The Madurai Cotton Saree, transformed from a fabric of restricted use to a widely sought after garment for regular use, is a light, airy and comfortable creation to keep cool during hot summers.
Madurai in Tamil Nadu, India, is famous, besides many other things, for its Madurai Cotton Sarees. A handloom creation of Saurashtrians (migrants from Gujarat, India), who settled in Madurai, about a century ago, the Madurai Sarees are woven from highly mercerized cotton and block printed. They are known as Sungari or Sungudi.
A 100% cotton fabric, dyed by natural colours by extraction from leaves, the Madurai Cotton Saree is designed with many tiny dots on the main body, with detailed embroidery work on the borders. The colour of the border generally contrasts that of the body.
Thin, light and made of pure cotton or polyester cotton, the Madurai Cotton has the ability to absorb heat and is best for summers or hot climatic conditions. Excellent properties are that it does not cause any allergy, is inexpensive and very easy to maintain.
Notable characteristics of the Madurai Cotton Sarees, are its more than usual length of forty eight inches compared to the standard Saree length of forty four inches and a dotted multi-coloured border. It shares similarity with the Bandhani type Sarees which also uses the tie-dye process but the method of application and the dots differ.
Affordably priced, the Madurai Saree, a fabric once worn for its simplicity and comfort by middle aged and elderly women and mostly on festival days and special occasions, has undergone a sea change. Trendy designs and patterns with exquisite borders and attractive motifs have given the Madurai Sungari a new look, making it a must-buy for all age groups and a widely accepted choice for daily and occasion wear.
Modern patterns adorn this Madurai fabric, with peacock, butterfly and nature being the motifs, woven in one or two colours, being the most popular. No wonder this version of the Madurai Cotton Saree is a hit with college goers and corporate ladies as a refreshing change during the hot weather.
There are other delightful varieties also of this South Indian Cotton Saree.
Creeper motifs and naksi zari border with an elegant printed pallu on the Madurai Saree is preferred wear for daily casual and office during the summer season. Summer Madurai cotton saris with tie-dye printed bird motifs and attractive printed borders are alluring and suit teachers, professors, home makers and busy mothers nicely.
A stylish twist is the Saree with circular prints on a colourful body, giving it an out of the way look and making it appropriate for dinners and parties.
The Madurai Cotton Saree derives its look from the mercerized cotton that is used for the fabric. Mercerization is the treatment for the cotton fabric that gives it the lustre and strength. The process causes the cotton fibre to swell and increase in area, brings a reflected shine on it and makes it softer. It also makes the yarn attain a better affinity to dyes and develop a resistance to molds which thrive on organic substances.
The longer the cotton fibre better would be the mercerization. Crochet work comes out fine with mercerized cotton hence beautiful embroideries are created on the Madurai Cotton Saree.
Lint accumulation, or the detaching of short bundled fibres in fabrics such as cotton, is what is to be guarded against in the washing of these Cotton sarees.
A growing population of Saree lovers, sustained by the efforts of a devoted and skilled workforce and encouraged by a supportive government with its promoting policies are all contributing factors for the pride of place that the Madurai Cotton Saree holds today.
Online websites such as Unnati Silks, have a large collection of traditional and trendy Madurai Cotton Handloom Sarees, with beautiful prints, broad borders and exquisite pallus using mesmerizing colours, meant to please. They could be one of the answers to getting these Cotton Sarees of choice and quality, at reasonable prices.
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