6 Sarees from Western India that you have to Explore

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Western India has a rich and diverse textile heritage, with a multitude of saree styles that have been passed down through generations. These sarees have distinctive weaves, patterns, and motifs that make them unique, reflecting the culture and traditions of the region. In this article, we explore six exquisite sarees from Western India that you need to know about.

  • Bandhani Or (Bandej) Saree (Gujarat)

Easily one of the more popular saree types in this list (maybe after Paithani), Bandhani sarees, also known as Bandhej sarees, are traditional Indian garments characterized by their intricate tie-dye patterns. They are mainly produced in the western states of India, such as Gujarat, Rajasthan, and some parts of Uttar Pradesh. The cities of Jaipur, Bhilwara, Udaipur, Bikaner, Ajmer, Jamnagar, and Kutch are known for their exquisite Bandhani work.

The process of making a Bandhani saree involves several steps:

  1. Fabric selection: Typically, lightweight and flowy fabrics like silk, cotton, or georgette are chosen for Bandhani sarees.
  2. Designing: Artisans create intricate designs on the fabric using a combination of dots, lines, and patterns. They may use stencils or freehand drawing to outline the patterns.
  3. Tying: The fabric is then tied tightly with thread at specific points, based on the design. This technique is called “bandhani” or “bandhej,” meaning “to tie.”
  4. Dyeing: The tied fabric is dyed in one or more colors. The tied areas resist the dye, creating unique patterns once the thread is removed.
  5. Finishing: After dyeing, the fabric is dried, ironed, and sometimes embellished with sequins, mirrors, or embroidery to add a touch of glamour.

The popularity of Bandhani sarees can vary based on the latest fashion trends and regional preferences. However, some popular styles include:

  1. Leheriya: A wavy, diagonal striped pattern in bright colors, symbolizing the flow of water.
  2. Ekdali: A pattern featuring small dots created by tying the fabric at regular intervals.
  3. Shikari: A pattern with elaborate hunting scenes or animal motifs, often used for bridal wear.
  4. Borjaal: A pattern consisting of floral or geometric designs, using a combination of multiple colors.

The popularity of specific Bandhani sarees might change over time, but these styles have remained consistently sought-after. To find the most popular Bandhani sarees in the market, it’s best to check with local retailers, online stores, or fashion blogs for up-to-date information.

Choosing a Bandhani Saree

Bandhani sarees are known for their vibrant colors and intricate patterns. The choice of colors and border styles can vary depending on personal preferences, the occasion, and the latest fashion trends. However, here are some general suggestions for colors and border styles that go well with Bandhani sarees:


  1. Traditional colors: Bandhani sarees are often associated with bold and vivid colors like red, yellow, orange, green, and blue. These colors hold cultural significance and are particularly popular during festivals and weddings.
  2. Pastel shades: For a more subtle and contemporary look, pastel shades like peach, pink, light blue, and mint green can be chosen. These colors give a fresh and elegant touch to the saree.
  3. Contrast colors: Combining contrasting colors in a Bandhani saree can make it stand out. For instance, a red saree with a green border or a blue saree with a yellow border creates an eye-catching contrast.

Border styles:

  1. Zari borders: Zari is a traditional form of embroidery using metallic threads, often in gold or silver. A zari border can add a touch of luxury and grandeur to a Bandhani saree, making it suitable for festive or wedding occasions.
  2. Gota Patti borders: Gota Patti is a popular embroidery technique using small pieces of zari ribbon, arranged in intricate patterns. This type of border adds a rich and elegant touch to the saree.
  3. Lace borders: For a delicate and feminine look, lace borders can be added to a Bandhani saree. This style is particularly popular with lighter fabrics like georgette or chiffon.
  4. Printed or plain borders: A printed border featuring coordinating or contrasting patterns can enhance the saree’s overall design. Alternatively, a plain border in a contrasting or complementary color can also be used to frame the saree.
  5. Embroidered borders: Borders with intricate embroidery using thread, beads, or sequins can give a Bandhani saree an opulent and sophisticated look.

Ultimately, the choice of colors and border styles depends on personal taste and the occasion for which the saree is worn. This Pinterest Board can help you decide the border styles of your choosing. It is essential to consider factors like skin tone, body shape, and personal style when selecting the perfect Bandhani saree.

  1. Patola Sarees

Patola sarees are traditional Indian garments known for their luxurious silk fabric and intricate double Ikat weaving technique. These sarees originate from the town of Patan in the state of Gujarat, India. The craftsmanship involved in creating a Patola saree makes it a highly valued and sought-after textile, often considered an heirloom piece.

