A saree is a long yard of cloth, 6 to 9 yards in length, which is wrapped around the body and worn over a blouse and petticoat by women in India. There are many different types of sarees in India, from plain and printed ones to woven, embroidered or embellished designer ones. Each region produces a different variation and designers are constantly coming up with new saree trends.
However, no matter what the type of saree, one constant element that is crucial to the over-all look and can determine the stylishness of the outfit is the saree border. Most sarees come with some sort of borders, along the hem and along the pallu, and in many of them the borders are a pivotal area of the design. Whether it is a traditional sari or a modern one, a plain one or an embroidered one, the saree border is often the most beautiful part of the outfit.
Variety of saree borders
Sari borders can vary in a number of ways, depending on the creativity of the designer and the style of the saree itself. The size, designs, patterns, colors and fabrics, as well as the techniques used to make borders for sarees will vary vastly from one saree to the next.
Saree border designs can be printed, lace, embroidered, embellished or even stitched on to the main fabric as a separate addition. The simplest saree border design is the single one inch line in a different color that is often used to decorate plain sarees for casual wear. The function of the border here is to define the saree and give it a classy finish.
However, not all plain sarees with border are like this. For instance stylish chiffon sarees often come with thin but glittering sequins border to jazz up the outfit and further emphasize the beauty of the chiffon fabric. A plain saree with border might also pair up clashing colors to create a slightly more dramatic effect.
In many regions, the saree border design is crucial to the traditional pattern. For instance, Kanjivaram sarees are famed for their rich, gold-thread patterned borders. In these and other traditional sarees like the Banarasi sari, the border is very large in size and dominates the look. They are hence often made using intricate techniques like Zari, Zardosi, Resham, gota patti, cut dana and booti, to name just a few. In particular, many traditional sarees are considered incomplete without thick zari and brocade borders.
Border sarees need not necessarily be traditional however. Other popular borders include lace, stone, sequins, beads, ribbon and metallic trims. These can be matched with traditional and modern sarees, and can even be cut into Indian motifs and designs.
The concept of adding colorful embroidered patchwork borders might be a traditional Indian technique but nowadays sarees with border often use this technique to attach velvet and lace swathes to the saree. In fact designer sarees often utilize dramatic embellished panels which stand out from the saree and have a unique 3-D effect.
Another beautiful and in-demand type of border saree is the embroidered sari. More often than not, the embroidery is done on the borders where it shows up well. The embroidery can be of different types, from Chikankari to Kashida, Kanthi and Resham, but it is always very intricate and detailed.
Motifs can range from simple geometric shapes to effusive floral and nature-inspired designs, as well as mythological figures and village scenes. The temple border saree is an example of religion inspired borders. In some areas, large mythological panels in the border area are a common feature of fancy sarees.
Sarees with large borders are ubiquitous today, and there is no dearth of sources of inspiration for how to style them. Since so many designers, celebrities and fashionistas frequently wear the saree with border, they have become very trendy. The main trick to accessorizing this garment is coordinating the look so that the borders are highlighted but don’t overwhelm the outfit or clash with it any way.
For instance, a black saree with border panels of antique gold and crystal work will not necessarily match with heavy gold jewelry. The whole look might work better if a pair of dangling crystal earrings is used and the neck kept bare.
Many women prefer to purchase the saree border separately and then add it to their existing plain sarees. This way, they can personalize the garment and make sure it is as flattering as possible.
Earlier, only tailors sold saree borders but nowadays, saree borders, along with the sarees themselves and matching accessories can be purchased online with ease. For those looking to get saree borders online, India is the best bet since the online portals here have the most authentic and value for money options to choose from.