Do handwoven sarees need to be expensive ?


If you are looking for an exceptional outfit that will make you stand out from the crowd, choose a sari as the 6-yard wonder is always appreciated by people around the world. Why? Because it can never go out of fashion as it ticks all the boxes; versatile, trendy and relevant. 


It is a known fact that India is a home to around 60 different types of saris that are handcrafted in different regions. The weaving styles, the type of fabric, shape of the motifs and their history bring a special demand to handcrafted saris. 


Weaving as an art form

A woven sari is analogous to paintings. While all artworks take much time and effort to complete, some like Ravi Varma's canvas paintings and Tanjore paintings are comparatively expensive than their other counterparts like watercolor paintings. Similarly, the price of a hand-woven sari depends on which weaving style was adopted to craft it. Kanjivarams, Paithanis and Banarasis are more expensive than the other weaving styles, because of the effort and detailing involved. 

What makes a hand-crafted saree expensive?


So, what determines the price of a hand-woven sari? The purity of the silk, design intricacy, the quality and quantity of zari and the overall weight of the saree and how much time it takes to weave the sari are usually the major factors. Gone are the days when handwoven saris were made by just using different varieties of silk or cotton. These days, they come in wide variety of the finest fabrics such as tussar, organza, chanderi and muga.

Hand-woven saris are generally considered expensive because unlike power loom, the looms are manually operated by the weavers with patience and love for the art. 

 Even Kanjivarams and Banarasis can be made more economically by making more saris in the same design, distributing Zari in a particular manner so it becomes more intricate and cost-saving and sometimes replacing zari with motifs woven in silk. 


Most importantly silk doesn’t make a hand-woven sari special. It may add luxury, but it’s the craftsmanship of the weaver and the art of weaving that makes these saris unique. Another contributing factor to the price of the sari is the number of resellers between the weaver and the final consumer. For example, our Kanjivarams tend to be a lot more economical because we have our own weaving unit. The more middlemen involved, the higher the end price to the consumer. Hence, the answer the question, do handwoven saris need to expensive is 'not necessarily'. It highly depends on ‘who’ is making the sari, where it is made, what style and techniques have been adopted to weave and how it’s brought to the customer. The simple truth is that there are expensive sarees that are machine made and less expensive ones that are hand-crafted.  

 At Shreenivas silks, we keep using novel techniques to bring down the price of some of our silk sarees, while staying true to the authentic weaving methods. Here are some of our light weight pure zari Kanjivarams which are hand-woven and affordable!

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