Paithani Saris originate from the town of Paithan near Aurangabad in Maharashtra. These hand-woven saris are made from pure silk, and the cost of an authentic Paithani can be as high as INR 95,000 . In Maharashtrian weddings, the Paithani is a must-have part of the bridal trousseau. The art of weaving this sari is nearly 2000 years old.
The pallu of the Paithani has unique patterns or motifs-typically -Narali , peacocks-in-a-bangle or Tota- Maina (parrots), Asawali, Akruiti and Muniya etc. These pallus are also characterized by the use of silk threads in multiple colors; a kaleidoscopic effect is achieved by using one color for a lengthwise weave and another one for a width wise weave. Due to the proximity of Paithan to Ajanta and Ellora caves, some weavers also use Buddhist symbols (such as the lotus) in the Pathani pallus. In the days of Peshwa rule, the Paithani sari borders had threads made from real gold mixed with copper.
Today, the silk threads used for these saris are obtained from Bangalore where in the past; weavers obtained it from China. Primarily two types of silk threads are utilized: charkha and Gatta, of which the former variety is inferior and cheaper. Master weavers still supervise the entire weaving process of the authentic Paithanis, especially the process of laying the intricate borders.
Paithani Saris are available in various colors at several Sari retail outlets .In traditional Maharashtrian weddings the brides are seen wearing typical color combinations such as red-green, lavender-blue, blue-green, violet-red and peach pink etc.
The art of Paithani weaving is slowly dying- and we hope that the efforts of film makers will revive this traditional industry through their documentaries. The beauty of the Paithani can be best experienced through these images. There are hundreds of color combinations and we wish we could include all the images in this feature! For more pictures and prices, do visit Touch Of Class or Paithani.in.