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The beauty of fabric consists in its fineness, softness and transparency, but the ends were often worked and fringed heavily with gold thread. Chanderi is a traditional ethnic fabric known for its lightweight, sheer texture and fine luxurious feel. Weaving of Chanderi is done with silk and golden Zari in the traditional cotton yarn that results in the creation of the gleaming texture. Chanderi Sarees have originated from a small town Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh, hence the name Chanderi. In Chanderi village traditional weavers practice the art of producing textured sarees in cotton and silk decorated with fine zari work. This fabric can be classified into three types – Chanderi silk cotton, pure silk and Chanderi cotton. Traditionally, Chanderi fabric was primarily used in weaving Sarees and Salwar Kameez material.
In the ancient times, Chanderi was hand woven using handspun cotton warps and wefts. The evolution of Chanderi began in 1890’s when the weavers replaced handspun yarns with mill made yarns. In 1910, Chanderi Sarees were promoted by the Royal Scindia family and then the golden motif made its occurrence in a cotton muslin saree for the first time.
Creation of unique buttis or motifs and the transparent or sheer texture of Chanderi fabric are the two prime characteristics that distinguish it from other handloom fabrics.
Motifs or Buttis
The motifs on Chanderi fabric are primarily hand woven on handloom, with the use of needles. Separate needles are used to create different motifs. Weavers coat these motifs with gold, silver as well as copper. Motifs created using chanderi weaving are inspired from nature and include Swans, gold coins, fruits, and heavenly bodies. From traditional motifs of flowers, peacock, lotus to modern geometric patterns adorning the Chanderi fabrics. Color palette of Chanderi sarees are predominately ruled by soft pastel hues, however with changing times, vibrant combinations of red and black, turquoise and navy blue, fuchsia and white also exist.
Transparency or sheer texture is a unique feature of Chanderi fabric that differentiates it from other textiles produced across India. The transparency of this fabric is because of the use of single Flature quality of yarn. When glue of a raw yarn is not separated from it, the non-degumming renders a shine and transparency to the finished fabric which produces a Filature yarn also known as Reeled yarn.
Nowadays, young women prefer wearing Chanderi sarees. It is one of the must-have items for every saree connoisseur and has emerged as the most understated Indian ethnic attire. Chanderi sarees are an impeccable choice for summer wear as well as for ceremonial dressing such as a weddings or pujas. Modern form of saree-drapes and other western dresses like gowns, jackets, shrugs and more are also being made of Chanderi Fabric.
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