Tracing the Footsteps of Kota Doria

Rajasthan is a state known for its rich traditions and royalty. Every art form that originated in Rajasthan has a specific richness to it. The state has a vibrant and colorful lifestyle and fantastic art forms. Rajasthan also has a rich tradition of garments and different kinds of printing techniques. One of them is Kota Doria. Kota Doria is the name given to a unique blend of cotton and silk materials with square check patterns on it.

Origin:

The origin of this fine fabric is shrouded in mystery and wonder. The precise data about the beginning of Kota Doria technique, as it is practiced today, is not present in writing. Due to the absence of concrete information to support any claims, several tales have been floating around the villages which are involved in this technique.

Its name as Kota Masuria in itself is quite enigmatic. Folklore suggests that the craft originated in Mysore and then moved to Kota where it is now based, hence the word ‘Masuria’ in the name. The weavers are believed to have moved to Kota because of the patronage they received from the royal families of Rajasthan.

Another theory suggests that the name refers to the use of Mysore silk in the weaving of the fabric. Textile experts, however, have suggested that the name refers to the finest of the square checks, which are said to resemble a masoor lentil.

Kota saris were primarily patronised by Maharao Bhim Singh, who summoned the weavers from the Deccan region to Kota, between 1707 and 1720. The art of using open khat patterns on fabric was so intriguing that it was highly appreciated by the elite. Even today, the traditional ways of setting patterns, making graphs, dyeing and yarn setting are little changed due to the high efficiency of the methods.

Kota Doria, when it originated, was made in white and had to be dyed according to personal preferences. Eventually, solid dyed or printed Kota Doria with a silk embroidered border became popular. The demand for a variety of Doria fabrics made it a favourite of various different classes. While the middle class locals preferred simple cotton fabric that would be suitable for the prevailing hot climate, the noble gentry demanded opulent embellished Doria attire with brocade work and fine silk strands.

Kota Doria is also known as Kota Dori. This traditional handicraft is a unique blend of cotton & silk in a square pattern. These two materials used in this handicraft have its own significance. The silk provides the shine while the cotton provides strength to the fabric. The name of this art is taken from its place of origin i.e. Kota, Rajasthan.

The Kinds of Kota Doria

Kota Doria is one versatile fabric that is perfect for both casual and formal wear. The colorful sarees designed beautifully can be worn for all kinds of occasion. There are also three different styling of Kota Doria-Basic, block printing and with zari border.

Basic Kota Doria is the simple Kota Doria fabric made only out of Cotton or plain golden threads. This kind of Kota Doria was the only Kota Doria practiced traditionally. Block Printing was later on used on Kota Doria to make it more attractive and give it a completely new look.  This kind of Kota Doria is often referred as hand-blocked Kota Doria. Kota Doria’s with a zari border definitely adds elegance to an outfit and make it look more sumptuous.

Any kind of Kota Doria is extremely easy to maintain since it is mostly made up of Cotton. So, now that you are already in love with Kota Doria, let’s take you on a tour of some of the style inspirations you could use for designing your own Kota Doria outfits.

Kota Doria Style Inspirations

Fashion designer Krishna Mehta never lacks behind in showing her love for Indian textiles and craftsmanship. Almost all her Collection in fashion weeks gives a contemporary touch to the traditional fabrics like-Khadi, Kota Doria, jute etc. and also traditional prints of Shibori, Ikat, Batik.

Present Condition

With the advent of machines, the art form has already been on a decline. Despite this decline, there are a lot of rural families in Rajasthan that practice this art. They are keeping the art alive in its original form. If you look globally, silk and Khadi are the most sought after Indian fabrics. Kota Doria is right next to them in demand. With new fashion houses promoting this art and fabric, youngsters are getting to know about it. They are trying to make it adaptable to new and modern fashion sense. We must keep buying Kota Doria products to preserve the art.

 

Global Appeal

Kota doria, with its distinctiveness in style, has grown to become one of the popular Indian fabrics. Even though globally Indian silks and fabrics like khadi take a dominant position, Kota fabric is right next to them in line when it comes to its popularity in fashion.

Chronicles of the Future Untold

In order to preserve the ‘real’ India through its handicrafts, strong initiatives have been taken to preserve the essence of the Kota Doria fabric as well. Several NGOs have driven campaigns in Kota district encouraging the weavers to continue with their skill and produce the fabric. Furthermore, the government has taken steps to collaborate business ideas with these weavers in order to produce the fabric at a commercial and a more effective level. So, even though the progress may seem slow, it is definitely moving at a steady pace, and Kota Doria fabric may just become the modern face of Indian fashion.

Maintenance

It is not difficult to maintain this fabric since it is mostly made up of cotton. Normal hand wash would be fine.

 

Interesting Facts and Comparisons

  • Onion and water paste is used as one of the raw materials to strengthen the yarn of the fabric.
  • The word ‘Doria’ basically means thread.
  • Since the fabric is woven on authentic and traditional handlooms, one can notice the uneven edges at the ends of the fabric.

 

Kota Doria is definitely a proof that handcrafted fabrics of our country are still impeccable with any machine made fabrics. The government has also been taking many steps to preserve the handloom industry because there are still millions of artisans whose daily wages rely on this handcraft only. And no doubt their skill and perfection cannot be matched which can be seen in the ethereal beauty of their fabrics.

Even the fashion designers today are playing with the traditional fabrics to create a perfect contemporary look. So why not be your own designer this season and create your own Kota Doria outfits with some of our style inspirations.

And don’t forget we love hearing from our Customers. So, don’t forget to share your creations with us in the space below.

 Happy Shopping!

 


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