Patola sarees are indeed expensive due to several factors:

  1. Material: These sarees are made of high-quality silk, which is inherently more expensive than other materials like cotton or synthetic fibers.
  2. Weaving technique: The double Ikat weaving process used in Patola sarees is labor-intensive and time-consuming. Each thread is dyed individually before being woven, resulting in precise and intricate patterns on both sides of the fabric.
  3. Artisanal craftsmanship: Patola sarees are handwoven by skilled artisans, who have honed their craft over generations. The knowledge and expertise required to create these sarees add to their value and cost.
  4. Rarity: The complexity of the weaving process and the limited number of skilled artisans make Patola sarees rare and exclusive, which further increases their price.

Best color and border options for Patola sarees:

Colors: Patola sarees are known for their vibrant colors, which are achieved using natural dyes. Traditional colors like red, green, yellow, and blue are popular choices. However, modern interpretations of Patola sarees may also feature more subtle shades like beige, cream, or pastel hues. The choice of color should depend on personal preferences, skin tone, and the occasion for which the saree is worn.

Border styles:

  1. Traditional borders: Classic Patola sarees often feature geometric patterns, floral motifs, or figurative designs along the borders. These intricate designs complement the main body of the saree and add a touch of elegance.
  2. Zari borders: As with other sarees, Patola sarees can also feature zari borders for a more opulent and festive look. Gold or silver zari can be woven into the border to create intricate patterns or motifs.
  3. Contrasting borders: Borders in contrasting colors can add visual interest to a Patola saree. For instance, a green saree with a red border or a blue saree with a yellow border can create a striking look.
  4. Minimal borders: Some Patola sarees may feature simple, minimal borders to allow the main body’s Ikat patterns to shine. These borders can be in a complementary or contrasting color, with or without subtle embellishments.

Ultimately, the choice of colors and border styles for a Patola saree depends on personal taste, the occasion, and the overall look one wishes to achieve. Patola sarees are versatile and can be styled for both traditional and contemporary looks.

  1. Kota Doria Sarees

Kota Doria sarees are traditional Indian garments known for their lightweight, airy, and delicate appearance. They originate from the town of Kota in the state of Rajasthan, India. The sarees are made of a blend of silk and cotton fibers, which contribute to their unique texture and characteristics. Here are some features that make Kota Doria sarees unique:

  1. Weaving technique: The signature feature of Kota Doria sarees is their distinctive weaving pattern. They are characterized by a square-checkered pattern called “khats,” created by interweaving fine silk and cotton yarns. This open weave structure gives the saree its lightweight and sheer appearance.
  2. Comfort: Kota Doria sarees are well-suited for hot and humid climates because of their light and breathable nature. The open weave allows for better air circulation, making them comfortable to wear during summers.
  3. Versatility: Kota Doria sarees are versatile and can be worn for various occasions, from casual outings to more formal events. The sarees can be left plain or adorned with prints, embroidery, or zari work to cater to different tastes and preferences.
  4. Natural fibers: The blend of silk and cotton fibers in a Kota Doria saree gives it a unique texture, combining the softness and sheen of silk with the breathability and comfort of cotton.
  5. Craftsmanship: Kota Doria sarees are handwoven by skilled artisans, which adds to their charm and appeal. The weaving process requires precision and expertise to create the delicate checkered pattern and maintain the saree’s consistent texture.
  6. Customization: Kota Doria sarees can be easily customized with various embellishments, prints, or embroidery to create unique and personalized designs. Some popular choices include block prints, floral motifs, or the addition of a zari or lace border.

The unique characteristics of Kota Doria sarees make them a popular choice among women seeking lightweight, comfortable, and elegant attire. Their versatility and adaptability to different styles also contribute to their appeal.

Kota Doria Pricing

The price of Kota Doria sarees can range from affordable to more expensive, depending on several factors:

  1. Material: The quality and blend of silk and cotton fibers impact the price. Sarees with a higher silk content or made from premium quality materials will generally cost more.
  2. Craftsmanship: Handwoven sarees by skilled artisans may have higher prices due to the expertise, time, and effort involved in the weaving process.
  3. Design and embellishments: Additional designs, such as block prints, embroidery, or zari work, can increase the price. More intricate and elaborate designs usually come at a higher cost.
  4. Brand reputation: Sarees from well-known designers or brands might be more expensive due to their reputation for quality and exclusivity.

While affordable Kota Doria sarees are available, be cautious of very low-priced options, as they may compromise quality in terms of materials or craftsmanship. It’s essential to find a balance between affordability and quality to ensure you get the best value for your money.

  1. Leheriya Sarees

Lehariya sarees are traditional Indian garments known for their vibrant, wavy, and diagonal striped patterns that resemble the flow of water. Originating from Rajasthan, India, they are typically made from lightweight materials like chiffon, georgette, silk, or cotton, and are created using a unique tie-dye technique.

