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Saree shopping made easier

Discussion in 'Clothing & Apparels' started by Vidya24, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    Hi all,

    I found this guide useful when shopping for Tamil Nadu type sarees, especially for elderly ladies.
    This essay is faithfully reproduced from the net, and is not my own work.
    Enjoy yr retail therapy in sarees!
    Vidya
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    USEFUL FACTS

    Sari buying is easier if you can name what you want. The following terms were patiently explained by Selvam, a friendly salesman at the Radha Silk Emporium:
    The silks
    Kanchipuram pattu: Hand woven from hand-spun silk yarn.
    Pure silk: Woven on a power loom from twisted silk yarn.
    Crepe silk: More slinky silk woven on a power loom from twisted yarn.
    Vairoosi: Silk shot with gold. The warp is silk thread, and the weft is one jari thread for every few silk threads.
    Tissue: Silk shot with more gold, so that it shimmers. The warp is silk, and the weft is entirely jari.
    Brocade: Silk with heavy jari woven on a Jacquard loom.
    (Many shops use words such as "art silk" or "fancy silk", material which may have nothing to do with a silkworm. If something doesn’t look silky enough to you, keep moving.)
    The jari
    Pure jari: Silver jari thread that is plated with gold. Selvam recommends dry cleaning the first time and then careful hand washing. For long-lasting saris, don’t buy any other kind of jari.
    Tested jari: Copper jari coated with thread. Dry clean only. It is usually not worth the trouble and you are better advised to stick with the pure stuff or silk thread work on the borders.
    The cottons
    Madurai "chungudi" cotton: A smooth cotton woven on a power loom, sometimes tie-dyed. Look for a high count (close weave) if you want a long-lasting sari with an easy drape.
    Kanchi cotton: Handloom saris with a more open weave.
    Chettinad cotton: Earthy handlooms, the most popular being checked or striped. Buy the closer weave.
    The colours and weaves
    Double colour: The warp thread is one colour and the weft another.
    MS blue: Double colour of ink blue and black threads, named after M.S. Subbulakshmi.
    Mustard: A muted gold.
    Ramar blue: Teal blue.
    Ramar green: A green that is deep, but not as dark as bottle green.
    Two-tone border: The inner edge of each border is one colour and the outer edge another.
    Ganga-Yamuna: The upper border is one colour and the lower border another.
    Ganapati temple border: Simple peaks at the junction of border and body.
    Gopuram border or thazhampu: Jagged peaks at the junction of border and body.
    Self border: A border that has no band of contrasting colour, only the jari design.
    Lakshadeepam: Dense jari motifs all over the body.
    Kalakshetra: Pattu without jari. Not to be confused with the proprietary designs of the Kalakshetra Foundation in Adyar.
    Minakari: Motifs or borders with red and green silk spots highlighted in the jari, resembling minakari enamel work.
    Vanasingaram: Pattern of forest animals or Rama and Sita.


     
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  2. safa

    safa Bronze IL'ite

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    dear vidya,

    This is very helpful.I liked it. thank u.......:clap
     
  3. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Vidhya,

    That was a very informative and interesting writeup on sarees....i was not aware about a few details....anyway that makes me more nostalgic about my life in chennai when i was in sari always...uhm...today what with temples and the get together with Chitra and then ur witeup on sari...makes me wondering what am i doing here in this country...well will get into a sari tomorrow just to please myself ....since i cannot go sari hunting...ha ha...:p
     
  4. Varloo

    Varloo Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Sudha,
    you know, I usually wear salwar kameez only. But for the get together, I wanted to wear a saree, I found the decision was apt. So wore a new saree which my hisband got for my b'day last year. I bought a new blouse just the day before in contrast to that. The saree is a smooth variety, grey colour with subtle embroidery in orange . I bought a crushed type readymade blouse from Naidu Hall. I bunked by not taking my saree along. But lickily the blouse matched with the saree very much and Bhugan and Santha Narayanan complimented on it. When you come over, we shall all plan and wear beautiful sarees and enjoy.
    By the way, when do you think you will make it possible?
    With warm wishes,
    varloo
     
