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Paithani is a variety of sari, named after the paithan region in Maharashtra state where they are woven by hand. Made from very fine silk, it is considered as one of the richest saris in Maharashtra.
The western region of India manufactures varied rich saris. Paithani and Lugade from Maharashtra, Bandhni from Gujrat and Rajasthan, Kota from Rajasthan are some of them.
A pattan (Paithani) is a gold and silk sari. In the revival of Paithani weaving, the production was oriented towards export requirements, while saris were produced only for sophisticated buyers. Paithani evolved from a cotton base to a silk base. Silk was used in weft designs and in the borders, whereas cotton was used in the body of the fabric.
Present day Paithani has no trace of cotton. There was a time when silk was imported from China. Now Yeola and Paithan buy silk from Bangalore. Paithani is characterized by borders of an oblique square design, and a pallu with a peacock design. Plain as well as spotted designs are available.
Among other varieties, single colored and kaleidoscope-colored designs are also popular. The kaleidoscopic effect is achieved by using one color for weaving lengthwise and another for weaving widthwise. The colors generally used are yellow, red, lavender, purple, sky blue, magenta, pearl pink, peacock blue, peacock green, yellowish green, violet red, black and white, mirani etc.
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The pallu usually comprises of the designs such as flowering pot, peacock and geometrical figures. It is said the paithani art is more than 2000 years old, developed in the then splendid city of Pratisthan ruled by the legendary satavahanas ruler Shalivahan now Paithan During the 17th century, emperor Aurangzeb patronized the weavers and the designs in this era came to be known as “Aurangzebi”.
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