According to Chinese tradition, the history of silk begins in the 27th century BCE. Its use was confined to China until the Silk Road opened at some point during the latter half of the first millennium BCE. China maintained its virtual monopoly over silk for another thousand years. Not confined to clothing, silk was also used for a number of other applications, including writing.
Silk is considered the strongest natural fabric in the world. Known for its softness, lustre, beauty and luxurious look, silk is one of the higher grade fabrics, providing comfort to the wearer in all types of weather; keeping the body cool in summer and warm in winter.
Silk was discovered during 2640 B.C. in China. Today there are different varieties of silk available in the market like Chiffon, Georgette, Organza, Crepe de Chine, Duponi, Noil, Pongee, Shantung, Tussar, etc. Because of the sheer variety of designs, weaves and quality, Indian silk textile are popular worldwide.
Silk fabric is mainly used for making luxurious and expensive dresses and home furnishings. Indian silk textile is popular worldwide whereas USA is the world’s leading manufacturer of silk products. France and Italy are also involved in the same line producing high value sophisticated silk fabrics in Europe.
INDIAN SILK SAREES:
The silk sarees manufactured and woven from different states vary in designs and styles. Some of the most popular sarees made of silk include the Banarasi sarees, Kanchipuram sarees, Bandhni sarees, Thanchoi sarees, Patola sarees, Paithani sarees and so forth.
1. The Banarasi Sarees
The Banarasi silk sarees are among the most expensive and popular sarees woven in Benaras. It is usually made of gold thread and therefore is very expensive. These sarees are popular as bridal wear and includes four main varieties: the kora, the katari, the sattir and the georgette. The designs on the Banarasi sarees include designs of animals, floral designs, motifs and nature. Weavers require a month to complete a single saree.
2. Kanchipuram Sarees
The contrasting and vibrant color of the Kanchipuram sarees makes it a unique choice among other sarees. The traditional designs found in these sarees include floral buttas, checks, stripes, designs of temples and flowers. The pallu, the border and the body of the saree is woven separately and then joined together in an authentic Kanchipuram saree. These silk sarees are popular for its beauty, lustre and durability.
3. Dharmavaram Silk
Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh is very well known for its silk saris. The beauty of Dharmayaram sari speaks about the volume of hard work and the artistry done by the craftsmen. The border of the sari is the highlight of these five yards of material because of the brilliance of its colours. Traditional designs of butis and dots are the motifs.
4. Gadwal Silk
The Gharhwal Silk Saree is designed in a combination of cotton and silk in small checks with a rich silk and gold border & pallou. Earlier, it was woven in silk with contrasting pallou and border carrying distinctive patterns as per the tradition of stone and wood curving of Gadwal family. The silk saree can be used as daily wear and also for occasions like parties and weddings.
5. Karnataka Silk
Karnataka Silks is unique and elegant in every angle. It has a range of stiff tangails, flowing silks, elegant chiffons and heavy brocades which can be easily maneuvered to this style. Draped around the waist, it forms a skirt with pleats positioned in front enabling space for free and graceful movements. The pallav or the part draped over the left shoulder is either pleated and pinned up or left flowing loose for glamour.
6. Kora Silk
Kora Silk Sarees is woven using quality kora silk fabric. Available in attractive colors and designs, these sarees are appreciated for smooth and soft texture. These sarees are extremely light in weight and are comfortable to wear on different occasions.
7. Mysore Silk
Mysore Silk Sarees are world famous for their fine form, vibrant colors and rich feel. Mysore Silk has become an integral part of the very rich tradition of South Indian Sarees. South India has a very old tradition of silk sarees that is rich in its variety and Mysore Silk surely tops the list of South Silk forms that are popular.
8. Narayanpet Silk
A number of different types of colourful silk saris, with intricate brocade work in silk and zari, are woven at Narayanpet. As the silk threads are not of a very high count, the saris are both light-weight and festive.
9. Patola Sarees
The Patola silk sarees are the tradition of India, which was introduced in the city of Patan in Gujarat. The colorful geometric patterns have a striking appearance on the beautiful silk of the Patola silk sarees. At Kaneesha, we are making our best possible effort towards bringing the most exquisite Patola silk sarees.
10. Pochampally Silk
Pochampally silk saree manufacturing history goes back to 1970, when it was decided by some village headmen of Pochampally to weave silk along with cotton(cotton weaving was being done since very long back), to make a better living. They have sent two young weavers to learn the secrets of the art to Bangalore. This was the beginning of a revolutionary era in the Pochampally handloom industry, which led to the eventual dominance of the Indian tie & die Patola Industry.
As can be seen, silk is a fabric used throughout the length and breadth of India, especially by India women. Over time it has become part of the very social fabric of India, signifying elegance, prestige and beauty.