Yeola Saree Weaving- Paithani Weaving - The Art and Culture of India. - Seeker's Thoughts

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Yeola Saree Weaving- Paithani Weaving - The Art and Culture of India.

Yeola Saree Weaving: -  The art and Culture of India, Paithani Weaving is craft of India. It gets its name form the town- Paithan, Maharasthra. Paithan known as Pratishthana was capital of Satvahana Empire in Satvahana Rulers.


Paithani Sari- Traditional trousseau of a typical Maharashtrian bride, Paithani is one of the most magnificent and luxurious textiles in the world. 

Paithani is a brocade sari which is completely hand crafted with traditional tapestry technique. Its special feature is that it looks identical on either side of fabric. 

This beauty lies in the eyes, hands and mind of its weaver. To own a Paithani is to own a treasure! Its origin lies back in 200 B.C

Who makes it?- Four communities design this

1.      Kshatriya

2.      Koshti

3.      Shali

4.      Nagpuri
In needs skill for weaving and traditionally has been passed from one generation to another. However, now craft is being taught in certain universities.

The Material used is – Silk Yarn, Zari Yarn and dye.  Silk yarn is imported from Banglore- Karnataka Region, while high grade of silk is imported from china. There are variety of colors in which the sarees are made.

Designs /Motifs – Paithani is characterized by the “Mor Butti” or “Peacock Motif on Pallu and the “Narali Kinar” or coconut border. However there are many more designs which are available in Paitani Saree. It has four variety of designs.

A.      Paper design- A paper with motif dran on its placed below the wrop threads and fixed with pins. Some of the categories are-



1.      The Bangdi- Mor Motif- It is one of the oldest motifs in Paithani. It is remembered as the most intricate pattern in Paithani. The motif consists of a bangle inside which is a lotus flower; four peacocks are seated on the bangle in four directions. It had around 36 elements in it, which with time have reduced to ten. The bangle signifies "Saubhagya" (completeness of a woman), while Peacock kindeness, compassion and luck as it is a symbol of Godess Saraswati. The lotus flower resembles to that of Ajanta caves.  While another theory says that the bangle represents the world. There are four symbols one each between the four peacocks which represent the guards of four directions according to Hindu mythology. The four peacocks are the hands of Lord Vishnu. The lotus (Nabhi Kamal) in the centre is the flower which came out of Lord Vishnu's belly. Thus this motif can said to be a depiction of the creation of God.  Bangadi-Mor motif dates back to almost 2000 years. Initially this motif was done in pallu only. Later in 1400 A.D. they found place in border as well. Sandwiched between parrots, peacocks, stars and asawalis besides flowering vine and lotuses, some borders are 6" to 18". In last 100 years not a single true Bangadi-Mor was weaved.

2.      The Ajanta Lotus: The Lotus or Kamal Pushpa is a motif that bears a close resemblance to the murals of Ajanta Caves located in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. It is the sign of rebirth. The use of this motif is also done since 2000 years.

3.      Koyari: or Mango is integral part of Indian culture . It was weaved in Paithani for almost 1000 years since Maratha kingdom was dominant in the region. Many additions and variations gave it modern look and intricateness.

4.      Akruti Motif: These motifs are from Satvahana's period. It is almond shaped. Due to its elegance and simplicity these were used in almost all paithani sarees either as main element or elements in pallu. 

5.      Asawali Motif: It is a motif made of creepers and flowers. Asawali Motifs, Vases and Vines were popular in 18th to 19th Century during rule of Peshwa of Pune. Asawali was adopted from Gujarat as the Peshwa established Yeola as weaving centre and commissioned weavers from Gujarat to weave Paithanies for royals. Since the Mughal influence was predominant, vines and vases remained main stream pattern. Around 600 variants are available from this design from a simple vine to intricate 6 yard filler. Jahangir’s great love for nature and flowers brought many symbolic designs to this textile adding another dimension to Paithani in appearance and increasing its repertoire. 

6.      Tota-Maina Motif: Tota Maina is symbolic of loving couple. Parrot and Maina are arranged in romantic form around creepers. These motifs are woven in parrot green and red colour.   

7.       Huma Parinda: It is a motif of a heavenly bird. This motif was ordered by Nilofer Begum, the wife of Nizam king of Hyderabad. This design is very antique and is not seen in use since many years.

B.      Dobby designs: The borders of Paithani saree are created by dobby attachment. The desired designs are set up in the dobby attachment and yarns are arranged accordingly to achieve the results.  The border in woven with golden zari threads in combination with silk threads which are similar or in contrast shades to the basic shade of the saree.

1. Narali Kinar: The traditional coconut border (Narali) was the most common Paithani border until the end of 19th century. Coconut known as "Sriphal" in India is the fruit of gods. It symbolises complete usefulness, selfless service, prosperity and generosity. 

2. Pankha Motif: This motif is fan shaped. It is used in borders of the saree and looks similar to Narali motif.
            There are many other designs available in this Design.


C. Geometrical Designs: Some designs used in the pallu are geometrical. These are geometrical motifs which are set on a fixed number of threads. The artisans memorize the increments and decrements in threads required to create the design pattern.

1. The Muniya: Muniya symbolizes the parrot. Parrot is sign of love and passion. Originally Muniya motif was used to fill the weave in and around other motifs. It was introduced in 1970's as independent border form by essence of lower cost woven border. It is woven in green colour with red beak.

2. Barav Motif: It is a staggered motif in step form.  It is usually woven in red, yellow, orange or firozi blue colour.

D. Jacquard Designs: There are motifs in the body of the saree which are created by jacquard attachment. Round dots, peacocks, flowers, diamonds, etc, are made with this technique.  These are usually done with golden zari threads.

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