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Handwork sarees - Stunning drapes made with hand embroidery

The Indian culture is abundant with textile arts, weaves and ostentation skills like embroidery and dyeing. There are hundreds of ways to adorn apparels, especially the ones worn during formal occasions like weddings, religious ceremonies and large scale community gatherings. Crafting garments and fabrics with hand-done decorations is a labour, time and effort intensive task - and obviously this is more expensive and exclusive.

With the growing popularity of machine embroidery, heavy work sarees have become readily available at pocket-friendly prices. These sarees and fabrics are well marketed and mass produced to bring down the costs further. Yet the artistic skills of Indian craftsmen continue to enjoy their own share of patrons. Hand-embroidered or handwork sarees have always been a favourite of the ones looking for designer, exclusive stuff. The rich aesthetic appeal and exclusivity being the prime reasons of the evergreen demand of these stunning, unique sarees. Given the sublime beauty and art of these luxurious handwork sarees, these are practically irreplaceable. From Rajasthani Gota Patti to royal Zardoshi and intricate Aari and Tilla work - there are many types of hand embroideries that are done over sarees - and they are all made on order.

Which are the different types of handwork or embroidery used for decorating sarees?

The origin of handwork sarees has a deep connection with the wardrobe of emperors, state rulers and their family members. Initially, precious metals like gold and silver were converted into thin coils called zardozi, which was stitched over sarees and other fabrics, forming various patterns. Diamonds, pearls and gemstones like rubies and sapphires were also drilled and stitched over sarees or garments manually. These outfits, being priceless possessions, marked the high social status of their owners.

Today handwork sarees are adorned with similar art- zardozi, sequins, beads, stones and thread embroidery. However the components used today are copper metal, plastic sequins and acrylic/glass beads. Gota patti work, aari work, appliqué work, kantha work, resham work and cutwork embroidery are some of the other types of embroidery types, used for making hand-worked sarees. A lot of designers also use Swarovski crystals for crafting their upscale couture collections. These designer hand-worked sarees make excellent wardrobe options for sophisticated weddings and bridal wear. You can find fabulous hand-work and embroidered sarees on saree.com - which is an online store, known worldwide for its latest and value-priced collection of sarees and other forms of ethnic-wear. Since the hand embroidered sarees tend to be special and rare - plus expensive and made on order - you may not see them always on the website. But, you can always book a call over Video Shopping facility at saree.com to get any hand-embellished saree - be it a rich Gharchola or designer Panetar or Banarasi.

How to maintain the beauty of handwork sarees?

Your luxurious handwork saree can cost a packet- especially if it is heavily embellished. In a lot of Indian families, such sarees- especially the ones made with silk are handed over to the next generation as an heirloom and therefore it is important to keep the beauty of these outfits intact.

You can increase the life-span of handwork sarees by following these guidelines-

  • Each of your sarees having handwork should be stored separately- wrapped in a cotton or muslin cloth.
  • Keep the saris away from chemicals like perfumes, make-up and even air-fresheners.
  • Handwork sarees should be less exposed to sunlight and moisture, especially the ones having metallic work like zardozi, sequins and beads/baubles.

Always get them dry-cleaned.