Indian Handloom Sarees

Indian Handloom Sarees: Your 101 Guide

16 August, 23

5 min read

Blue Banarasi Sarees By Taneira

Indian Handloom Sarees: Your 101 Guide

Indian handloom sarees have a charm of their own, and saree connoisseurs everywhere will agree. The age-old traditions associated with handloom saree weaving, the amount of care that goes into making each saree and the many types of handloom sarees – there are reasons enough for people all over the world to fall in love with them.

Rooted in India’s rich and varied culture heritage, Indian handloom sarees represent the diversity, traditions and craftsmanship of our country. They have been an integral part of Indian culture for centuries. This is a matter of national pride and a simple yet incredible way to showcase our diverse cultural heritage to the world.

The diversity of the Indian handloom saree can be seen in the many types of handloom sarees we offer at Taneira. It will be fair to say that every region of India has come up with its own distinct style and techniques of weaving, and Taneira takes pride in collaborating with accomplished craftsmen blending talent and ancestral artistry.

Intricacy of Handloom Saree Weaving

A handloom saree is woven by hand using a well-structured loom. Depending on the type of saree being made, Silk, Cotton or blended fibers are used to prepare the yarn for weaving. The yarn is then evenly spread out on the warping frame. Once this is done, the artisan sets up the loom that acts as a foundation for the weaving process. The weft threads are then interlaced with the warp threads to create the magic (read fabric).

Handloom By Taneira

The artisan completes each saree keeping in mind the pattern for the same. Some sarees may even have embellishments in the form of zari, zardozi, embroidery or patra work. These are added on during the process by skilled craftsmen, who spends hours perfecting the handloom saree look. The handloom saree weaving techniques can vary for different regions, and each region is known for its specific motifs and patterns.

Different Types of Traditional Handloom Sarees

The different types of handloom sarees are deeply connected to the cultural identity of the various Indian regions. This means that each of the sarees have design influences from that region – be it the motifs used, patterns made or techniques employed. Here are some handloom saree styles from different states of India:

Banarasi Sarees: From the shine of the gold and silver zari threads to the opulent Brocade motifs, Banarasi sarees are a symbol of elegance and exceptional artisanal excellence. As the artisans meticulously interlace the warp and weft threads to handcraft a Banarasi saree, the weaves tell a captivating story about Indian craftsmanship and Varanasi’s centuries-old traditions. The karigars use techniques such as kadwa, also known as cutwork, to create individual motifs like flowers, leaves, birds and geometrical patterns onto the Banarasi saree. These elaborate motifs often draw inspiration from the resplendent Mughal Era and lend the saree a regal touch.

Beige Banarasi Sarees By Taneira

Taneira’s exquisite collection of Banarasi sarees stands out as it seamlessly blends traditional craftsmanship with modern aesthetics. It is a great choice for special occasions as it flaunts traditional motifs all over the sarees yet appeals to the women of today.

Patola Sarees: A symphony of colours and patterns comes alive as Taneira collaborates with skilled artisans rooted in a rich heritage of craftsmanship to create this marvel. Patola handloom sarees are heirloom pieces, and are much-loved for their double Ikat patterns. The process of making these sarees involves individually dying the warp and weft threads first. The weaving of threads begins thereafter, and requires extreme alignment and precision to achieve the unique double Ikat pattern. The pattern must align perfectly on both sides of the fabric in order to create a flawless piece. Taneira’s contemporary design sensibilities and the artisans’ immense patience combine to create the famous Patola sarees that are a joy to adorn.

Red Patola Sarees By Taneira
Pink Pure Silk Patan Patola Nari Kunjar Bhat Saree

Patola sarees are known for their geometric patterns that are complete with motifs like flowers, elephants, birds, human figures and the like. The patterns speak volumes about the extraordinary craftsmanship that goes into making each piece. The vibrant colour palette, artistic motifs, luxurious texture and the graceful drape – there are reasons enough for you to fall in love with this cherished treasure of Gujarat’s cultural heritage.

Kanjeevaram Sarees: Nimble fingers and generational talent use pure-dyed Mulberry Silk to create the exquisite and timeless Kanjeevaram sarees. Originating from the ancient temple town of Kanchipuram, the Kanjeevaram reflects the rich history and traditions of the place. Handwoven with meticulous attention to detail, these sarees are adorned with motifs inspired by South Indian temple architecture, mythology and nature.

The journey of creating this incredible work of art begins with the selection of premium quality Silk threads, known for their smooth texture and slight sheen. The luxurious Silk threads are first soaked and treated in rice water, contributing to the longevity of the Kanjeevaram saree. They are then dyed in bold colours before the intricate handloom saree weaving process begins. Exceptional artists with a lineage of fine craftsmanship interlace the warp and weft threads to create unique designs for each saree. Zari work is an integral part of Kanjeevaram sarees and lends them a touch of opulence and grandeur.

Yellow Kanjeevaram Sarees By Taneira

The broad gold borders, ornate temple motifs, stunning colours and vintage appeal of this handloom saree style makes it an ideal choice for religious ceremonies, weddings and bridal attire. In its range of luxurious Kanjeevarams, Taneira combines traditional craftsmanship with contemporary influences, ensuring that these heirloom pieces are loved by generations of people.

Chanderi Sarees: The historic town of Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh is known for its rich textile heritage and it is no surprise that one of the most versatile handloom sarees of India originated here. From the Bundelas to the Mughals and the Scindias, Chanderi sarees were cherished and patronised by various dynasties in Indian history. An embodiment of grace and delicacy, Chanderi sarees are a delight to wear for saree lovers even today.

