While the entire country tries to keep their wardrobe update in accordance with the latest fashion, in Kolkata, traditional sarees still has a special place. Here, we adore beautiful Kanjeevaram or a Benarasi. One also loves good chanderi or Maheshwari silk. For those of you who dont know much about Maheshwari Handloom saree, they originate from Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh.
How to identify an original Maheshwari Handloom saree?
But just like any other well-known saree, Maheshwari saree also has a duplicate present in the market. So, how do you recognize an original Maheshwari Handloom saree? Given below are few points that will help you in Identifying an original Maheshwari saree.
It is woven on either cotton or silk. If you can identify even traces of synthetic material know that it isn’t authentic.
The ‘zari’ and ‘kinari’ of the Maheshwai saree is extremely unique, the borders are reversible. They are known as bugdi. Watch out for them.
Original Maheshwar Handloom sarees are extremely lightweight. Any synthetic or cheap material will make it heavy.
Watch out for unique motifs dedicated to only Maheshwari sarees. ‘Chattai’ and ‘Chameli ka phool’ are very popular ones. All of them are inspired by the details on the walls of the Maheshwari saree.
How do we take care of an authentic Maheshwari Handloom saree?
Authentic Maheshwari sarees have very delicate dye. Therefore, it isn’t smart to wash them with a strong detergent. My advice is to send it for a dry clinic the first time. After that, only wash them with mild detergent. Remember not to soak them in water for too long.
Another thing to remember is not to dry them under direct sunlight, the color will fade. Always dry them under shade.
Never, ever iron an original Maheshwari handloom saree with hot setting. Always put your iron set on low to medium. Your favorite saree will last longer.
What is the current state of affairs?
Although there was a decline in its production and demand, today, over 130 weavers work to produce over a lakh of fine fabric each year. Due to consistent efforts by the government through schemes and benefits the market has revived and came back tenfold. The weavers are also encouraged to work and pass on their knowledge to the next generation. The government is taking these initiatives to keep this wonderful art alive in the future.
Maheshwari Handloom sarees have a major share in saree export. It has a high demand in Germany, France and the UK. In India, designers like Soham Dave, Amrich and Eka are few of the frontrunners of the Indian handloom movement. Maheshwari saree form takes up a large share for the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Above all, Maheshwari sarees are an extremely versatile saree. Pair it with a strappy sandal or a beautiful oxidized jewelry in Kolkata. Trust me, you will make many heads turn.