Maheswari saris are one of the most popular saris of the India. These saris got their name from the city Maheswar where they are produced. Maheswari saris are made of cotton or silk or combination of both. These saris are not just popular in India but are in huge demand of Canada, UK, Germany and many other western countries. Maheswari saris are light weight and can be wore easily throughout the year.
Maheswari saris are present since 5th century. Maheswar has always being popular as hub of handloom weaving. It rose to popularity under strong leadership of Queen Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar ((1767-1795). It is assumed that the first Maheswari sari was designed by Queen Ahilya Bai. Queen wanted royal gifts for the royal guests. Hence, weavers and artists from Surat and Mandu were hired to work for the Queen. They prepared the exclusive nauvari saris which was worn by the female members of the court. These saris were also gifted to royal guests. You can easily see inspiration of designs in saris from the Temples and forts of Maheswar.
Making of Maheswari Sarees
Maheswari Sarees are made basically of cotton and silk. It basically have designs of flowers, diamond. Jasmine, Swan embossed on it. It has an unique five stripes pallu which have a reversible border.
A sari takes more than 10 days to complete. Most difficult part of weaving is of pallu due to it 5 stripes. It take upto 3-5 days just to weave the pallu.
Maheswari sarees making process involves 5 steps
- Dyeing of Yarn – Cotton and silk yarn are dipped in bleaching solutions for hours before actual dyeing process starts. Dyes are mixed in a big metal tub in warm water to get the desire colours. They are then washed in plain water and then with detergents in warm water. The yarns are then washed again in plain water and dried on bamboo poles
- These yarns are freed from tangles and stretched to make them tighter.
- Reeling process – These tangle free yarns are taken through a process of reeling by using chakra converting them in to bundles of small rolls ready for the loom.
- Weaving – Warp is bound on the main loom on the main beam of the loom and weft is weaved according to the design requirement. Zari pattern is added as border to add royal touch to the fabric. Since the pallu have 5 strips it take the most time in weaving. After weaving process sari is ready to be packed and does not require any further printing.
Plain maheswari silk is also sold and batik printing is done on them which add more value to the sarees.