Named after the village Paithan where it is woven.
History of Paithani goes back to the 7th century B.C. during the Yadav period (Sri Krishna's period). Deriving its name from Paithan situated in Aurangabad district in Maharashtra, the paithani saree was traditionally a part of the trousseau of every Maharashtrian bride. This is a hand woven silk saree with a rich, ornamental Zari (gold thread) pallav and border. On a zari warp thread the weft is interlocked with different colours using tiny cloth pins or 'tillies'. The motifs are traditional vines and flowers, shapes of fruit and stylized forms of birds and the saree is often known by the motif that dominates its border or pallav. The perennial beauty and painstaking workmanship of the Paithani saree takes atleast a month and a half for creating the simplest Paithani and up to nine months to make the more richly ornamented elaborate one. Because of their enduring quality and beauty Paithani sarees are handed down as an heirloom from mother to daughter for several generations.Paithani sarees are woven in thick silk and the weaving is similar to Tapestry Weaving in plain weave.
The speciality is that the design being woven is done without the assistance of a mechanical contrivance like the jacquard or jala on a frame loom. It uses multiple "Tillis" or spindles to weave in the design. The design framework is linear and exquisite, enamelled floral birds especially the peacock and parrot (munia) forms are woven in gold on the "Palav and Border". The back and face of the sari is very similar as it is woven in tapestry method. The jari used in the sari is on silk thread with twisted silver jari coated with gold. Sometimes cotton thread with twisted jari is used.