Paithani- a poem hand woven in silk and gold
It has got its name from the town of its origin – Paithan, which is a town 40 kms away from the city of Aurangabad in the state of Maharashtra. The art of weaving the Paithani flourished in 200 B.C during the Satvahana era. The origin of this weave is an ancient city known as Supratishthapuram indicated in ancient texts in Marathi.A Paithani is passed down from generations to generations as a precious heirloom. Real Paithani is hand woven in silk and gold or silver threads.
Intricate border and pallu with motifs of a depicting nature area specialty of the Paithani. The Paithani symbolizes auspiciousness because of the use of silk and gold, which is symbolic of purity and considered sacred. The motifs show that man should co-exist in harmony with nature and its elements. A Paithani sari can take anywhere between 2 months to 2 years to get woven. The time taken depends on the design of the Pallu and the borders.
The art of traditional weaving of a Paithani hasn’t changed a bit down the centuries. This makes it even more antique and precious with a great heritage value attached to it. The silk thread that is used in the Paithani is very delicate in nature and has to be handled preciously and very carefully.the silk is dyed in natural dyes procured naturally from leaves,flowers,tree-skins,soils and lamp-soot. Ancient technique of tapestry weaving where warp and weft threads are weaved together using handloom is practiced today which offers the weaver a complete control over every thread and thus makes the Each Paithani sari special and different.The method of interlocking is used when more than one colour is to be used.
The motifs which are a speciality of the Paithani are usually depicting nature and have been significant and respective to the rulers who gave their patronage to this incredibly beautiful weave.Some of them are the Asawali-a flowing vine motif credited to the Peshwa period.The floral motifs are credited to the Mughal era;especially to Aurangzeb,whose contribution to help this weave flourish is unparalleled.
The Bangle-Peacock motif called the ‘Bangadi-Mor,where Bangadi means bangle which is considered auspicious and signifies the completeness of a woman.The Peacock signifies beauty,royalty,wisdom and dignity;it is also believed to be a guardian.The peacock also has the capability to renew its feathers every year signifying a new start in life and is associated with goddess Saraswati who represents love,kindness,knowledge and luck.
Tota-Maina motif represents the parrot who is considered as a sign of love and passion.
The Lotus or Kamal motif is derived from the murals of the cave paintings of the Ajanta caves which signifies rebirth and purity.
The coconut border is very traditional,as the coconut is considered as the fruit of Gods. It symbolises complete usefulness and self-less form of service to be rendered by all mankind to others.
The weavers literally weave a legacy very painstakingly, sometimes foregoing their vision and bones due to sitting for many hours continuously weaving the Paithani.
Long Live The Paithani!
LONG LIVE INCREDIBLE HANDS!