Maheshwari - Weaving
The craft is believed to date back to the Mohenjodaro era. But historically, the Maharani who actually revived the craft in the mid-18th Century was Maharani Ahalya Bai Holkar. She wanted some simple nine yard saris to present to the Peshwa rulers. And so she brought weavers from Surat and Malwa to Maheshwar specifically for that purpose. Traditionally, the Maheshwari borders have geometric motifs, as Ahalya Bai did not wear saris with floral motifs.
MAHESHWAR sarees, woven mostly by women of Maheshwar village, in cotton and silk, is characterised by its simplicity. The body is plain or has stripes or checks. The plain ones are known as Chandrakala (midnight blue) and Baingani Chandrakala, which is woven with a blackish violet warp and a chocolate weft. Chandratara, the moon and star design, has lengthwise stripes of two shades and the pattern is arranged with four stripes of one shade attained by one stripe of another shade. The reversible border of the saree which can be worn either side, is a specialty. The Karnphool pattern is quite popular,it has a variety of leaves and flowers on the border. The Palla of Maheshwari saree is also distinctive with five stripes, three coloured and two white alternating. The Chanderi cotton sarees are ideal summer wear. The sarees generally have a rich gold border and two gold bands on the Pallu. The more expensive sarees have gold chicks with lotus roundels all over, known as butis.
WOMEN WEAVE CHARITABLE TRUST is founded by Sally Holkar.