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Paithani print sarees

Date: 23 December 2019 Tags: Handicrafts


The rapidly declining art of paithani prints awaits revival so as to keep the tradition alive.



  • Paithani traces its history to the reign of the emperor Shalivahana. Paithan, then known as Pratishthana, was an international trade centre for silk and art.

  • The Peshwas patronised the fabric, but with their fall, Paithani faded away. During Mughal and British rule many weavers migrated and either set up units or left the business.

  • The pre-weaving process has not changed till date. The saris are woven by hand and not jacquard machines, making it a painstaking process.

  • Paithani is characterised by borders of an oblique square design, and a pallu with a Peacock design. Plain as well as spotted designs are available. Among other varieties, single colored and kaleidoscope-colored designs are also popular.

  • Due to proximity to the Ajanta caves, the influence of the Buddhist paintings can be seen in the woven Paithani motifs:

  • The Kamal or lotus flower on which Buddha sits or stands

  • The Hans motif

  • The Ashraffi motif

  • The Asawalli (flowering vines), became very popular during the Peshwa's period

  • The morbangdi, peacock in bangle

  • The Tota-Maina

  • The Humarparinda, peasant bird

  • The Amar Vell

  • The Narali motif, very common

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