India has been popular in the entire world for its colorful costumes. Each state of our country has a delightful dressing style and outfits. Although Indian women flaunt a variety of dresses, nothing can beat the ever-popular saree. Women and their love for saree are well-known. There will be hardly any Indian woman who won’t like this traditional Indian attire. Saree is that unstitched outfit that has been giving identity and pride to Indian women since olden times. If we look back, this garment has been in use since 3000 B.C. Since centuries, this feminine garment has been lending a distinct touch to the personality of Indian women; flattering every type of bodies and making a woman stand out in the crowd.
Even though many kinds of fashion trends come in the market, thanks to its sophistication and magnificence, the saree has still maintained its popularity and importance among other feminine dresses till now. Each Indian lady knows that this ethnic outfit is never going to be out of fashion. Hence, even in this modern era, Indian women proudly flaunt their figures in this time-honored apparel.
Nowadays, many foreign celebrities have also started to flaunt this unique outfit.
If we talk about Indian states, you will find a wide range of gorgeous and stunning sarees from many of these states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Orissa, Kerala, Bengal, Chennai etc. These sarees are available in attractive designs, beautiful colors and a variety of fabrics such as georgette, silk, chiffon, khadi silk, cotton etc.
In the market, you can find many types of sarees like Banarasi saree, Paithani sari, Bandhej Saree, Dhakai saree, Chanderi Saree etc. These sarees are a true example of craftsmanship and contemporary elegance. Among them, one of the most famous ones is the Kota Doria Saree.
As the name suggests, originated from the city of Kota in Rajasthan, Kota Doria Saree is unique apparel with the distinctive square checked pattern. These sarees are usually weaved using two types of fabrics fibers – cotton and silk, although nowadays you will also see such sarees made with a translucent muslin material.
Kota is a small town situated in southern parts of Rajasthan which are quite popular on the world map due to its magnificent weaves and low yarn fabric. One of the reasons behind the glory is the perennial river Chamber. Due to the moist air, black soil and lush green plants, this area produce an exceptional quality of cotton. Apart from Chanderi and Maheshwar in northern India, Kota is a renowned city known for producing fine count cotton.
Also known as Kota Dori, or Kota-Masuria, these sarees are a trademark of expertise and artistry. ‘Dori’ means thread in Hindi and Kota has several units which are famous for making fine muslin sarees. Recently even Muhammadabad Gohna and Mau cities in Uttar Pradesh have started to gain popularity for this outfit.
Made of pure cotton and silk, they have square-like designs, khats. This chequered and fine weave looks magnificent and also doesn’t weigh much. You might wonder why the artisans use two types of fabrics to weave these sarees. There is a reason. Although silk fiber provides shine and softer look, it is not very strong. Hence to increase the strength of the fabric, cotton fiber is also used in the weave.
At times, onion juice and rice paste are carefully smeared to make the yarn strong during the yarn making process. It lends strength and touch of finishing.
Did you know that even today there exists a small village, Kaithoon, twenty-two kilometers away from Kota city where you can find the real Kota saree which is crafted in a tedious, laborious way in the same manner that was used 250 years before? Produced manually, this sarees take time and even though Kaithoon has around twelve hundred looms. A single loom can weave just about five sarees a month, hence sixty sarees a year from one loom.
It is only in recent times, that Indian art lovers have discovered the village of Kaithoon.
This unique and almost transparent weave speaks of a distinct tale of the textile industry. Woven on a traditional pit loom, the checkered design of the saree gives it a transparent look and makes one feel delicate and feminine once worn. Once weaved, it is spread in the lawns where the fabric and colors get dried and ultimately the sari reaches to you, lending a dreamlike surreal look.
Let’s have a look at the History of this magnificent weave. The name Kota-Masuria in itself is quite mysterious.
If we trace back the origin of this glorious wrap, nothing is found in written about the technique of Kota Doria sari. However, many say that as it was woven in Mysore, it was also called Masuria. Some even have opinionated tha Mysore was earlier known as ‘Masuria’ and hence these sarees were given such name. As there is no concrete information available, few tales have been doing rounds in the villages where this technique was used and I will give you a glance of that now.
According to some, during the late 17th and early 18th century, Rao Kishore Singh, a general in the Mughal army was instrumental in bringing the weavers to Shada, a small town in Kota. After that, these sarees got a name of 'Kota-Masuria'.
Another theory suggests that between 1707 and 1720, it was Maharao Bhim Singh, who encouraged the weavers of Deccan region to shift to Kota. At that time, even the royals were charmed by the mystery and wonder of this ethnic weave and highly appreciated it.
