Chanderi, a traditional, ethnic fabric is known for its light weight, transparent texture and luxurious feel. Chanderi fabric is among the best known handloom clusters because of its specialty in producing fine textured silk and cotton embellished with zari woven work. Chanderi produces three types of fabrics- Pure silk, Chanderi cotton and Silk cotton. Chanderi fabric is produced by weaving silk and golden zari in cotton yarn that results in the creation of a shimmery texture. Chanderi silk fabric is famous for its fine texture, transparency and great work in art and design. The buttis and motifs on Chanderi fabric are primarily hand woven on handloom with needles. There are separate needles for different motifs.
Photo Credit- Anita Dongre
Weavers adorn these motifs from gold, silver and copper. Motifs created on Chanderi silk fabric are inspired from nature which may include swans, gold coins, fruits and even heavenly bodies. Currently, modern geometric patterns and other strikingly beautiful motifs adorn Chanderi fabrics. Initially, Chanderi fabric was available in pastel hues but with changing times, color palette of Chanderi fabric is available in a combination of vibrant colors. Creation of unique motifs and sheer texture of Chanderi fabric are the two prime characteristics for distinguishing Chanderi from other handloom fabrics. Transparency of the fabric is because of the use of a single yarn for weaving Chanderi fabric.
Traditionally, Chanderi was used to weave sarees. Chanderi silk sarees is a brand in itself in the local garment industry. Love for this fabric was greatly intensified in the Mughal era. Women used to adorn themselves with Chanderi silk sarees on special occasions. Motifs seen on Chanderi silk sarees are hand woven. Raw silk used in Chanderi saree provides strength to the yarn and makes it easy to weave. This offers a beautiful finish to the Chanderi silk sarees. But recently, fashion industry is extensively using Chanderi fabric to create dresses, tunics and tops. Fashion designers are regularly working with Chanderi weavers to design trendy closets.
The fabric is known for its hand woven Chanderi sarees and Chanderi suits. Chanderi sarees that are made with a mix of silk and cotton are in high demand among people of all generations. Chanderi sarees have unmatched sophistication and are popular among saree weavers. Contemporary designs in this handloom fabric with traditional motifs can easily be created. Sheer textile, glossiness and fineness of this fabric have triggered fascination of creative minds in the fashion industry.
Sheer or transparent texture of Chanderi fabric needs specific care. To protect zari work on Chanderi fabric, it is advisable to dry clean the fabric; also, Chanderi should be dried in shade and direct drying in sunlight is to be avoided. Chanderi silk is a high versatile fabric and can be easily adapted to create trendy styles for fashion enthusiasts.
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