Paithani - DOT-Maharashtra Tourism

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Paithani

Districts / Region

Paithani derived its name from the city of Paithan in the Aurangabad district. Now its manufacturing centre is shifted to Yeola, in Nasik district.

Unique Features

Paithan was the capital city of the famed Satavahana dynasty 
that ruled peninsular India for more than four and a half 
centuries after the collapse of the Mauryan empire. The name 
Paithani is derived from Paithan and is famous for its Zari
work of unique motifs on a rich silk saree. The colour of a 
Paithani is mostly deep and has a smooth glossy finish. One 
end of the saree, known as Padar has Zari work and both the 
borders or Kath have floral patterns. The distinctiveness of 
these patterns is that they look the same from both sides. A 
Paithani is typically associated with marriages in Maharashtrian 
tradition. 
The traditional Paithani is 9 yards long and 2.5 yards wide 
with floral and animal & bird motifs on the Padar and Kath. It 
weighs up to 3.3 kgs., and requires 250 grams of silver and 
up to 17 grams of gold. The quality variations are known as 
Baramasi, Chudamani, Ekveesmasi and the price is based on 
these variations. There are royal records that mention 
Chatteesmasi Paithani weaving with silk of 130 numbers 
denoting a very high quality. 
The Padar of a Paithani is known by meaningful names such 
as Asawali, Bangdi, Mor, Akroti and Gravel. The handcrafted 
patterns using high-quality silk are known by the name of 
Meenakari. Colours like Green, Yellow, Red and Grey with a 
tint of orange, Fig are typically used in the making of Paithani 
and are made using vegetable dyes. 
The making of a Paithani usually takes around twenty-one 
days and claims to last for a hundred years. The making of 
the Padar itself takes about a week. Quite a few artisans are 
involved in the making of a Paithani. Goldsmiths process the 
gold and silver turning them into lustrous fine threads. An 
artisan known by the name Watave rolls the thread onto a 
bobbin and hands it over to the weaver. The process of 
making the silk threads weave-ready requires absolute 
patience and perseverance as it requires going through a 
number of steps to maintain its unique quality. 
The manufacturing base of Paithani Has shifted to Balewadi in 
Nashik district probably in the 17th century. A few highly 
skilled weavers from Paithan were brought to Yeola by a 
Maratha lieutenant. The popularity of the Paithani reached its 
peak during the Peshwa rule. The traditional designs and class 
were in vogue till the first decade of the 20th century but the 
changes in the test of the people brought in changes in the 
overall designs and patterns. Due to the tedious processes 
involved in the manufacturing, the cost was also high of a 
Paithani and with the introduction of mechanical inventions 
cheaper versions have started flooding the market and resulted 
in the downfall of this once famous cultural symbol. 
The concerted efforts through various schemes of the 
Maharashtra Government, post the formation of the state, to 
support this ancient art have started bearing fruits.

Cultural Significance

A Paithani is typically associated with marriages in Maharashtrian tradition.
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