Mangalagiri sarees are a namesake of the town in Andhra Pradesh, Mangalgiri, where they are produced. The production of Mangalagiri dresses is one of the mainstays of the economy of the town as they are extremely popular throughout the country.
One of the most traditional weaves in the state, a Mangalagiri saree is also one of the richest weaves and can be found in cotton as well as silk. The fineness of the weave is one of the many reasons why it is so sought after. Other factors that contribute to its popularity are the patterns and designs that are woven into the saree, that are reminiscent of the history of the state, especially the rule of the Nawabs.
Mangalagiri cotton sarees
Mangalagiri cotton is one of the types of weaves produced in the state. Made of pure and durable fibers, Mangalagiri cotton sarees are generally found in a single color. This adds to the overall charm and appeal of the saree as the designs and patterns of the pallu and border are showcased very well.
The most popular form of embellishments on Mangalagiri cotton sarees are of different breadths and in different colors. Often the border is also worked in gold zari, thus adding to the understated grandeur of the saree. The quality of the cotton fiber used in the creation of this saree is so soft that it is well suited to even the hottest of climates.
Unique for Nizam borders
Traditional Mangalagiri sarees are characterized by Nizam borders and a lack of woven designs on the body of the saree. Some of the latest cotton sarees in the Mangalagiri style showcase stripes on the body of the saree as well, i.e. along the front pleats of the saree.
This feature is characteristic of modern variations of the Mangalagiri saree, to increase the consumer base for this saree. As a result, this saree is now loved and adored by younger demographics as well.
It is preferred by many women from around the country because of its wide suitability as a formal wear saree, magnified by its simplicity. Many women prefer wearing this saree to office, to conference meetings and other such formal venues, irrespective of which part of the country they are from.
Mangalagiri silk sarees
Mangalagiri sarees are also produced in silk and are used for special occasions such as weddings and religious festivals, among others. Also known as Mangalagiri pattu sarees, the weave of the silk is just as rich and fine as the cotton variety. It is generally found in luscious color such as green, mustard, red and pink.
Unique for thick borders
These colors are not only heavily sought out because of their splendor but also because of the fact that these hues are considered auspicious amongst the traditional Andhra community. Mangalagiri silk sarees feature a thick border that is usually woven in fine zari, making it the preferred wedding-wear saree.
The pallu of the saree shines with fine zari in traditional motifs such as paisleys, flowers and vines. Those women who prefer the cotton saree’s traditional style worked into silk often opt for striped pallus in different colored silk threads with a heavy zari border. Also like the cotton variant, the body of the silk saree is now featuring motifs and patterns in order to appeal to younger women as well.
One of the latest designer varieties of Managaligiri sarees is the use of the Kalamkari technique of embellishment. This has successfully garnered the favor of many women who appreciate this fine art. It has also succeeded in making the Mangalagiri saree suited for high-end parties and evening soirees.
Modern Mangalgiri sarees, especially in cotton, can be styled well with a heavier blouse. This can be made of a brocade material and cut in trendy silhouettes such as three fourth sleeves, noodle straps or backless. This enhances the look of the saree and brings a touch of grandeur to the overall appearance.
One of the best ways to showcase the intricate gold zari work on a Mangalgiri saree is to pair it up with gold necklaces with a statement piece at the center. It is preferable if the pendant showcases semi-precious gems in the base color of the saree, although gemstones in a contrasting color will work just as well. Ornate gold earrings are also a great accessory to the saree.
As a general styling tip, one can always amp up the look with a stylish designer bindi. Unconventional, modern motifs are a trending style statement and if they’re in a color featured heavily on the saree, then the entire ensemble can be solidly pulled together.
The brilliance of the Mangalgiri saree is that it is available in cotton and silk, thus leaving a lot of room for experimenting with drapes, depending upon the embellishments on the saree and the occasion.