17 beautiful saris to gift the textile lovers in your life
Go the whole nine yards this year
There’s a sari for every occasion. Heavily embroidered and mirrored for sangeet nights, light and breezy for hot summer days. Bold brocades for when you want to turn heads and leheriya for when you’re feeling playful. Saris pretty much cover it all. Okay, except maybe beachwear, but you can even wear it for a jog. Just ask Milind Soman and his mum.
Saris are investment pieces and heirlooms. For some, they’re fashion statements, modernised and refashioned with handsfree pallus and dhoti pants instead of pleats. Whichever way it’s reshaped, nothing trumps the classic nine yards.
A true sari lover knows their Chanderi from their Banarasi, Kanjeevaram from the Baluchari saris. They can rattle off the 3109 different ways to drape the pallu. They’re your go-to for pleating tricks and hacks to keep your sari from unwinding mid-thumka at Ranjit chacha‘s son’s wedding.
You may find sari fiends a bit glum lately. There haven’t been many occasions to wear saris during the lockdown this year, unless they’re attending a virtual wedding. But for them, it just isn’t the same without four people admiring the gotta patti on their sari hem in person.
As this tumultuous year comes to an end and the many unknowns of 2021 loom ahead, we all deserve a little pick-me-up. And a sari is more than just a gift. It’s the opportunity to support local weavers that have struggled this year, create new family heirlooms and traditions, and even flaunt wearable art. It’s the perfect way to wrap up this year.
Covering different weaves, materials and prices, pick from our roundup of saris to make it a very merry end of the year gift indeed.
If all else fails, you could always head the good ol’ Fabindia route.
Durga by Suta, ₹3,500
Started by sisters-turned-entrepreneurs Sujata and Taniya Biswas, Suta has saris of every flavour – batik, jamdani, silk, linen and more.
There’s an understated elegance in the beige and gold combination of Durga‚ a Maheshwari silk cotton sari with a zari border, that comes with matching blouse material (not the one photographed).
Asoniya by Hathkargha, ₹4,500
The beautiful blue of this sari alone is reason enough to add it to cart. It’s a multithreaded embroidery piece with a woven zari border and tassel accents.
It comes with a blue running blouse and an additional block-printed pink mull blouse piece — for those who want to colour block.
Niyathi by Udd, ₹12,500
This sea green linen sari with an Ikat border, by Udd is like wearing a Madhubani painting.
Through illustrations, it tells a story of love between lord Krishna and Radha. The sari comes with a blouse of the same kind, but they can always pair it with a simpler colour if it gets too busy or they want the sari to stand out on its own.
Sunheri Chidiya by Raw Mango, ₹29,800
There’s little we don’t like from the Raw Mango collection.
‘Sunheri Chidiya’ stands out for its delicate bird motifs and the two textiles that come together to make this lovely sari, sheer black organza silk with gold silk twill. An instant classic, they’ll be ready to spread their pallu, and fly in this one.
Citta by Picchika, ₹17,500
Sari lovers are definitely familiar with Picchika. If not by name then definitely by their pictures. Especially the now-famous Bebo sari worn by Kareena Kapoor Khan.
Picchika’s saris look like watercolour paintings. Citta is a soft organza sari, handpainted by skilled craftsmen in Jaipur. It’s a light pistachio green painted on java rose apple flowers and accented with hand embroidered gold gota. In this, they’ll be the refreshing centrepiece on a sultry summer day.
Blush Handblock Organza sari by Shorshe, ₹12,150
Shorshe is a label that prides itself on its sustainable philosophy and practices. Their clothes are handmade using hand-woven fabrics, following eco-friendly practices.
From their six collections, so far, this sari from the Varq line is among our favourites with unique lace trim on the pallu. The blush colour is subtle, so you can dress it up or down to go from day to night.
Tara by Okhai, ₹3,800
Okhai works with rural artisans across the country to showcase their talents and to carry on traditional crafts that are being lost in the pages of history.
The Tara sari is an easy-breezy cotton masterpiece that’s going to become their favourite summer apparel. The intricate patterns have been carefully block-printed by hand and little tassels at the end of the pallu give it an extra bit of zhuzh.
