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Know your Crafts - Paithani Sarees

Paithani is a hand woven silk saree with a rich, ornamental Zari (gold thread) Pallov (Pallu) and border, which is characterised by borders of an oblique square design, and a Pallov with a peacock design. Named after the Paithan town in Aurangabad Maharashtra state where they are woven by hand. Made from very fine silk, it is considered as one of the richest saris in India.

Main raw materials used for paithani is Silk yarn, Zari and colours. Preferably Filature silk is used as warp and sidlaghatta or charakha silk is used as weft. A typical Paithani is heavy weight, bright colors, butti with pallov and solid zari border. Each Paithani is woven to a standard size of 6¼ yard which also includes ¼ yard blouse piece. One Paithani consumes about 500-575 gms. of silk and 200-250 gms of zari.
Paithani Saree can be classified by three criteria: motifs, weaving, and colours.

Classification by motif:

Bangadi Mor: The word “bangadi” means bangle and “mor” means peacock. So bangadi mor means a peacock in a bangle or in a bangle shape. The motif is woven onto the pallu and the design sometimes having a single dancing peacock. The Sarees using this motif are generally very expensive because of the design.
Munia brocade: The word munia means parrot. Parrots are woven on the pallu as well as in border. Parrots are always in leaf green colour. The parrots in silk are also called tota-maina.
Lotus brocade: Lotus motifs are used in pallu and sometimes on the border. The lotus motif consists of 7-8 colours.

Classification by weaving:

Kadiyal border Saree:The word ‘kadiyal’ means interlocking. The warp and the weft of the border are of the same colour while the body has different colours for warp and weft.
Kad/Ekdhoti: A single shuttle is used for weaving of weft. The colour of the warp yarnkis different from that of the weft yarn. It has a Narali border and simple buttis like paisa, watana, etc. Kad is al3o a form of lungi and is used by male Maharashtrians.

Classification by colour:

Kalichandrakala: It is a pure black Saree with red border.
Raghu: Parrot green coloured Saree.
Shirodak: It is a pure white Saree.


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paithani
  2. http://grandeurmaharashtra.com/paithani-saree/
  3. Image Sources:
    • https://www.behance.net/gallery/29878389/paithani-sarees-collection
    • www.pinterest.com
    • http://www.delhistyleblog.com/2015/09/gaurang-shringar-of-samyukta.html

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