Promoting Rural livelihoods

The Wonders of the Vidarbha Weave of Maharashtra!

Posted on May 24th, 2022 01:26 PM

Hand block printing is very popular in Maharashtra's Vidarbha region of Maharashtra's Bhandara district. Natural colours are used by Bhavasars , as the community is known. The painting is done on wooden and brass blocks that have been precisely carved. The cloth used for hand-printing is either hand-woven silk or mill-made chiffon. Multi- colour designs in traditional patterns are the end product. The technique has traditionally been most important in India as a method of printing textiles, which has been a big industry since at least the 10th century. Cotton fabrics were a major export from India in mediaeval times to all portions of the Indian Ocean, from East Africa to Indonesia. According to radiocarbon dating of significant artefacts, the majority of the collection dates from the 10th to the 15th centuries.   

The Bhavasar are an Indian ethnic group notable for its textile and garment woodblock printing. They block-print the majority of the textiles in the collection with resist, which helps the dye stick to the fibres more securely, or mordant, which helps the dye attach to the fibres more securely, or a combination of both. Some of the parts are drawn by hand. They classify fragments into three colour groups: blue and white, red and white with one or more red tones, and red, blue, and white. For blue, indigo is utilised , and for red, madder or Morinda citrifolia is employed. Using different mordants, different hues of red are achieved.  

Karvati silk sarees are made in the Vidarbha region. Tussar is a type of silk with a grainy, textured quality that is used to make these sarees. The silk used in Karvati sarees is unique in that it is only found in this region, which is rich in high-quality silk cocoons plucked from the wild. The tribes in this region are in charge of safeguarding the silk cocoons until they are ready to be harvested. The Tussar silk is unlike any other silk; it has a regal tint of deep yellow-brown. A saw-tooth pattern is referred to as ‘karvat’ in Marathi. The name Karvati refers to the border style rather than the fabric itself. The saree is distinguished by its weaving method and the use of several yarns. The border is woven with mercerized cotton yarns and an extra warp, with typical temple designs of varied sizes, while the rest of the saree is woven with pure, hand-reeled Tussar silk, which has irregular stubs all over. The saree's unique feature is that it is woven entirely with three-shuttle, tapestry-style weaving on a pit loom with a wooden lattice dobby on the top of the loom. This implies it is woven in three separate styles at the same time: Leheri, Jeali, and Karvat. This time-consuming technique ensures the piece's fineness as well as its durability. A Karvati saree is the perfect heirloom piece. This hand-weaving style is so delicate that the weaver's hand and even the weather have an impact on each piece. These "imperfections" give the finished product a unique edge.  


Nirguna promotes Rural Livelihoods one weave at a time!

Check out our Vidarbha Weave Handloom Saree Collection here !

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