Yellow Pure Silk Chanderi Sarees By Taneira
Yellow Pure Silk Chanderi Saree

Taneira presents a range of Chanderi sarees that are meticulously handcrafted by the talented weavers. The new handloom saree designs include Chanderi drapes with butis or motifs evenly spread out on the sarees, as well as plain sarees with ornate zari borders. Chanderi sarees use a blend of Cotton and Silk threads that gives the saree a subtle sheen and an airy, translucent feel. A rich tapestry of zari motifs, ranging from flora and fauna to more contemporary geometric patterns, enhances the look of this handloom saree and ensures it finds a special place in the hearts and wardrobes of many.

Jamdani Sarees: The delicate Jamdani saree is like a dream. A tale of sheer beauty and elegance, this handloom saree uses specialized skills and can take upto a year to craft. The weavers, carrying a legacy of skilled artistry, create this feather-light saree that cascades in gentle folds as it is draped. The enchanting silhouette and the nature-inspired motifs lend this handloom saree style an ethereal feel.

Jamdani sarees are woven on a bamboo loom while the artisan sits in a trench dug into the ground. The design for the saree is planned in advance, drawn on a graph paper and placed on the loom for reference for some artisans, while others depend on their remarkable memory and expertise for the same. This handloom saree style is particularly well-known for its intricate motifs that come alive on the loom with the help of the Supplementary Weft technique, which involves introducing additional weft threads to create the desired pattern. The motifs, like delicate florals, vines, leaves or even striking geometric patterns, are woven with utmost care and appear to be floating on the breezy saree. Taneira’s contemporary touch along with the weavers’ masterful techniques, sheer fabric and the choice of motifs add to the timeless elegance of the Jamdani sarees.

White Jamdani Sarees By Taneira

Paithani Sarees: Traditional Maharashtrian sarees made from fine Mulberry Silk, Paithani sarees are a symbol of traditional elegance. Paithani saree weaving originated in the town of Paithan near Aurangabad and is more than 2000 years old. The rich cultural heritage of Maharashtra is reflected in this handloom saree style as it features motifs inspired by folklore, traditional art forms and nature. This can particularly be seen on the saree palla, which is often adorned with traditional motifs like flowers or peacock in bright colours.

The richness of the Silk fabric in Paithani sarees comes from its distinctive weaving technique in which Silk threads are closely interwoven to create a luxurious fabric with depth and dimension. What’s more, the front and reverse side of a Paithani saree exhibit the exact same weaves and are indistinguishable from each other. The unique weaves of the saree along with the decorative palla make it a favoured choice for weddings and other auspicious occasions.

Baluchari from West Bengal, Kota Doria from Rajasthan, Pochampally from Andhra Pradesh, Sambalpuri from Orissa, Maheshwari from Madhya Pradesh and Muga Silk from Assam are just a few other examples of handloom sarees from different Indian regions. Each saree reflects the cultural significance of the place it belongs to and is a celebration of the unique artistry of the region.

Different Types of Traditional Handloom Sarees

Like many other art forms in India, textile weaving also incorporates motifs inspired from flora and fauna. The paintings, sculptures and architecture of the region are other sources where artisans draw inspiration from.

  • Flowers: Floral motifs are used across handloom Indian sarees from various regions. They can be used as bold patterns all over the saree or as intricate finer weaves on the borders. Lotus, rose, marigold, jasmine and champa are some flowers that inspire these designs.

  • Paisley: This is the most commonly used motif in various handloom saree styles. Also known as ambi, this curved mango-shaped motif can be used as a solid block or can be further enhanced with intricate designs inside the ambi shape.

  • Peacock: Yet another popular choice with artisans when it comes to weaving traditional sarees, peacocks are often seen on the palla in vibrant colours. In some sarees, the bird is shown in full splendour with the feathers spread out gracefully. In addition to the peacock, other smaller birds are also featured in some types of handloom sarees.

  • Animals: Animal figures like elephants, camels and more are used as standalone designs or woven as a jaal all over the saree. This is particularly seen in the Gujarati and Rajasthani type of handloom sarees.

  • Temple Motifs: South Indian sarees are often inspired by the gorgeous temple architecture of the region. For instance, Kanjeevaram sarees look stunning with their solid gold temple borders.

  • Geometric Patterns: From simple geometric patterns like straight lines or checks to more complex structures that are intertwined with other motifs, these patterns often lend a contemporary touch to the traditional handloom sarees.

Indian handloom sarees have been adorned and cherished for generations. They gracefully uphold the rich Indian crafts and traditions which have been passed on from generations, and that is reason enough for them to be considered as heirloom pieces. Proper care and storage of these sarees is important to maintain their beauty and longevity so that generations to come can enjoy wearing them.

Getting the Perfect Handloom Saree Look

Taneira seamlessly weaves together the age-old Indian tradition of handloom sarees with modern design sensibilities. The new handloom saree designs at Taneira are versatile yet unique so you feel proud of adding them to your treasured saree collection. From the classic Banarasi sarees to the oh-so-pretty Chanderi ones, from the royal Kanjeevarams to the minimal Kota Doria, there’s something for everyone looking for the perfect handloom saree look! Or if you’re a person who loves to own varied handloom saree styles, then Taneira is the one-stop-shop for you.

Explore the best of handcrafted sarees that are good looking yet comfortable. Shop online at or visit a nearby store and step into a world of timeless ethnic wear ensemble.