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Indian 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!

What is Kalamkari? In which state is it done in India?
Mention the name Kalamkari and what comes to mind is a finely crafted textile no less than a piece of art. One of the most popular handmade cotton fabrics in India and abroad, Kalamkari is no less than an institution in its own right. The art and craft of Kalamkari prints are one of the oldest and still authentic fabrics available in India and remain highly sought after, with a place of pride in the Indian Ethnic wear repertoire.
The art of Kalamkari has been practiced in India, especially in the Southern part of the Indian subcontinent, namely Andhra Pradesh, since ancient times. Its fine cotton texture and painstakingly etched hand drawn motifs and rich picturesque prints in natural vegetable and organic dyes make it ideal for wear in the hot summer and humid monsoons not just in the Indian subcontinent but elsewhere too.
The art is now practiced elsewhere in the states of Odisha and Gujrat with several local variations having been adopted in the local production process right from machine printing to chemical dyes and variations in the motifs as per the styles prevalent in these areas.


What is the meaning of Kalamkari?
The word Kalamkari is formed by combining two Persian words – “Kalam’ meaning pen and ‘Kari” meaning craftsmanship. It refers to the art of drawing patterns of various kinds on cotton fabric using a pen dipped in dyes. The art of Kalamkari involves using natural dyes on pure fine cotton fabric in up to 23 steps which include various steps like dying, bleaching, washing, hand drawing, block printing, starching, cleansing and glossing.


What is the history of Kalamkari?
It is believed that the art of Kalamkari dates back to 3000 B.C. Historians have even claimed that fabrics scraps exhibiting Kalamkari style adornments were even found at the ancient sites of Indus Valley civilization that dot present day India and Pakistan today.
Kalamkari is an art that has developed over time as a result of the practice of the narration of the Hindu mythological stories and regional folk tales. While earlier the story telling was done orally by folk singers and story tellers wandering from one village to another or one region to another, gradually the art began to be accompanied by hand painted scrolls depicting the linear telling of the story with hand done scroll painting as a visual guide.
This is the origin of Kalamkari, whereby artists drawing the hand drawn scrolls depicting mythological events and stories began to etch the same figures and motifs on cotton fabrics which were then on used to drape or stich into everyday garments.
While earlier it was known as “Pattachitras” and was practiced in Odisha, and parts of Nepal it has been connected by Art historians to painting on fabric that are mentioned in ancient Hindu, Buddhist and Jain literature.
The art of Kalamkari for the purpose of making wearable fabrics and garments as we know it today is believed to have acquired its present form and name “Kalamkari” during the period of the Mughals when this craft got due royal patronage and acknowledgement. It is known that in the medieval period, the Mughals not only promoted the art and craft of Kalamkari along with the then Golconda Sultanate but also helped its industry to flourish in Machilipatnam district of Andhra Pradesh.

What is the process of making Kalamkari?
The Kalamkari printed textile is made entirely in the traditional way. It involves 23 painstaking steps to get that rich look and color in the fabric.
First the fabric to be hand-drawn is soaked in a mixture of cow dung, water, milk and the fabric is soaked in this overnight to bleach and get a naturally uniform off-white base.
Next, the fabric is washed in normal water and following that it is sent to be treated with Myrabolum and buffalo milk– a softening agent. This is the step in the process which gives Kalamkari its characteristic soft feel so prized for the comfort in hot summer months. Once done, the Kalamkari fabric is washed in normal water to remove the smell of the buffalo milk.
Following this, the process of etching the patterns on the bleached and softened fabric is carried out. The outline of the pattern is drawn in black dye using a wooden stylus implement styled from a tamarind twig. In some areas a bamboo or date palm stick is also used, although the main method of drawing the pattern on the entire yarn by hand remains the same. Motifs include floral creepers, fauna and mythological figures and paisleys.
Once the outline of the desired pattern has been drawn the and has set in the other colors are filled in using alum as a color fixer. After the colors have been filled in to the pattern as desired, the fabric is then washed in water, no less than three times, to rinse of the excess pigment in the outline as well as to remove any residual pigments before the colors are sent for fixing.
The color fixing on Kalamkari fabrics is then done using an alum-water solution and the fabric is soaked in this solution over night to make sure the color is fixed and does not drain off easily. The final step involved washing the fabric another three times to remove all residues of dyes and other compounds used in the process and the fabric is then sent for drying in the sun before being packed for sale.

What is special about the motifs in Kalamkari?
The motifs of Kalamkari have been developed and standardised over time and these include flora and creepers, fauna such as peacocks, horses and cattle. Paisleys are another popular motif often found on Kalamkari sarees and garments. Sarees are longer in span than cut garments and for this reason many high end Kalamkari sarees are adorned with depictions of scenes from the popular Indian great epics such as the Ramayana or the Mahabharata.
Gods and goddesses are another favoured motif and now a days newly popular motifs and figures also find favour with Kalamkari lovers. These include graphics of Lord Buddha, kitsch motifs such as three-wheeler autos, slippers, feet, keys, musical instruments and other such objects of daily use in ornate designs and keen details.

What are the various colors of Kalamkari:
The colors used in Kalamkari sarees and fabrics are unique to this ancient craft. Earthy shades define most of Kalamkari patterns because they are derived from vegetable and organic sources. These include - black from a blend of jaggery-water and iron filings to make the design outline, mustard and yellow derived from boiled pomegranate peels, reds derived from the bark of the madder tree and blue from the indigo plant. Green hues are achieved by combining indigo and yellow hues.

What are the different types of Kalamkari?
There are two main types of Kalamkari practiced in India. The Srikalhasti style and the Machilipatnam style.
The Srikalahasti style involves the dyed hand painting of a fabric and is done in the Chitoor distric of Andhra Pradesh. It is used to narrate the religious epics and myths of ancient Hindu belief and the characteristic feature of this style is the highly ornate pallus and borders on both Kalamkari sarees as well as fabrics. This style developed with patronage from the temples and therefore it has special importance in the cultural heritage of this region.
In the Machilipatnam style the motifs are printed using hand carved printing hand blocks and common motifs include flora and fauna with some paisley and geometric patterns also finding favour among Kalamkari artisans. This style flourished under the Golconda Sultanate and the influence of Islamic art can clearly be seen in this style. One of the major differences in this style is the absence of human figures and the emphasis on floral patterns and paisleys and geometric motifs in running repetition.

Where to buy Kalamkari sarees online?
Kalamkari is more than just a textile heritage and a coveted handloom product. It is an ancient artform which embodies our ancient culture and with constant innovation through the collaboration of Indian designers and Kalamkari artisans it is undergoing its best phase at present. There have been additions of new motifs and styles to its rich design repertoire and naturally Indian Ethnic wear lovers and afficianados have shown an increasing affinity and demand for different kinds of Kalamkari products including Kalamkari fabrics, Kalamkari sarees, Kalamkari saree blouses and Kalamkari salwar kameezes and Anarkalis.
The best online source for buying authentic and trendy Kalamkari fabrics, Kalamkari sarees, Kalamkari saree blouses and Kalamkari salwar kameezes and Anarkalis is Pure Elegance – the one stop shop for all Indian Ethnic wear clothing such as sarees, Anarkalis, salwar suits, and Indian accessories such as authentic Indian jewellery crafted by Amrapali. You can also pair your Kalamkari garments with a wide range of Indian Ethnic clothing Juttis from Pure Elegance, simply at the click of a mouse, from wherever you are, delivered right at your doorstep.