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Designer Sarees

There's a certain indescribable joy in shopping for ethnic clothes. The delectable colors, magnificent designs, a plethora of gorgeous fabrics - they all make it a delightful experience. The diversity of Indian fashion greatly adds on to this experience. Sarees, lehengas, anarkalis - there's so much to browse and choose from. Pure Elegance carefully handpicks a sublime selection that aims to bring you the best of all the above. The options are galore when it comes to colors, styles, silhouettes and more. We strive to cater to, and satiate every ethnic style palette.
Sarees are one of the most popular garments in Indian fashion and it's not hard to see why. With an air of effortless elegance, they exude a fluid charm and flatter all body types. Typically measuring between five to nine yards, they are draped around by the wearer and don't commonly come in a ready made drape. The body of the style is tied at around at the waist and the end bit of the sari, known as the pallu, is usually brought across the chest and over the shoulder. Since the pallu is often the most visible and free part of the saree, it is commonly decorated with dazzling patterns and designs. A traditional Indian saree is worn with a blouse on top and a petticoat underneath the sari. Many regions in India have their own draping styles, however, the most popular one is the 'Nivi style' from the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Sarees are incredibly versatile and can be worn from the office, to the dinner after, to of course, elaborate festive occasions and weddings. Walk into the Monday morning meeting in a grey khaddi saree if you're looking to impress with ethnic simplicity. A lime green chiffon sari is a lovely choice for a casual luncheon. When the family dinner parties beckon, a floral linen saree is sure to have you looking sublime.  For weddings zari woven sarees or embellished sarees in hues of red, orange or pink are perfect picks. 
The styles of saris can be broadly divided into three - handloom woven sarees, embroidered and embellished sarees and printed sarees. Woven sarees are classic choices that are usually made in silk and cotton fabrics. Evergreen and widely loved, they can never go out of style. Embroidered and embellished sarees are great for times you want to take it up a notch. Plain thread embroidery is great for simpler occasions while sarees with kundan work, mirror work, and embroidery in golden or silver thread works best for grand occasions like weddings. If bold is your preference but you do want to keep it light, a printed saree is just what you should be reaching out to.
When it comes to saris, there are certain styles that are wardrobe essentials. A vibrant Banarasi sari, a resplendent kanjivaram silk saree, a charming georgette saree - they are all eternally alluring. When you look to buy sarees online in the USA, you'll find a wide variety of all these at our Indian wear store - Pure Elegance.
A fashion designer saree is a beautiful way to express one's self. The fabrics and the colors speak volumes when one adorns a saree. Turn your vintage style dreams into reality with a crisp cotton ikkat saree. Keep it fun and endearing in a neon shaded georgette saree with a mirror work border. Channel your inner queen in a regal, purple kanchipuram silk sari. Keep it refreshingly easy breezy in a blue linen saree. Want the best of royal charm but don't want to don something too heavy? Choose a tussar silk sari with a floral pattern that is sure to have you standing stylishly tall. For occasions when you want to go one hundred percent glam, work up a stunning look in a net saree with lace work. 
Patterns and designs too, add to the vibe of a saree. Stripes, chevron lines and geometric patterns can bring in a touch of modern aesthetics to a sari. Ikkat patterns lend a saree a rustic, ethnic vintage feel. Traditional motifs and paisley designs have an evergreen charm to them and add on to the ethnic aesthetics of a saree. Florals are always delightful and can instantly light up a room.
When you look to buy sarees online in the USA, visiting our aisles of Pure Elegance sarees is a must-do! Sophisticated and modish styles meet premium quality in our spectacular line of fashion designer sarees from India. What's better? We also have a store in Edison, New Jersey. So be it online or at our physical store, it's time to shop away, your way!

Everything you need to know about Pashmina

Pashm is a Persian word that means "wool" or "inner layer of hair," meaning soft and shiny. In Kashmir, pashm is the raw unspun wool of domesticated Changthangi (Ladakh Pashmina) goats. However, today Pashmina refers to the material or the type of the Kashmiri shawl made from it. Pashmina clothing and accessories are known for their softness and warmth. 

Traditional pashmina fabric is a 70% pashmina/30% silk blend, but a 50/50 mix is common. The 70/30 blend is tightly woven, has an elegant sheen, and drapes nicely, is quite soft and light-weight.

Pashmina wool is blended with fine silk to form pashmina silk. Original pashmina sarees have a soothing shade with Kashida's detailed embroidery, giving it a very lustrous and glossy look. Women love to wear printed pashmina silk sarees at festivals and celebrations. The fabric looks perfect for all age-groups. The smooth texture of pure Kashmiri pashmina saree is what makes them globally popular.

The major center of Pashmina fabric production is in the old district of Srinagar, in India.


History of Pashmina

During the Mughal Era, Pashmina was used as an indicator of rank and nobility. In 1568, when Akbar from the Mughal Empire conquered Kashmir, a pair of pashmina shawls was considered a part of khil’at (robes of honor) ceremonies. Pashmina cashmere shawls were first woven by the Mogul craftsmen for Emperor Akbar to give his chosen wives.

Gradually from the 16th century to the early 20th century, other rulers like the Safavid, Zand, and Qajar emperors of Iran started wearing Pashmina and gifted them as khil’at within their political and religious ranks. In the early 19th century, traditional Pashmina shawls were a favorite of Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte.

The 19th-century writings show that despite pashmina shawls were worn by men, they became branded as women’s luxuries and acquired the status of heirlooms. They were worn by girls “coming of age” by women at their wedding. They began to be considered as heirlooms that women would inherit rather than purchase. Pashmina blankets were also used as dowry among the wealthy in Kashmir.

