The Paithani, a pure silk saree with a zari of gold and silver traces its origin to the brocades of the Yadavas which were sourced from Paithan in Maharashtra. The Paithani saree is a much treasured heirloom of any Maharashtrian lady. Today, the Paithani is a dying art form due to its high price and exclusivity, and the market is flooded with powerloom copies. This video shows the entire process of weaving the Paithani, from preparing the silk to the finished product.
The weaving process uses two components, the tana which is the warp, so called as it is stressed and under tension while weaving, and bana, a rougher and thicker type of silk that is the weft. The padar contains the distinctive motifs of the Paithani such as the mor, bangdi mor, kamal, asawali and akruti. The padar is one of the most intricate and time-consuming parts of the Paithani to weave, taking from two weeks to two months depending on its length, level of detail and the intricacy of the motifs.
In a day’s work, the weaver weaves two inches of padar and five to six inches of body on an average. The Paithani takes anything from three weeks to a year to finish weaving based on the length of the padar, the level of detail in the motifs and the thickness of the border.