The Silky Affair

Silk radiates elegance and sophistication at first glance. For Indians, particularly ladies silk is a lifeline for their wardrobe – a staple fiber. There are many reasons that make silk desirable and much sought after. It carries shine and opulence, which makes it visually appealing


-Suchismita Mohanta

Silk is one such fabric that has remained a women’s favorite since decades. It comes in a wide range of variety and is called with a wide range of names throughout India. ‘Paat’ as it’s called in East India, South Indians call it ‘Pattu’ and while North Indians call it ‘Resham’. India stands second in the world for silk production after China, the luxury good is produced. Although booming technology has aided in the production of silk fabrics from machinery, still handloom silk products have their prominence over them for the richness of their texture and design. Let’s bring in some light on the famous silk produced in India:

*Brocades of Banaras: Varanasi is famous for its finest silk sarees and brocades. These sarees are known for rich and intricately woven motifs of leaf, flowers, fruits, birds, etc. on a soft color background. They are enriched with intricate borders and heavily decorated pallus.

*Tricks of tie and dye: Dyeing techniques have been practiced in India since time immemorial. There are two distinct traditions in this technique. The Patola or Ikat technique involves the dyeing of the tie-resist fiber. The Bandhej or Bandhani involves the dyeing of the fabric.

*Ikats of Odisha: The tie and dye weave of Odisha known as Ikats employ the yarn resist method for both warp and weft with diffused effect. But the overall pattern is boldly articulated as in confident stroke of a brush. Both Mulberry and Tussar silks are used in the weaving of these Ikats.

*Patolas of Gujrat: The Patolas are known for their precision subtlety and beauty. Here, both warp and weft are dyed by dye resist method in a range of five or six traditional colors like red, indigo, blue, emerald green, black or yellow.

*Tanchois of Gujarat: The Tanchoi brocade was named after the three Parsi brothers called Choi, who learned this art in China and introduced it to Surat. The Choi brocade is usually a dark satin weave, purple or dark red in ground colour, embellished with motifs of flowers, creepers, birds all over design.

*Temple silks of the South: South India is the leading silk producing area of the country also known for its famous silk weaving enclaves like Kancheepuram, Dharmavaram, Arni, etc. While the temple towns like Kancheepuram are renowned for their magnificent heavy silk sarees of bright colors with silver or gold zari works, the centers like Bangalore and Mysore are known for their excellent printed silks.
Often times, the happiness of wearing silk attire is reduced while thinking of its preservation. So here is a check list to take care of your silk:

*The maintenance of a silk saree is not so valuable affair. You only have to keep some patience and work smartly to keep your silk evergreen.

*Firstly, use plain and cold water and try avoiding soap for the first three washes. *In the case of oily stains or tea, either opt for dry clean or wash just the tainted segment with petrol.

*If you are a true lover of your silk and want to preserve then try washing it with protein shampoo.

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