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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sari Yarn History Preparation and Patterns

Thanks for visiting again. 
This is me!! I have  my  picture here clad in a sari  to show you what a sari looks like. Sari is an attire that has its origin  from  South Asia, particularly India.  Sari is a long rectangular piece of machine or handwoven fabric, about  6 yards in length,  akin a large scarf,  that is used to drape over the woman, by creating a set of pleats  in front  and worn over a short blouse called the choli that just covers the bust, and an  inner skirt over which it is draped. Click HERE to know how to wear a sari. The most decorative piece of the sari is the end piece of the scarf, which is called the Palloo, and which drapes over the bust and over the shoulder. Some drape it over the right shoulder and some over the left shoulder. The bottom line is that it serves to cover the breast of the woman. 

Saris are made with various kinds of natural fiber  such as from cotton,   silk,    banana and jute, and  man made fibers, just as we have both natural yarn made out of plant and animal fiber as well as man made acrylic yarns. The sari that I am wearing here has been made with the silk  thread produced  by the silk worm, which is the most expensive form of silk. You can read more HERE. on sericulture, the cultivation and production of pure silk. 
In the market today there are many look alike silks, and imitations, and a novice in silks will find it very hard to differentiate the genuine ones from the imitations. In pure silk the gold weave is nothing but pure silver that is handwoven in traditional designs. Therefore even after the sari has served its purpose, the silver can be melt into a block and used for making ornaments  while the fiber portions  of the sari can be up cycled into pretty things, through what is called as sari ribbon. Sari ribbon is nothing but cut shreds of long pieces from these 6 yards, joined together with knots or with a needle and thread, by hand or machine. These are called reclaimed sari  yarn/fibre. Fiber that is left behind on the weavers loom is also collected and made into usable strands of yarn. These two forms of sari yarn is usually made at home. Most women do not find the time or need to reclaim what they have used and these are collected by people door to door in return for something usable such as utensils for the kitchen etc. Most often they are used for quilt making. Especially in Northern parts of India where the winters are really cold, these quilts really help.   These used saris are often taken, washed and shred to yarn. Good portions of the sari are made into cushion covers and other home accessories. 
I do not wear any other silk but that which is handwoven and made from raw silk on the weaver's loom. They are expensive but something to treasure, and the smell of the silk and the sound of the rustling is something to be experienced. 

In the picture above you will find themes handwoven  in pure gold toned silver thread such as a peacock, trees, flute music and so on. Notice the end of the sari fabric that has the fiber running to and fro. Sarees have dual color threads that run up and down the grain of the fabric producing a pretty double shade such as what we find on the neck of the peacock. 

These two are pictures of a sari yarn floor decor.

Synthetic or natural sari yarn ribbons are cut or shred into long pieces akin the model shown here. 

The above is a sari ribbon yarn floor decor and the following picture shows you a possible layout of shredding and processing the yarn.

Sari yarn can be used for making necklaces, shawls, and any kind of accessory. The loose fibers that come with these shred or cut ribbons add to the rugged charm. Saris can be converted to beautiful keep sake pieces. You will never look at a sari the same way again!! Patterns can be as simple as circles or ovals or a converted doily pattern. If you have been inspired to make something from a sari, or salwar, please do link your projects to the blog and so share as well. Happy crocheting!!

Until next time,
Lots of love from


  1. Nice information on saree. This is almost disappearing. The article was neat but the video was incomplete. Please do write on the various styles we wear in India

  2. Thanks Nitya. Yes I will try and add some information about the various types of saris and the variety of ways to drape them. Thanks for your comment.