Chanderi Sarees and Their Rich History


Indian women always love to wear sarees irrespective of age or occasion. This is the only attire that will never go out of fashion in India. Sarees have been worn by women in India since the beginning of Indian civilization. A saree adds charm and beauty to any woman who adorns it to any occasion. Sarees are made with different fabric, come in different designs, styles, and patterns. You will get sarees made in cotton, silk, velvet, georgette, Chanderi, and many more.


History of Chanderi sarees


Chanderi is a town in Ashok Nagar district of Madhya Pradesh a historic place that is world famous for its hand-woven Chanderi sarees. Between the 7th and 2nd century B.C., Madhya Pradesh was known for its weaving. It then rose to prominence in the 11th C. when it became an important trade route in India because of its nearness to the ancient ports of Malwa, Mewar, Gujarat, Deccan, and Central India regions. The Chanderi sarees made in Madhya Pradesh are of cotton and silk fabricwith patterns that can be found in the Chanderi temples.


The fabric is soft, comfortable, lightweight, and has a luxurious fine feel that can be worn in the summer or winter seasons. Chanderi fabric is made from weaving silk threads and golden Zariin the traditional cotton yarn to produce the shimmering texture. The handloom was used to weave Chanderi sarees for royalty between the 12th C. and 13th C. Indian royal women loved the Chanderi fabric because of its soft, transparent, and lightweight features.


Weaving process


Chanderi weaving is a craft that has been practiced in many families for many generations. This has created skilled and experienced weavers whose craftsmanship cannot be replaced by power looms. Woven with handspun cotton yarn, fine Chanderi fabric was extracted from the Kolikanda root which was light yet strong, giving the fabric a glossy finish. The fabric is woven using the technique of hand spinning cotton warps and wefts.


From inception till the1920s, only white and off-white attire was woven with its borders embellished with zari and golden threads. The only thread used in the warp was handspun cotton thread and raw silk, cotton, mercerized cotton or kataan in the weft. In the borders and butis, silk, mercerized cotton, and zari threads are used. Then using needles, the butis and Chanderi fabric were woven on the handloom. Other needles were used to create different motifs then weavers coated the motifs with silver, gold, or copper dust.


Nowadays, raw silk that has a lustrous finish - it’s stronger making it easier to work with- is used in the warp of every saree. Zari with silk is sometimes used to make tissue sarees. In the olden days, the throw-shuttle pit looms with two weavers were used, however today; fly-shuttle looms are used with one weaver. Earlier, yarn for weaving was coloured with natural dye, nowadays natural and chemical dyes are used. To weave a Chanderi saree takes more than three days and sometimes more depending on the complexity of the design.


Characteristics and special features of Chanderi fabric


The transparency and sheer texture of Chanderi fabric have earned it the name ‘woven air’. Being lightweight and having a glossy texture makes Chanderi sarees different from other woven garments produced in India. The high quality and extra fine yarns used to weave the Chanderi sarees makes this fabric stronger than other fabrics.


The yarns don’t go through the degumming process to prevent breakage during weaving giving the fabric its unique texture and shine. Motifs such as geometric patterns, celestial figures, coins, peacocks, artistic intertwining lines, lotuses, and figures of animals are used on this fabric.


Motifs and colours


Needles are used to hand weave the motifs or butas on Chanderi fabric using the handloom. However, to create different motifs, separate needles are used then the weavers coat the motifs with silver, copper, and gold. The motifs are inspired by nature like fruits, swans, gold coins, and heavenly bodies.


Traditional motifs of peacocks, flowers, lotus, to exclusive Chanderi motifs like chatai, dandidar, jangla, and mehndi wale haath can be found on Chanderi fabric. Chanderi sarees mainly use soft pastel hues but with changing times, vibrant combinations of navy blue, turquoise, red and black, fuchsia and white also exist.


Chanderi sarees and its artistry


The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act of 1999 protects the Chanderi sarees from being copied because of the special silk yarn and exclusive design that is used to make them. India has over 3500 looms working today and thousands who depend on this craft directly or indirectly, to earn a living.


Nowadays, it’s not easy to find a genuine cotton Chanderi saree because of using different cost-effective raw materials. Most retailers don’t source these because they are priced relatively higher than the mixed material. Chanderi is one of the most protected crafts by the Government, fashion houses, renowned designers, and Bollywood stars who endorse this fabric regularly.


Young people are now wearing this ancient fabric proudly and it’s not only the Chanderi sarees but tunics, scarves, kurtis, and many more. Fashion lovers all over the world love to experiment with this fabric due to its versatility and its easy adaptability to new styles.


Why choose Chanderi sarees?


Chanderi sarees are among the most elegant sarees that add beauty and charm to anyone who wears one. These sarees come in different varieties, varying colours, and unique designs with beautiful borders that are to die for. The Chanderi fabric is versatile and stunning with its delicate golden threads or zari that are found on the borders and all over the fabric covering the motifs add grace to the saree.


With its wide colour combination, Chanderi suits like the Chanderi Anarkali salwar suits, Chanderi chudidars, and many others you can get at stylecaret, are very attractive with the shine of the fabric. This fabric can accommodate additional add-on like embroidery work, crystals, Kundan stones, semi-precious stones, etc. to enhance the look of the saree.




Chanderi sarees have the best fabric that you will fall in love with.


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