Touch of Class Paithani Sarees

Touch of Class Paithani Sarees

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kadiyal Paithani: Facts to Note

Kadiyal Paithani Explained

Definition of Kadiyal: While weaving a fabric if color change is required within weft, two or more weft threads are interlocked in such a way that color bands [color contrast] is achieved.

Paithani is made with three important sections, lower border, middle base and upper border. Most hand-woven Paithanies are weaved with SINGLE WEFT shuttle thus mixing base color thread into the border. Kadiyal (called 'Parativ' in local language) Paithani is weaved with THREE individual WEFT shuttles, one each for lower and upper border and one for base. This allows any color combination for border and base essentially imparting contrast border with reference to base.

Note the contrast of border (dark green) in Kadiyal while diffused color (fade green) of Hand woven Paithani.

This translates into a weaving technique and ability of having various color combinations for border and base those are significantly different.

1) Weaving Technique: If one weaves such fabric on handloom, it means the progress of each weft involve 3 shuttle strokes [green-yellow-green] and thus require more time [more than 3 times as the process become slow]. It translates into the labor involved in terms of cost. This was common technique for Paithani till decade ago when material cost was higher than labor cost. Today's economic conditions altered entire scenario where material cost is only 30%
and 70% labor.

This is primary reason why most paithanies are weaved today as single shuttle weft, thus reducing labor and keeping cost at affordable level. Only 1-2% hand woven paithanies are weaved as Kadiyal that are mostly by special order where customer agree for the premium.[Regular Single Padar/Pallu Paithani: Price INR 5000.00 Kadiyal Single Padar/Pallu Paithani: Price: INR 9000.00]#

2) Colors/Contrast: Kadiyal technique allows one to have any color combination in woven Paithani as warp and weft for each 3 sections are individually selected to achieve desired effect. In sharp contrast to it is single shuttle [also called single dhoti in local language] paithanies where only warps are different for three sections those are weaved with single weft color. Thus one can not get dark green to yellow combinations or likewise.


Everyone like to have sharp contrast and ability of desired colors in selecting paithani. Economically it is expensive and difficult to make hand woven Paithani in Kadiyal form.

Today 98% Kadiyal Paithanies are woven in Banaras, Dharmavaram and Bangalore/Hyderabad on Power looms [machine-made]. They use low grade silk and sometimes mix synthetic silk with natural to reduce cost further. Occasionally, pallu is weaved by weaver but that is rare as computerized loom use sophisticated jacquard that gives identical designs used in real hand woven paithanies. [Regular Single Padar/Pallu Paithani: Weaving time: 2 weeks Power loom Kadiyal Single Padar/Pallu Paithani: Weaving time: 2-6 hours]*

Today, most shops and web stores are selling these machine made Kadiyal referring as Kadiyal Paithani but excluding the "hand woven" catch while charging prices for hand woven.

Too precise design and small motifs is first sign of machine made paithani

Contrast border unless specifically mentioned and assured by seller is machine made Paithani

Too shiny silk and thin fabric is indication of synthetic dyes and mixed silk.

Too many colors and patterns is also sign of machine made paithani.

Notes & References:
Google Image Search: Kadiyal Paithani
Wikipedia Paithani Article
Typical Hand woven Paithani Sarees
#,* Comparisons are for reference purpose only and may not translate into actual pricing]

All text, images and references for the description purpose only and is personal opinion of author. It by no means to influence or create bias for buyer to choose upon and make decisions. Author will not be responsible for any damage, loss due to the contents.

Copyright Touch of Class 2011.