Interesting facts about Lehariya sarees:

  1. The word “Lehariya” comes from the Rajasthani word “leher,” which means “wave.” The name reflects the saree’s wavy, flowing pattern.
  2. The traditional Lehariya saree colors represent different aspects of life, including happiness (yellow), love (green), and passion (red). The colors are often combined to create a vibrant and eye-catching effect.
  3. Lehariya sarees are particularly popular during the monsoon season and are often worn during the Teej festival, which celebrates the arrival of the rains.

Things to keep in mind before purchasing a Lehariya saree:

  1. Fabric quality: Pay attention to the quality of the fabric used. Choose a saree made from comfortable, lightweight, and high-quality materials like chiffon, georgette, silk, or cotton, which are suitable for the tie-dye technique.
  2. Color combinations: Lehariya sarees come in various color combinations. Select a saree that complements your skin tone and personal preferences.
  3. Pattern and design: Look for a saree with a well-defined and evenly distributed pattern. The tie-dye process should create clean, sharp lines that enhance the saree’s overall appearance.
  4. Budget: Lehariya sarees can range in price depending on the fabric, craftsmanship, and embellishments. Set a budget and look for a saree that balances quality and affordability.
  5. Occasion: Consider the event or occasion for which you plan to wear the saree. Lehariya sarees can be worn for casual outings, festive occasions, or more formal events, depending on the saree’s design and material.
  6. Care instructions: Lehariya sarees may require special care due to the tie-dye process. Ensure you understand the proper washing and maintenance instructions to preserve the saree’s colors and fabric quality.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when purchasing a Lehariya saree, ensuring that you select a high-quality and visually appealing garment that suits your needs and preferences.

  1. Paithani Sarees

Paithani sarees, traditional Maharashtrian garments, are cherished for their cultural significance, rich history, and exquisite craftsmanship. They are handwoven from fine silk and adorned with intricate zari work, featuring traditional themes such as peacocks and floral patterns.

Unique aspects of Paithani sarees include skilled craftsmanship, high-quality silk, intricate designs, and cultural importance, making them ideal for special occasions like weddings and ceremonies.

Before buying a Paithani saree, consider:

  1. Authenticity: Ensure the saree is made from high-quality silk and zari, and crafted by skilled artisans.
  2. Budget: Paithani sarees can be expensive, so set a budget that balances quality, design, and affordability.
  3. Occasion: These sarees are suited for special events but may be too extravagant for casual wear.
  4. Color and design preferences: Choose a saree that complements your skin tone and personal preferences.
  5. Maintenance: Follow proper care instructions, such as dry cleaning and storage, to maintain the saree’s longevity.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when purchasing a Paithani saree, ensuring you choose an authentic, high-quality garment that suits your needs and preferences.

Kasta Sarees

The next feature on this list also hails from the Maharastrian hinterland, also called Nauvari or Lugade Sarees, Kasta Sarees are traditional Maharashtrian sarees typically worn in a unique drape resembling a dhoti. They are nine yards long, which is where the name “Nauvari” comes from, as “nau” means nine and “vari” means yards in Marathi.

How to drape a Nauvari saree:

  1. Start by tying a knot with one end of the saree around your waist.
  2. Take the other end and bring it between your legs, creating a dhoti-like effect.
  3. Tuck the end at the back of your waist.
  4. Bring the remaining saree to the front, wrapping it around your waist.
  5. Fold the saree into pleats and tuck them into your waist at the center.
  6. Bring the remaining length of the saree over your left shoulder, creating a “pallu.”
  7. Adjust the pleats and pallu as needed for a neat appearance.

Picking a Nauvari saree for a wedding:

  1. Material: Choose a Nauvari saree made from high-quality materials such as silk or cotton-silk blends for a luxurious feel.
  2. Color: Opt for rich and vibrant colors such as maroon, red, or purple that are traditional for wedding occasions. You can also consider the wedding theme and your personal preferences.
  3. Design: Look for sarees with intricate borders, embroidery, or zari work that add elegance and grandeur to the saree. Traditional Maharashtrian motifs like peacocks, florals, or geometrical patterns can enhance the saree’s appearance.
  4. Budget: Set a budget that balances quality, design, and affordability. High-quality Nauvari sarees can be expensive, so consider your budget before making a purchase.
  5. Accessorize: Complete your look with traditional Maharashtrian jewelry like nath (nose ring), kolhapuri saaj (necklace), and mundavalya (pearl strings worn across the forehead).

By considering these factors, you can select a suitable Nauvari saree for a wedding occasion that reflects your personal style while staying true to traditional Maharashtrian aesthetics.

A special thanks to the folks over at Monastoor, specialist in women’s sarees for supplying us with this information and expertise in ethnic wear.

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