end of the Sari falls to about the level of your knees.


The end portion thus draped, from the left shoulder onwards, is called the Pallav or the Pallu, and can be prevented from slipping off teh shoulder, by fastening it at the shoulder to the blouse with a small safety pin.