For many people, the best thing about Indian fashion is the sheer variety of designs and styles available in the market. This is because Indian fashion and clothing is intrinsically connected with the rich culture of India, which dates back to thousands of years. Many gorgeous textiles and handicrafts in India have a long and illustrious history and almost every region of the country has some unique clothing styles to offer.
Additionally, many of these traditional styles and have been adapted into modern designs and this fusion and/or modern innovations have their own brand of beauty. The end result is a vast range of ethnic wear choices for women of differing tastes and styles. This applies to the most ethnic and classiest of garment-saree, the quintessential Indian garment is worn across India.
There are many different saree styles for women to choose from, which can be differentiated on the basis of a number of factors, such as fabric, designs, embroidery, embellishment, color and patterns. Many of the most stunning saree types can be found in hidden and not so hidden corners of the Indian subcontinent, where they have been produced and sold for many centuries.
Kanjeevaram & Banarasi – Queen Of Drapes
These traditional types of sarees are distinguished by their unique look and ethnic designs. One of the most popular types of saree is the Kanjeevaram sari. It is known for its rich, opulent texture that is the result of weaving silk and gold threads into an intricately decorated fabric with beautiful mythological and temple inspired designs. The Banarasi saris from Uttar Pradesh are highly in demand and one of the most beautiful types of sarees in India.
These are usually made from the thick and colorful Banarasi brocades and come with detailed gold and/or silver thread designs on the pallu and sometimes all over the sari which is woven into the fabric itself. While these two are the most easily recognized types of silk sarees from India, there are many other lesser known but equally (and sometimes more) beautiful varieties, such as the opulent Paithani saree, the delicate hand woven Patola sarees, fine and lightweight Jamdani sarees, just to name a few.
While hand woven, brocade sarees are probably the fanciest looking and coveted for special occasions, many regions of the country also produce exquisitely woven, lightweight silk saree types which can be worn on a daily basis, such as the Ikkat sarees from Andhra Pradesh or Mysore silk sarees.
Silk sarees are the most popular type of sarees in India, especially for special occasions, but other fabrics may also be used. Traditionally hand weavers show a preference for cotton (after silk) as it is commonly available and highly suitable for the Indian climate. Many women also go for cotton-silk blends, for instance Gadwal sarees, Chanderi sarees, and Tant sarees while others are made of pure cotton.
Georgette, Cotton, Crepe & Chiffon
Modern materials such as georgette, chiffon, crepe, satin and velvet are also widely employed to create different types of saree styles, both traditional as well as modern, designer ones. In particular, georgette and chiffon are much appreciated for their translucent appearance and flowing beauty which perfectly suits the graceful drape of the saree.
The different types of sarees can also be distinguished on the basis of the work done on them. In regions such as Rajasthan and Gujarat, block printing (done using blocks of wood carved with designs and dipped in colors) and tie and dye (also called Bandhej) are two of the most popular techniques used to decorate sarees.
The types of sari designs also include embroidered and embellished designs created using techniques like zari, zardosi, ek taar, cut dana, gota patti, booti, aari, dubka, mirror, beads, sequins, crystals, stones and patch border work, to name just a few. Designer sarees and Bollywood sarees, as well as the different types of silk sarees from various regions, come decorated with such work. The most opulent and rich looking are the bridal wear and wedding wear varieties. Many designer saree styles incorporate innovations in colors and silhouettes, such as the neon saris, half and half sarees, lehenga sarees and saree gowns.
Though sarees themselves remain eternally fashionable, specific saree styles often go in and out of fashion. For instance, at the moment, there is a renewed interest in traditional types of sarees such as Kanjivaram, Chikankari, Chanderi etc. At the same time, plain and elegant chiffon saris and daring, modern saree gowns are also highly in demand.
Any saree can make a woman look beautiful and fashionable as long as the styling is done right. Women can explore different types of saree blouse designs, from rich and shining brocade blouses with full sleeves to bold and modern halter-neck or backless blouses. Different types of sarees in India can be matched with different types of ethnic jewelry, form ornate Kundan sets to colorful Meenakari necklaces.