Paithani is a variety of sari, named after the Paithan town in Aurangabad from state of Maharashtra where the saree was first made by hand. Present day Yeola town in Nashik, Maharashtra is the largest manufacturer of Paithani.
Considered to be royalty among sarees, Paithani sarees hold a treasured place in the trousseau of a Maharashtrian bride. Symbolising the spirit of true Maharashtrian culture, the ‘Queen of Silks’ is called so rightly because only royals and aristocrats once wore it.
The Paithani weave was in fact a tapestry weaving technique at first and later came to be used for weaving sarees. Paithani sarees were once upon a time woven from silk threads that came from China and locally made zari that came from real gold and silver thread. Nowadays, however, mulberry silk from Bangalore and zari from Surat are used in the weaving process. A genuine handloom Paithani uses about 500 grams of silk thread and another 250 grams of zari thread for a regular six yard saree. Nine yard sarees obviously use more raw material and can weight upto 900 grams.
Firstly, the raw silk threads are dyed using natural dyes obtained from vegetables, minerals, plants and rocks. They are then transferred to the reels, which are loaded onto the loom. The preparation of the loom, which takes a whole day, is probably the most laborious part about the weaving process, as this will determine the design, colour and finer details of the finished product. The weaver then sits down to create the masterpiece that is the Paithani saree through careful hand, foot and eye coordination – a process that could take him anywhere from a month to two years. A particular colour thread is used length-wise and another colour is used width-wise while weaving. Hence, an original saree also does a play of colour as light reflects off it and the saree appears to change its colour.
Buy Paithani saree directly from the artisans. Artisans will get remunerated fairly with no middlemen to manipulate prices. You get access to 100% authentic handcrafted products emerging straight from the heart of India. With every purchase of Paithani sarees of yours, you empower an artisan.