Traditional Chanderi Saree – A System Approach

Last Updated on 15/12/2020

Traditional Chanderi Sarees – A System Approach

R.S. Balakumar
Associate Professor
Dept of Fashion Design & Arts
Hindustan University, Chennai, India


Chanderi sarees:
Chanderi is the historic city in Madhya Pradesh, located on the boundary of two cultural region of the state, Malwa and Bundelkhand, of India. This is famous for the weaving culture since the second and seventh century. Chanderi is famous for its traditional chanderi sarees.

These Chanderi sarees are being produced from three types of fabric i.e., pure cotton, puresilk, and silk with cotton mixed. The specialty of these chanderi patterns have exposing the Indian traditional coin, floralart, peacocks and as well as the geometrics are being woven.

Traditional chanderi sarees are the finest sarees of India and are well known for their gold and silver brocade or call as ZARI, fine silk and traditional embroidery.

traditional chanderi silk sarees
Fig: Traditional chanderi silk sarees

In 13th century onwards, weaving culture has been available. Mostly the weavers were muslims. In 1350 later the Koshtic weavers from Jhansi migrated to chanderi and settled there. During the Mughal period, chanderi cloth business has at its peak and flourished.

The basic raw materials used are silk,cotton and Zari. Cotton yarn is boughed from the place call it as Coimbatore, southindias Manchester and also from Ahmedabad. Silk is received from Bangalore (Karnataka) Mumbai, Kolkata, in India and also imported from China, Korea, Brazil and in Vietnam.

Chadreri sarees were used as traditionally woven method as follows:-

  • Plain saree with narrow border, mostly very light weight muslin fabric is used.
  • Sarees with borders,small repeated geometric or floral designs are beingmade.Butis are also appear in the saree surface due to enchance the ornamental effect.
  • Do-chashmee (two streams) one is warp silk and other in satin weave.
  • Mostly the chanderi sarees have a plain surface with smaller dots or motifs of Zari, which are placed at even intervals to make a uniform design.

In chanderi saree borders are used with real gold and pure silver combination with price range starts from 50,000/- to one lakh and even more depending upon the bigger border with real gold is being used. Artesan craft technic used in Zari work with full of hand work.

Even Artificial Zari used and the price is considerably lesser as rs.200/- to 600/-only. The weight of the sarees varies from 200 grams to 950 grams.

Chanderi saree is one of the most notorious outfits of the women in north,south, east and west india. The saree is an unstitched piece with 5.yards to 5.5 yards in length and is 44” to 48”. Saree draped around the women body in different styles depending on the regional customs and also the traditional way of approach.

On an average of 2500 looms are there in chanderi is a town of looms owned by the artesans has two to four looms in his/her home where all the family members work together to earn money and cater the required livelihood.

Chanderi silk has an unique features that olny produced in this particular place and other places never being made such a good and quality goods produced so far.

Mostly, Indian women prefers to wear chanderi saree as their traditional wear because of its finer and lighter in weight and also be used during spring/summer collection. Mostly in Chanderi saree made in Red colour only. Now-a-days export business are well flourished. These sarees are being exported to U.S.U.K and Malasia, Singapore and Ceylon to cater the neen of Indian Women settled in foreign countries for a quit longer period.

Even now chanderi weavers producing the salwar-khameez, dupatta set also called as suit pieces and a large volume of goods are fulfil in need of the consumers demand in other states of India and also to meet over the exporting order as per demand being day by day is increase tremendously. In recent time “UNIDO” (united nations industrial development organization) opened its office in Chanderi for the development of chanderi silk production.

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