Indigo + Magenta Handwoven Silk Sari by Payal Khandwala,₹26,800
Payal Khandwala’s striking saris have been quite the showstoppers on the runway.
These are handwoven silk saris with bold colour blocking and stripes. There’s a sheen to these saris that make the stripes dance with your every move. It’s probably the light catching the silver metallic yarn that’s been woven into the stripes.
The indigo and magentacombination is our favourite, especially with the olive-toned silk blouse material. These aren’t colours you’d usually think of pulling together, but they work wonderfully.
Jhelum Organza Sari | Sky by Tilla, ₹27,500
Organza saris are our favourites. They’re airy, light and especially easy to wear during the hot summer months that are just getting longer and longer.
Tilla’s Jhelum sari will make them feel like they’re smooth sailing down a cool body of water with the handwoven silver pitta and batik resembling shimmering rays of the sun.
Powder Green Sari With Kashmiri Embroidered Floral And Paisley Jaal by KALKI, ₹18,935
This is for lovers of all-over embroidery. The work is done skilfully on delicate georgette with Kashmiri floral and paisley work. The dusty powder green makes a lovely base for the fine thread work.
A work of art in itself, there won’t be much they’d need to pair the sari with, a simple blouse and minimal jewellery will do. Allowing the sari itself to be the scene-stealer.
Dhiti by Grassroot by Anita Dongre, ₹20,900
Few people do it quite like Anita Dongre. The fine stripes of this multi-tone silk sari by Dongre will be flattering to every silhouette. The sari comes with a metre length of complimenting fabric for a blouse as well.
Since the Grassroot collection focuses on handlooms and local artisans, it is ‘socially sustainable’ and adopts more environmentally sustainable practices, buying from them is a gift for the sari lover in your life, and a community of artisans.
Light Peach Pure Kora Silk Handwoven Banarasi Sari by Tilfi, ₹18,200
You can never go wrong with a Banarasi. This is a lighter version for the uninitiated who get overwhelmed by the majesty of a true Banarasi creation.
This comes in a lovely light peach and each motif is handwoven separately. It’s made of pure Kora silk in the finest Kadhua weave. Tilfi will even let you add on some tassels on the pallu for no extra charge.
Ivory Grey Block Printed Cotton Mul sari by Chidiyaa, ₹3,200
Chidiyaa is where comfort meets design. This is a timeless sari that can be easily worn every day since it’s made of soft mulmul fabric.
This is the kind of sari that gets swapped between friends, which gets more comfortable with each wear. The one you spot your mum wearing in the morning as she plucks flowers from the garden to tuck into her loose bun. It can be a first sari for the newbie who’s always eyed your collection but never taken the plunge to buy one of their own.
White Organza Arashi Sari by Medium, ₹14,800
Medium made waves with their ‘handsfree’ sari, a design that consists of an arm hole-style cut out in the pallu which lets you slip your arm in, hold it up and keep it in place with ease. They’re perfect for the more clumsy among us who can barely keep their pallu under control.
Our favourite from the Medium saris is a delicate white organza sari dyed in contrasting black arashi shibori, paired with a black mulberry silk unstitched blouse.
Horn Please Sari by Aishr X Ramruki, ₹8,870
Made of sustainable muslin fabric with biodegradable dyes, Horn Please has the quintessential colours and motifs of India’s infamous trucks. It’ll turn your textile loving friend into a living breathing work of walking art.
Bhura Anardana Chanderi Sari by Torani, ₹26,000
We fell in love with one when we saw it worn by the queen of envy-worthy saris, Vidya Balan.
The warm colour and print remind us of the shawls our grandmother used to wear on cold winter mornings with us struggling to huddle up under one corner of it. A lovely classic, timeless addition to any wardrobe that can be passed down as a family heirloom.
Leaf by Priyadarshini Rao, ₹20,000
This is another label with Balan’s stamp of approval, and we can see why. These Muga silk brocade saris come in a variety of colours – fiery red, dusty pink, haldi yellow and stark teal. The one that caught our eye is the light leaf green with a hint of buttery yellow one.
Combined with silver zari work, carnation buttis and a silver-hemmed pallu, this is sure to make you your sari-loving friend’s new favourite.