Buying a saree in India

Essential Things to Know When Buying a Sari in India | India clothes, India  dress, India sari

The ancient and exotic sari, India’s traditional national costume for women, has stood the test of time and is now over 5,000 years old. For those who have never worn one, a saree can be a mystery with its pleats and pleats. However, a visit to India would not be complete without at least trying. This information will help you with saree shopping in India.

What is a saree?

A saree is simply a long fabric, typically six to nine yards, that is elegantly worn wrapped around the body. In this sense, one size really fits all. One end of the material is richly decorated and is called a pallu . It is usually worn pleated and held over the shoulder, covering the back. It can also be worn open over the shoulder and draped over the arm.

A special blouse that reveals the stomach, called a choli , and a petticoat are worn under the sari. As the saree wraps around the body, the material fits tightly into the petticoat so it won’t fall off. Pins are not needed, although they are common to use. Cholis can be purchased separately, although quality sarees come with an attached blouse material. This is taken to a tailor who will fold the saree up and make the blouse fit in a couple of days. Today, you can buy Saree blouse online from anywhere.

What are the different types of sarees available?

Each state in India has its own special fabrics and fabrics for its saris. One of the most popular and traditional types of saris is the Kanchipuram / Kanjeevaram, from South India. This saree is made of heavy silk material and has wide decorative edges and contrasting colors. Many of the patterns are derived from temples, palaces, and paintings.

Another popular type of saree is the Banarasi saree, which is hand-woven in Banaras (also known as Varanasi). These saris came into fashion when the Mughals ruled India and feature patterns from this era. Banarasi sarees are admired for their striking and colorful dyed silk fabric. Many feature designs of towns, flowers, and temples.

Other well-known types of saris include the Bandhani / Bandhej saris from Rajasthan and Gujarat dyed in bright colors, the Gadhwal cotton sarees edged with silk and pallu from Andhra Pradesh, the Maheshwari saris from Madhya Pradesh and the magnificent Paithani saris made of fine silk and gold. with Maharashtra peacock design.

A notable feature of most saris is the zari (gold thread) work on them. This fine gold thread is woven throughout the saree, but it appears mainly on the edges and pallu . The zari itself traditionally comes from Surat, in the state of Gujarat.

How much?

It is possible to buy a cheap saree for as little as 150 rupees at a street market, however you will need to be prepared to pay much more for a quality item. However, buying a beautiful saree in India is still inexpensive compared to western prices.

The main thing that affects the price of a saree is the type of fabric it is made from. Printed silk sarees are available starting at 1,500 rupees. Any saree that has woven yarn weave will cost more, with the price increasing in proportion to the amount of yarn work. If the saree also has zari , the cost will be higher again. Another factor that influences the price of a saree is the amount and type of embroidery, such as around the border. Sarees that have a lot of hand-stitched decoration will cost more.

You should expect to pay at least 6,000 rupees for a decent and authentic Kanchipuram saree, although knockoffs can cost as little as 750 rupees. Good quality Banarasi saris start at around 2,000 rupees. The simplest exquisite Paithani saree is not cheap and starts at around 10,000 rupees. Bandhani sarees are much more affordable, starting at 1,000 rupees.

As for the upper price limits for sarees, the quantity can easily be extended to Rs 50,000 or more.

Choosing the right one for the right occasion

One thing to keep in mind when choosing a saree is where you intend to wear it. The type of fabric, color, design or pattern, and embroidery are important considerations. Just as it would be appropriate to wear chiffon or silk for a formal event, and cotton during the day, when dressing in Western clothing, the same is true for wearing a saree. If you are buying a saree to wear to a festival or wedding ceremony, a traditional silk saree is a good option. For a wedding reception, chiffon, georgette or fishnet sarees are popular, with lots of embroidery and bling!

The cut of the blouse also varies. The blouse for an evening saree will have shorter sleeves and will be low-cut in the back.

If you are serious about printing when wearing a saree, don’t neglect your jewelry! It is important to accessorize the saree correctly, so buy matching bangles as well as a matching jewelry set (necklace and earrings).

What to be careful of

Many places offer faux sarees with copies of Kanjeevaram and other patterns. The most important thing to check is the quality of the silk and the zari in the saree. On initial inspection, the silk may feel thick and shiny near the pallu, but inside the saree, it may be half as thick! Lower quality saris makers use two-layer silk instead of three-layer silk for weaving and fake gold thread for zari work .

The zari used for a Kanjeevaram saree is a silk thread covered with flattened silver in the center and gold on the outer surface. To test if the zari is fake, scratch or scrape it off and if the red silk does not emerge from the core, the saree is not a true Kanjeevaram. Also, the edge, body and pallu of a genuine Kanjeevaram silk saree are woven separately and then interwoven.