Paithani is a varient of Traditional Sari, named after the Paithan village in Aurangabad, Maharashtra state of India where these sari's where hand woven. The art of weaving Paithani goes the way till 7th century B.C. during the Yadav period (Sri Krishna's period), however flourished in 200B.C., during Satvahana era. Since then Paithani is coveted in India as a precious heirloom passing on from generation to generation. Exquisite silk from Paithani was exported to many countries and was traded in return for gold and precious stones. Sheer dedication and the faith of the weavers have kept alive Paithani silk work for more than 2000 years. Intricate designs on pallu and border is a specialty of Paithani Sarees. Motifs on pallu are generally peacock, lotus, mango and other designs inspired from the world famous Ajanta Caves, which are in the same district. Paithani saris were produced only for sophisticated buyers. It evolved from a cotton base to a silk base. Silk was used in weft designs and in the borders, whereas cotton was used in the body of the fabric. Present day Paithani has no trace of cotton. Paithani Sarees can take between 2 months to 1 year to manufacture, depending on border, pallu design and the material used.
A paithani would cost anywhere from Rs. 6000/- which would have normal and less complex designs but can go up to Rs. 500000/- which would not only have very rare and intricate designs but would also be woven with real gold and silver threads. The fabric woven in traditional ways even after many centuries is renowned as the “MAHAVASTRA” meaning "the great, royal fabric, fit to be worn for one’s own wedding. No wonder then, it has long been an essential piece in any girls wedding trousseau.
The motifs are traditional vines and flowers, shapes of fruit and stylized forms of birds and the saree is often known by the motif that dominates its border or pallav. There are various types of exquisite motifs.
Small motifs like circles, stars, kuyri, rui phool, kalas pakhhli, chandrakor, clusters of 3 leaves, were very common for the body of the sari.
The modern technology has brought in a lot of progress in dyeing technology and variations in colors, however the Traditional Paithani colors were produced from vegetable dyes.
It took approximately 1 day to set the silk threads on the loom. "Tansal" is used to put the "wagi". The "pavda" works like the paddle to speed up the weaving. The "jhatka" is used to push the "kandi" from one side to the other. "Pushthe" is used in designing the border of Paithani in which it is punched according to design application. "Pagey" are tied to the loom. The threads are then passed through "fani". There are two types of motion:
Paithani saris are silks in which there is no extra weft forming figures. The figuring weave was obtained by a plain tapestry technique. There are three techniques of weaving:
Weaving could take between 18 to 24 months, depending upon the complexity of the design. Today there are many weavers who are working for the revival of this treasured weave.
Paithani can be classified by three criteria: motifs, weaving, and colours.
Paithani is a varient of Traditional Sari, named after the Paithan village in Aurangabad, Maharashtra state of India where these sari's where hand woven.
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