  5. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    Hi Varloo,
    That was so sweet of you to write about your "saree " and "blouse- Matching" experience!
    Yeah we too try to wear sarees now and then for our ladies lunches....luckily for us the weather is getting warmer or should i say hotter, (30 to 32 DEGREES) and we are all freaking out with our cottons. And since India is in focus everywhere, we dont mind now being ogled in sarees by our co passengers when we use the trams etc, in fact we seem to getting appreciative glances and a smile here and there. So that makes us feel better about wearing sarees, though i too am not a sari fan these days!
    But yes i am planning a trip soon, in late july, august....lets see. My husband is already making fun now saying that i will have a definite trip to Chennai, which i would not have made otherwise.( my trips will be only madurai, b'lore and delhi usually!)
    So be prepared you Chennaiites for another gala get together, ha ha...:tongue
     
  6. meenaprakash

    meenaprakash Silver IL'ite

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    useful, really....

    Dear Vidya,

    that was an interesting & informative post on sarees.
    I'm looking out for a list of sarees of diff places.. like kanchipuram pattu is from TN, likewise the diff sarees available /famous in diff states.
    Names of some traditional sarees of diff states, etc.

    Varloo, Sudha, Safa, pls do share your knowledge on sarees.
     
  7. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Ready for a shopping spree?

    Hi all,

    Here is my little bit of knowledge about the different saris available. Mostly gathered from my mom who painstakingly collected different types of sarres for me for my wedding. So here goes:

    1. Maharashtra : Paithani
    2. West Bengal : they have a few different types: Jamdani, Baluchari and kantha.
    Ithink the Baluchari saree was the first to introduce the pallu designs with themes from the the great epics. I have 2 of them , both bought about 15 years back. and ofcourse, pothys or rmkv were not around at that time!
    3. Rajasthan: Kota
    5.Benaras: Benaras Silk
    6. Madhya Pradesh: Chanderi
    7. Dhaka( bangladesh): Jamdani, Tangail , dhakai silk ( these are the sarees that are so fine the you can pull them through a finger ring!).

    Of course the south sarees which all of you must be more familiar with. If anyone knows of any other type of saree please share.

    Vandhana
     
  8. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    Hi Vandana,
    That was a great list you have made...will definetely look into my collection, if anything is left out!:p

    i must confess though i can appreciate a good saree , i can never remember what or where it is from.....have seen all these varieties only from my friends here from the different parts of the country! I think U P and M P also has a typical type , the names elude me.....they have such lovely contrast borders. Also Andhra Pradesh , has some specific variety....which also looks colorful.

    and of course Bandhini print sarees, i think from Gujarath is it, they are also lovely....

    Not to mention the different styles that these sarees are worn...my what amazing creativity and variety we people have in India!:clap
     
  9. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Hi Sudha,

    Yes , we have so much to be proud of. The only reason I know these names are because i own them. My mom was quite particular that i not have only the usual Kanchivaram and Mysore silks!. So the only kanchivarams were for my Nichyathatham and oonjal podavais. For all the other wedding functions, i wore one saree from the few different states. Andhra is famous for Pochampalli. Bandhini is both Gujarat and Rajasthan .

    Now all the varities of silk cottons etc...... You head just swims!!!.

    Vandhana
     
  10. Varloo

    Varloo Gold IL'ite

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    Hai,
    Andhra is famous for the Gadhwal sarees also. I think they have cotton bodies and silk borders.
    Now Kumaran has introduced cotton silk casual wear sarees called Amruthavarshini. They seem to be very elegant. And you also get the silk cotton variety at Prashanthi (CIT Nagar) which look like our Kancheepuram, same colour combinations and zari borders. These can be washed at home after a first time dry wash. They come with matching blouse pieces also.
    And in Trivandrum there is a shop called Karalkada. It was usually associated with the traditional set mundu but it is a vast shop dealing with all handloom products and sarees. The salesman told me tht they also hve cotton sarees from all over India, especially the type which Indira Gandhi used. I did not have time to look into that then.
    Now lots of other varieties of sarees are available and it is difficult to choose. Rasi has some good designer collections. I usually buy from there.
    So nice to discuss sarees.
    With warm wishes,
    varloo
     

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