Leheriya is an indigenous variation of tie and dye technique of fabric printing. Also a take from the Indian Bandhani, Leheriya is primarily done in the state of Rajasthan – and was actually used only for the colourful turbans worn by the menfolk and later also for riot-of-colors dupattas or odhanis (wraps). Over the time, however, this multi-hued, vibrant art gained popularity, and was also tried on many other ensembles, especially sarees. The word leheriya comes from the Hindi word ‘lehar’ or ‘leher’ which literally means waves. The colourful leheriya sarees have characteristic wave-like patterns or streaks – alternating between white/ cream and bright colors, used during dyeing.
The beautiful striated or striped designs are immensely popular among Rajasthani people and culture – who hold these sarees and dupattas as auspicious – and thus, as must-use during sacred occasions and weddings. Leheriya Sarees are often worn by brides in Rajasthan for their pre-wedding functions – and also by women during weddings, functions like god bharai and house-warming. These saris, along with Bandhani saris, make up the trousseau of many Indian brides, especially the ones in the western states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Jaipur – the capital city of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer, Udaipur and Nathdwara (on the Gujarat-Rajasthan border) are popular centres of Leheria dyeing.
Made out of a light and fluid fabric material, largely fine quality cottons, muslins or cotton-silks, these sarees are a visual representation of “waves of water and cool air.” Leheriya Sarees date back to the 19th century, when they were worn by Marwari women throughout Rajasthan. Women from the Marwari royal class also wore Leheriya Sarees, but these were mainly blue in colour, as representative of their elite class. Leheria continues to be extremely popular in Rajasthan, and is closely associated with festivals and special occasions.
Leheriya is achieved by a resist dyeing technique, where the fabric is either tied in a certain pattern, so as to achieve the unique wave-like effect or resistance is achieved through mud application on the cloth. A variety of folds are also used to create resistance – especially the fan-like folding of the material to get the wavy pattern. This age-old technique largely used natural dyes, including indigo – and the fabric has to go through multiple washes, before it reaches the final stage.
With modern fashion designers creating beautiful and trendy Leheriya Sarees for their elite and well-travelled customers, Leheria Sarees are becoming increasingly popular among saree lovers, all over the world. The enchanting colors, the enticing patterns and the unmatched vibrancy of the wavy designs makes these fluid saris much loved by new brides as well as young girls.
Saree for all ages and body types:
Today, leheriya is made in all sorts of fabric bases. From classic cotton and silk leherias to georgette and sico (cotton-silk) sarees, these lovely, easy to drape saris are available in a multitude of varieties. Many saree manufacturers also make printed leheriya sarees, which are not made using the traditional tie and dye process. The printed ones are cheaper and easier to maintain – but are nowhere near the surreal gorgeousness of the authentic tie and dye leheriya sarees. However, sometimes, it is a matter of choice – and thus, it’s great to have all the possible options available. At Saree.com, you can get all types of beautiful and bright leheriya saris.
You can also choose the striations on these pretty drapes, basis your body type. A Leheriya Saree with vertically aligned stripes/ waves is a good idea, if you wish to appear tall and slim. On the other hand, you can go for horizontally aligned waves to achieve a slightly fuller look. Diagonal waves, which are most common, are best for creating all sorts of optical illusions – and look very chic, if styled well.
Plenty of designing and adornments are tried on unembellished leheriya sarees to create heavy, embellished wedding sarees and modish party-wear drapes, which are simply a treat to wear and look at. Pretty sequin buttis, kundan work, stone work, Rajasthani gota-patti, broad embroidered borders and even hand-work like aari-tari are used to adorn and embellish these gorgeous saris. Once a basic leheria is decorated with tasteful embellishments, it turns into an entirely magical designer creation.
With Saree.com, you can now shop from the comfort of your own home, from anywhere in the wordl. Choose from the newest arrivals or our classics, which have repeatedly won the hearts of customers. A leheria sari is light in weight and is mostly made on natural, breathable fabrics (as these are more resilient – a must for withstanding the tie & dye technique). This makes these saris a treat to wear in hot, summer months. Probably that’s the reason, they are mostly worn in the hot and humid regions of India.