In France, the Kashmiri Pashmina shawl earned status as a fashion symbol through Empress Josephine’s enthusiastic use. These shawls favored the French well providing the much-needed warmth while adding a visual to the white French gowns with the traditional teardrop Buta pattern and discreet floral motifs. The shawl became a symbol of French bourgeois status from the Bourbon Restoration (1815-48) through the Second French Empire (1852-70). It was considered a “class maker” because of its rich, extensive ornamentation, and artistic qualities.

Pashmina is perhaps the only fiber for which invasions were planned, and treaties were signed to control its trade. The pashm business was shielded from any political controversies by the various treaties signed, which resulted in the industry's prospering in the late 19th century.


Production of Pashmina Fibre

Pashmina is spun from the lower undercoat of the Himalayan mountain goat, based in the high altitudes- above 15,000ft, the colder the conditions, and the better the wool's quality. 

On average, human hair is 75 microns thick. A super Grade A pashmina is 12 microns thick, i.e., the best quality pashmina is 6 times finer than a human hair! One goat produces enough wool for a scarf, and three goats must be combed to make a pashmina shawl. The goats used for Pashmina shed their winter coat naturally every spring, known as molding season, and regrow in the winter. One goat sheds approximately 3-6 ounces of fiber. The goats are then combed to collect the undercoat.

Pashmina wool is traditionally produced in the Ladakh region of the Himalayas by a nomadic tribe known as Changpa. They inhabit the Changthang plateau of Tibet. This region has the lowest altitude of 13,500 feet above sea level, and a winter temperature drops up to -40°C. The Changpa rear sheep in these harsh climates for meat and pashmina goats for wool.

During the severe winters, the Changthangi goats grow a thick undercoat of very fine & warm fibers under their coarse outer layer of fur to survive the chilly winters. This fine fiber, called “pashm,” is shed by these goats during spring when it gets harvested by the Changpa tribe.

 The central hub of pashmina fabric production is in the old district of the city of Srinagar. The raw Pashmina is exported to Kashmir, where specialized craftsmen and women traditionally handcraft all the steps. These steps include removing impurities and guard hair, aligning fibers, spinning, weaving, and finishing. The approximate time put into producing a single traditional pashmina stole (70x200cm) is 180 hours.


Difference between pashmina and cashmere

Both Cashmere and Pashmina come from the same goat. Still, general Cashmere ranges from 12–21 microns in diameter, whereas Pashmina refers only to those fibers that range from 12–16 microns.

How to know if it is authentic?

The fiber content of any item marketed as Pashmina is always accurately divulged by the Wool Act or domestic regulations, either in a tag or the holding box. A mix of cashmere and silk might be labeled 50% Cashmere, 50% Silk, or 70% Cashmere, 30% Silk, depending upon the actual fabric content. If the item contains only cashmere, it should be labeled "100% Pashmina" or "All Cashmere."

Traditional Pashmina shawls are handwoven, and the quality depends upon the making process. Handmade pashmina products are finer, tight, warm, and more luxurious than machine-made pashmina products. Also, pure Pashmina is difficult to be machine-spun because of its fine quality. 

To spot a machine-made wrap, notice the fringe base: machines make an unnaturally straight edge. Furthermore, machine-made pashmina shawls are mixed with nylon or angora because pure Pashmina is too weak to sustain mechanical weaving strain. Once the shawl is ready, it is dipped in an acid wash to remove the synthetic fiber, which may tear down the protein contained in pashmina fiber. A traditional handloom "weaving process" takes 3-5 days, whereas it takes five minutes on a power loom.


Handling and washing directions

Dry cleaning is preferred for safe washing of pashmina. However, one can hand wash the fabric occasionally if followed the guidelines carefully.

    • Use cold water (DO NOT use hot water)
    • Add a little soft detergent (preferably baby shampoo), and dissolve it completely.
    • Wash the pashmina very gently while being very careful with the hand-tied tassels, if any
    • After washing, lie is as flat as possible (DO NOT wring dry or hang in direct sunlight)
    • Once dry, use a warm iron on it. Put a piece of paper or cloth between the iron and the fabric.

If using a washing machine, select the “delicate cycle”, with cold water and low spin. Still, it is recommended not to use a washing machine.

It is also advised to always store pashmina folded or rolled wrapped in a muslin cloth. In rare cases of wrinkles hang it up and let them fall out.


Why is Pashmina Unique?

One of the amazing things about having a pashmina accessory is that it can last for years and years if taken good care. It will even get softer and more luxurious with each wash!

Pashmina accessories are prized for their softness and warmth. They are available as different sizes of scarves, shawls, wraps, and even traditional Indian sarees.


Pashmina in Bollywood

The elite Bollywood celebrities wear Pashmina to portray their class of sophistication with a hint of humbleness.

Late Bollywood actress Sridevi Kapoor sported an elegant and sophisticated look in a Pashmina velvet saree for Indian Cricketer Virat Kohli’s wedding reception. She matched her saree with a black velvet high neck blouse with gold studded embroidery and a stunning jewellery set.


Bollywood Actor Shilpa Shetty did a photoshoot wearing a gorgeous black velvet and pashmina saree with specially woven antique Tilla Zari. She paired her saree with a long-sleeved black tight fit blouse and a black clutch handbag.


Legendary Bollywood actor, Amitabh Bachchan is known for his love for shawls. He was spotted by paparazzi wrapped in a fine Kani pashmina shawl at his movie Wazir’s trailer launch. 

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