Paithani - DOT-Maharashtra Tourism
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Paithani derived its name from the city of Paithan in the Aurangabad district. Now its manufacturing centre is shifted to Yeola, in Nasik district.
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 Caractéristiqu es uniques 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