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KOTA DORIA SAREES: RAJASTHAN’S ANSWER FOR A COOL SUMMER

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Team rareitis visited Kaithun Village in Kota District on 16th April. We have been in discussion with Haji Abdul Hakim Kachara and his son Asgar Ali Kachara for a while and the visit was to meet these greats in person. Haji Abdul Hakim Kachara is a National Award winner Master weaver of Kota Doria fabrics. His son Asgar Ali Kachara is a Rajasthan State award winner in the same category.

            

Kaithun is a small village 20 kms from the city of Kota famous for its Kota Doria Sarees which is weaved in almost every home here. Originally, such sarees were called Masuria because they were woven in Mysore. The weavers were subsequently brought to Shada, a small town in Kota by Rao Kishore Singh, a general in the Mughal army. The weavers were brought to Kota in the late 17th and early 18th century and the sarees came to be known as ‘Kota-Masuria’.

Kota Doria is woven on a traditional pit loom in such a fashion that it produces square checks pattern on the fabric. They smear onion juice and rice paste with a lot of care into the yarn making the yarn so strong that no additional finishing is needed.The weaving of yarns creates a graph or geometrical pattern called as ‘Khats’ giving it a unique motif of it’s own. These sarees when made with cotton yarn are very light in weight, weighing approximately 300 to 500 gms. These Sarees are widely used as a Summer wear as they are translucent, light textured and light weight giving unmatched comfort for regular usage.

The Kachara family is now in the process of safely handing over this traditional skill, understanding of the intricacies of this weaving technique into their grandson Arshad’s hands. We met all the three generation at their abode and it was a great moment for rareitis. The Kachara Family owns more than 150 looms which are placed in the houses of these weavers. Asgar Ali and his five younger brothers, sketch these beautiful designs on their own and then delegate it to the weavers depending on their skill and also the type of design, as certain designs fit only to certain kind of loom the weaver uses. The Kacharas took us around the village and introduced us to the weavers showing us different stages of a Kota Doria Saree weaving from plain yarn to the final colored product.

Most of the weavers we met use only fine and premium quality of silk and Zari, and are specialised for unique intricate patterns and motifs. The greatest advantage of them is that they have their own design and weaving centre with a team of imaginative and innovative master craftsmen who unleash the natural beauty of Indian tradition with their looms, and the knowledge of weaving at their fingertips. The concept of rareitis was very much welcomed by most of them, as they were also looking for a genuine source for preserving this valuable tradition for their future generation. In the end, it was a very long and tiring day, but the outcome of meeting these weavers and getting them registered in rareitis as sellers was soul satisfying. A befitting reward to all the effort and pain we endured, keeping our mission at rareitis to reach out these rare Indian masterpieces to it’s connoisseurs at its true value. And most importantly, ensuring that these artisans get their worth, let’s say equal to their weight in original Zari.

          

Today, Rajasthan Handloom Development Corporation (RHDC) is taking the lead in producing items other than sarees from the Kota Doria. They have helped produce lamp shades, curtains, skirts and salwar-kameez. They have even helped make an all silk saree on Masuria handlooms. Kota saris display individuality with a bit of embroidery and border patches, making them totally exclusive.

To know more about Kota Doria Sarees, please click here.

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