With the passage of time, this tradition dies in Mysore but the craft of weaving shifted to Kaithoon.
We are not sure which of the above theory is right. But the connoisseur of the textile industry suggests that these sarees are not called Masuria because they were weaved in Mysore. They are given the name due to the finest of the square checks which apparently looks like a lentil called ‘Masoor’.
Even if the link of the Mysore to Kota sarees might not be correct, it is a fact that the south provides the raw material required to produce these lovely sarees. Coimbatore is the main source of cotton and Bangalore for silk. The gold zari is sourced from Surat, Gujarat.
The current scenario:
As found, the art of weaving this elegant sari in check structure (khats) is passed to one generation from other. Previously famous for plain turban cloth, now you will find a wide assortment of sarees.
Even the squares are produced in different sizes and colors. Nowadays gold zari is used as a decoration that offers exquisiteness and ethereal finish to the wrap. Many weavers have started to experiment with this ethnic weave and they are using different fancy yarns as well. The most common Kota Doria flaunts a square of fourteen yarns, or khats, eight cotton and six silks. The khats can be varied according to the need and design. Currently, various yarns are in use for warp and weft. Of course, the most common combination is Cotton-Cotton and Cotton-Silk. Although the sari is weaved in conventional ways, the process of making designs, graphs, coloring the yarn and setting have changed with the time, adding more to the efficiency of the weaving in less time.
Previously, these sarees were always made in white, to beat the summer heat. But with changing times, few more shades of the white like ‘conch shell’, ‘sea foam’, ‘jasmine’, ‘the moon’ and ‘cloud’ were introduced. As the demand increased, the artisans started to offer it in a range of colors and styles. To meet the taste of urban Indian women, some craftsmen have started to use a matchless combo of pre-dyed cotton and silk yarns for weaving. Some sarees even have a narrow Zari border or embroidery.
And due to the light and transparent fabric, these sarees are quite popular, especially in the scorching heat of Indian summer. Vibrant rich colors, embroidery or zari and the natural look have made these sarees famous even among modern women of India.
At CraftFurnish, we represent a colorful world of delicate and feminine Kota Doria sarees that are unmatched and have a royal look. We have a large collection of Kota Doria Handloom Silk and Cotton Sarees which you will not find anywhere else but only on CraftFurnish. Because we believe in making you feel special. We aspire to offer you such break taking designs at an affordable range that you will not just buy some for yourself but also get them for your friends or family and spread a word.
How to take care of your Kota Doria sari:
After you buy this saree, you will wish that the beauty of this handmade saree last forever and don’t get tarnished. Given below is a list of instructions for washing and maintaining it. You can follow them to keep your Kota Doria sari beautiful forever.
The first thing – never machine wash your Kota Doria sari. It is a strict ‘No’. If your saree comes with a label of ‘Hand-wash’, you can wash it carefully with a mild detergent but always test a small portion, preferably a corner of the saree to see whether the colors are bleeding. Ideally, you should individually check it for all the colors of the sari.
· Avoid the Use of the dryer.
· Usually ‘Dry-Cleaning’ is preferred because if you clean it at home, the harsh detergent may harm the fabric.
· Use of chlorine bleach is a strict ‘No-no’. It can damage the fabric and cause yellow stains.
· If you are ironing it at home, always set your iron to ‘Low’ or ‘Minimum’ temperature. You can even layer the sari between two clothes before ironing.
· Also, don’t wet or spray the sari prior to ironing.
· If the saree gets stained, wash the area immediately with cold water. If the stain still doesn’t go, give it to your dry cleaner.
· You should never brush a silk saree. It can cause a tear.
How to store your Kota Doria sari:
· Always store it in a cool and dry place.
· Ideally, the silk sarees should not be packed in plastic bags. Plastic can damage the fabric and cause the zari to turn dark if your saree has it.
· The golden zari has a tendency to oxidize if it comes in touch with moist air. Hence it is good to keep such sari in saree covers or lined boxes.
· If you are using a hanger, make sure it is not made of metal. It can rust and ruin your beloved piece.
· It is a nice idea to change folds of saree at regular intervals. That prevents the tearing at the folds.
· To protect it from a tear, in case if you are using a hanger, always use padded hangers and keep it on a wardrobe pipe where light doesn’t come.
· Also, don’t forget to turn your saree from time to time to prevent wrinkles and cracking.
We hope that after reading this article, you would like to have a look at our fabulous Kota Doria saree collection at CraftFurnish and take a pick according to your style and budget. Happy shopping!