One of the finest silk sarees in India, Paithani sarees hold a treasured place in every Maharashtrian bride’s trousseau. A Marathi bride has a timeless charm and appeal thanks to the gorgeous Paithani sarees that come in bright colors with handwoven gold zari on its pallu and border. 

marathi bride

Image Source: Sapna Sherry

Paithani sarees got its name after the town Paithan in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. With rich, ornamental zari (gold thread) pallu and border, these handwoven silk sarees are one of the most expensive sarees in India. So, before you want to buy one, make sure you know every little detail about the traditional Maharashtrian sarees.

Read all about Marathi wedding rituals.

Here’s everything you would want to know about Paithani Sarees.

How Does Paithani Sarees Look Like?

While Paithani sarees often feature butis all over, the highlight is always the border and pallu. Generally, its signature pallu features intricate peacock motifs on a golden zari fabric. Some of the most popular Paithani pallu motifs include mor (peacock), bangadi mor (bangle with four peacocks and lotus), munia/ tota-maina (parrot-maina), Ajanta lotus, asavali (vines and flowers), koyari (mango shape) and akruti (almond shape). Motifs of musical instruments like tabla, shehnai, sambal and tanpura can also be seen on Paithani sarees. 

paithani saree

Image Source: saptshrungi paithani

paithani sarees

Image Source: Kankatala

Weaving Technique

The entire process of dyeing and weaving of Paithani sarees is done by hand. It is handwoven to perfection using the finest of silks and cotton, making each saree a true significance to Maharashtra’s culture and tradition.

The motifs are created by interlocking and tying the coloured threads to the warp (lengthwise threads) on the loom. Moreover, the reverse side of the design is almost identical to the top side. These patterns literally seem as if they have been inlaiden into the main silk fabric.

Paithani sarees

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The weaving of a Paithani saree could take between 18 to 24 months depending upon the complexity of the design.

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How To Differentiate Between Original And Duplicate Paithani Sarees?

  1. The real Paithani sarees are handwoven while duplicate ones are machine made which are readily available in the market. 
  2. The reverse side of a genuine Paithani saree will look exactly the same as its top side (especially the pallu).
  3. Original or real Paithani saree are usually available only in basic colors like red, yellow, green, purple, blue, peach-pink since the threads are dyed in natural vegetable dyes. However, machine-made paithani sarees are available in various colors.
  4. A genuine Paithani saree is a lot heavier and requires a lot more care than the cheaper machine-made saree since it is crafted using natural dyes and colors including the use of real gold and silver threads.
  5. The machine-made Paithani sarees are a lot cheaper because they are mass-produced and can be easily crafted in less than 15 days. However, to weave a real Paithani saree can take months and sometimes even more than a year depending on the design.

Maharashtrian Paithani Sarees

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How Much Does A Paithani Saree Costs?

With traditional significance, these heirloom sarees can cost anywhere from INR 10,000 to INR 3 Lakh. These are some of the most costly Indian sarees since they are crafted using pure silk thread and the zari work on the border is usually drawn from real gold or silver. 

paithani saree

Image Source: Aishwarya Nayak Photography

How To Store Them With Care?

  • Do not use naphthalene balls or chemicals.
  • Do not spill any liquids.
  • Never use plastic or regular cardboard boxes to store them. 
  • Provide good air circulation in storage.
  • Change folds after every use.
  • Protect from damp weather especially monsoon.

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Where To Buy Them?

The traditional silk Paithani sarees can be easily found anywhere in Maharashtra from Nasik, Pune to Mumbai. 

Maharashtrian Paithani Saree

Image Source: Pinterest

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