“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak” – A quote by one of the well- known Fashion Designer, holds absolutely true for Chanderi fabric. Known for its glossy transparency and sheer texture, Chanderi is a century old weaving technique that produces three kinds of fabric – Chanderi silk cotton, pure silk and Chanderi Cotton.

The uniqueness of Chanderi fabric lies in its beautiful motifs embellished on the fabric. Traditionally, the motifs were inspired mostly with floral, coins, fruits, peacocks, heavenly bodies but now we can also find motifs in geometric abstract forms. These motifs are primarily hand woven on Chanderi fabric with hand-loom by the use of needles. Various needles are used to weave different motifs on one fabric. The motifs grace lies in the colour of the threads used which can be gold, silver or Copper.

History and Origin of Chanderi fabric

Coming from a small town of Chanderi , Madhya Pradesh, Chanderi fabric has derived its name from this town itself.

According to the known history, Chanderi’s woven tales can be traced back to 7th Century B.C. when it was woven with hand spun cotton for producing turbans for Maratha rulers. It was also a favorite fabric among ancient kings and Maharanis and Chanderi saris were considered as a symbol of royalty. But there are also traces which make us believe that it was first founded by Lord Krishna’s Cousin, Shishupal in the Vedic era.

Around the beginning of 19th century, weavers switched from hand spun Cotton to mill made Cotton because of the less availability of hand spun Cotton. In 1910, the royal family of Scindia brought Chanderi saris under their patronage and this is when gold motifs were first embellished on the cotton muslin sari. And addition of these gold motifs made Chanderi saris popular among all the royal queens. And this further led to the introduction of Japanese silk which had high margins and that is how Chanderi silk was discovered.

Later in 1970, another type of Chanderi fabric was discovered that was a blend of Cotton and Silk which is actually the most readily Chanderi available today.

There are three things which fascinate us most about the Chanderi Fabric:

Royal Zari Border : Chanderi saris are embellished with gold zari border which makes it look even more enticing. And the motifs definitely add more elegance to these Chanderi saris. It is because of the evergreen beauty of Zari borders which made these saris a favorite among royalties.

Glossy texture : The lustrous Shine and the transparency of this fabric will not let you stop drooling over this fabric. Be it Chanderi cotton or Chanderi Silk, it will still stand out among all the fabrics because of its sparkling texture.

A Cultural touch : The weaving of Chanderi fabric has been practiced since generations which takes us closer to our traditional heritage.

The motif designs embellished on Chanderi fabrics are so intricate and so unique from each other that every Design tends to tell its own story. And that is why so many fashion designers have been playing with Chanderi.

Chanderi Style diaries

Nowadays, young women prefer wearing Chanderi sarees. It is one of the must-have items for every saree connoisseur and has emerged as the most understated Indian ethnic attire. Chanderi sarees are an impeccable choice for ceremonial dressing.


Transparency or sheer texture is a unique feature of Chanderi fabric that differentiates it from other textiles produced across India. The transparency of this fabric is because of the use of single Flature quality of yarn. When glue of a raw yarn is not separated from it, the non-degumming renders a shine and transparency to the finished fabric which produces a Flature yarn.

Fashion Connect

Since ancient times, Chanderi fabric holds a special position in the Indian handloom industry. Traditionally, this fabric was used to weave the nine yard drapes. But now, with fusion of traditional and modern weaving techniques, Chanderi fabric is extensively used by fashion designers to create Indo-western dresses, tunics and tops.

In the recent years, fashion designers have worked closely with Chanderi weavers to design fashionable closet essentials. The sheer texture, fineness and glossiness of the fabric has fascinated many creative minds. Now, one can find contemporary designs like dresses, jackets, shrugs and trench coats woven in this handloom fabric with traditional motifs. The beauty of Chanderi does not stop here. The charm of this magical fabric is inspiring Interior designers all over the world to play with it infinitely to create more and more designs. Would love to see the magic of Chanderi fabric in coming years.

Posted by : Rutuja Kale | 19 September, 2020