“There is no better way of industrializing the village of India than spinning wheel”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Saree, a nine yard fabric where a craftsman gets freedom to express his thoughts and his imaginations, has become an integral part of Indian outfits. It has become a symbol of woman pride, beauty and dignity which maintain the essence of Indian culture through handloom. Maheswar is such a place in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh where one of the most beautiful fabric and exquisite saree designs are made and known as Maheswar saree.
Maheswar saree owes its origin to the Holkar dynasty of Madhya Pradesh when Rani Ahilya Bai insisted weavers to weave something unique which could be given as royal gifts. Initially, Turbans for the Royal house were weaved, and later this style was used in silk sarees where the borders were embellished with the designs taken from royal fort walls, tall gates, ceilings and river Narmada.
During Ahilya Bai’s rule, the state used to purchase a large number of the weaved sarees. The fame of Maheshwar sarees slowly spread all over the country; currently they are in demand globally. The material used in making these sarees includes silk of different qualities which is brought from Bangalore. China silk, cotton fabrics, Kosa, Jari of different types and Khadi fabric are also used in making the sarees. These handloom sarees are unique and beautiful as each and every piece is weaved by the artists in their own style, and imagination.
The process of making Maheshwari sarees starts with the Bana which is the first step to entangle silk in its raw form to winding on to the reel. This raw silk on a reel is then rolled over a metal rod which is called Tana. This wrapped raw silk is fixed on the loom by specially trained weavers, through a process known as Jodi. Before starting the process of Jodi, the artisans need to visualize the design pattern and make a graphical pattern of design – this is the most crucial part. After fixing the design pattern in the loom, work resumes on a new saree with new design. Each saree takes about a week to weave.
This unique handicraft is not only helping individuals involved in making crafts but also contributing to the economy of the country. This art doesn’t require any adjective to define its beauty as each and every thread of the saree reflects the hard work of the artist behind it and makes the viewer mesmerized by its elegant look. This classy saree definitely gives a body hugging feel and a royal look which every woman will love to get. These artists make sure to stay updated with new fashion and give their best to the customer for their best occasion and graceful look. One should not forget to appreciate the hard work thoughts and creativity of the artist behind such admiring work.