Wedding Silk sarees have been a pride of the country since generations. It holds a special place, especially in Indian weddings. Indian weddings are typically defined by the rich culture of silk of the country. For years Indian weddings have imbibed silk as their prime material. Be it the brides or the ones attending weddings, people have adored and adorned silk in galore. It goes without saying that an Indian wedding is incomplete without the presence of silk in it.
As diverse as the culture of the Indian continent, the elements that compose it are equally myriad. It is evident in the food, festivals, clothes and the people that give meaning to it. It is determined by the various race of people that reside in the different regions of India. Culture comes into being through the local food, raw materials and the climate of a place. It is the principal factor that guides the clothing style and fashion of the people of a place.
Indian women are defined by wedding silk sarees, or rather silk sarees define Indian women. Of that, hand woven silk sarees take the leading role. When you talk of premium and lush in wedding sarees, silk sarees are a staple with everyone in the country.
Since the different regions of India are diverse, so is the silk coming from it. So what are the different types of silk that India has? Let us take a look at some of the most popular variations of wedding silk sarees in India-
Kanjivaram or Kanchipuram wedding silk sarees
Kanjivaram is the rich and the most popular version in wedding silk sarees from India. It comes from the South Indian region and is primarily made in the Kanchipuram region of Tamil Nadu. Kanjivaram silks are renowned for these wedding silk sarees. The kanchipuram silk sarees have golden, and silver thread works on them.
They are worn widely by women across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The silk sarees are woven from pure mulberry silk thread that comes from South India and the zari or thread work comes from Gujarat. The patterns and designs in the Kanchipuram sarees are scriptures inspired from South Indian temples or the nature like birds, trees and animals.
Banarasi silk sarees
Another trendy and expensive variation is the Banarasi silk saree. The Banarasi silk comes from the city of Varanasi or Benaras or Banaras. These wedding silk sarees are known for their gold, silver brocade, zari, fine silk, and opulent embroidery work. They have details inspired by nature and Mughal art.
They are finely woven and intricate designs which have heavy engravings. They’re often a part of an Indian brides trousseau.
Paithani silk sarees
It is an outstanding variety of silk saree that comes from the Paithan town in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. These wedding silk sarees have a signature style of embroidery with natural motifs like trees, parrots, peacocks and so on.
Mysore silk sarees
The Mysore silk comes from the mulberry silk produced in Mysore district of Karnataka. It was known to be worn by the royal families of Mysore. These light weight wedding silk sarees generally have zari borders that have flower vines or geometrical shapes like checks and stripes. South Indian women often wear them during religious ceremonies.
Baluchari silk sarees
The Baluchari silk is produced in the Malda district of West Bengal and comes from the Tassar Silk. The Baluchari silk sarees many times are also woven in Bangladesh. They are handloom silk sarees which are richly dyed detailed with mythological scenes. They have heavy pallus that form ornate drapes.
Assam silk sarees
A silk variant gaining popularity in recent times is the Assam silk. It is produced in various parts of Assam, and one of the popular options of Assam silk is the Muga silk.
The Assam silk is known for durability. Apart from silk sarees, the Assam silk is used to make a traditional two-piece saree type which is famous in the region known as Mekhela Chador.
Patola silk sarees
Patola silk sarees are made in Patan, Gujarat and some parts of Rajasthan. The Patola silk is made using Gaji silk. These wedding silk sarees have a grid-like pattern which has tie-dyed prints. They often have prints of elephants, flowers, parrots and so one. They can be called Bandhani inspired and is a popular choice among the elites. These silk sarees are very expensive and have found popularity amongst Indians living abroad.
Chanderi silk sarees
Chanderi silk is made from Chanderi cotton, silk cotton and pure silk produced in Chanderi, Madhya Pradesh. They have details of traditional coin, floral art, peacocks and geometric designs. They also have gold and silver brocade or zari, fine silk, and opulent embroidery. They are lightweight and have a shimmery look.
Art silk sarees
Art silk is artificial silk. It looks like one but is not real silk. It is gaining popularity as an everyday go-to office look or casual wear. These silk sarees are made from polyester and other synthetic fibers and are economically priced.
It is suitable for people who do not want to spend on the expensive silks but equally have the appeal of silk in a saree.
There are many other types of silk, like Bhagalpuri silk, Bomkai silk, Konrad, Sambalpuri, Tussar, Kota, Tanchoi, Organza, and the list goes on.
Silk is one material which will never go out of fashion. Young and old alike look elegant and beautiful in a silk saree. There were old times when you had to visit a place to get hold of a particular type of silk. You were lucky if a friend or a near and dear one brought it for you when visiting the place. There was a time when only celebrities could fancy wearing variety of silk sarees.
With the Internet taking over, shopping online has made such challenges easy. Gone are the days when you had to wait for such opportunities to come by. With the e-commerce business taking over, getting hold of your choice of silk saree is now possible at just the click of a button. Moreover, it gets delivered to your doorstep.
So, this time when attending a wedding or a puja or a festival, bring in the fashion rich side of yours by choosing a silk saree that India proudly boasts of!
Based in NYC, Brandon Collins a Senior Editor at Rise Media. Previously he has worked for NPR and The Huffington Post. Brandon is a graduate of Sports Recreation and Leisure at the University of New York. You can reach Brandon via email or by phone.