Tips on Choosing the Perfect Saree Border
Types of Borders
One of the best pieces of clothing created from an unstitched fabric, a saree, is worn differently in most parts of India, and yet has a certain charm that the drape uniformly lends out to its wearer alike and everywhere. Be it any characteristic of the saree - the length, the type of border, all these facets play a significant role in creating the perfect attire. While the spectrum of the saree is rich with patterns - some self-designed or embroidered, the border and the drape invite a special space for the weaver’s creativity.
The saree border makes for a classic value add to its entirety. The border makes the drape stand out distinctly. No less a canvas, the saree can be treated with varied possibilities and a touch of class in its craftwork. Whether it is a self-woven border or you want to attach a new border to a plain saree and transform it into a designer saree, the beauty of it all is a winner for sure!
The most graceful borders are the handcrafted ones like the pen Kalamkari borders that add art elements to a saree. Then there are floral borders painted on a crepe saree, which is done directly on the fabric to give it a flowing style. A gorgeous blend of Gara border and a wide border of Kalamkari on Tussar are a different ball game altogether.
Multiple borders refer to thin borders that are simple and placed at a distance, giving a unique style to the saree. You can also have varying breadth borders that give way to more substance to the look of the saree. For instance, a thinner border on the top of the drape, and a wider border on the bottom part is an incredible contrast not only in terms of its width but also in design.
Whether they are printed, embroidered, laced, embellished or stitched on the main fabric the border always defines a saree, giving it an elegant finish. Stylish chiffon sarees often come with thin and sparkling borders with sequins stitched in for a glitzy outfit, while a plain saree can be paired with contrasting colours for a spectacular effect. Kanjivaram sarees are known for their rich gold thread pattern borders. In most traditional sarees like these and the Banarasi saree, the border is wide, crafted mostly with zari, resham, zardosi, gotta patti and booti embroidery and brocade trims.
Other trending saree-border elements such as stones, sequins, lace, metallic trims, beads and ribbon can be combined with both ethnic and modern-day sarees and also cut into Indian motifs and designs. Colourful embroidery patches and appliques are often combined with velvet and lace bands, to be attached on to a saree, giving it a unique 3D effect.
Hand embroidered and crafted borders are most preferred owing not only to their expensive prices but also their heritage value. The Kashmiri Kashidari is an intricate embroidery style from Kashmir, where skilled crafters work on patterns and designs, making it one of the most sought-after border styles. One can find natural elements with a joyful convergence of colours in an elegant blend in this style.
Then there’s Lucknow's Chikankari work which enhances the lightweight sarees, defining their colours. Typically worked on a lightweight piece of cloth to craft shadow work, these borders are most delicate and worn in Northern India during summers. Tilla work is yet another traditional style from Kashmir that’s done with silver & gold zari, along with the main sozni embroidery that makes for a larger border. Created with needles and sequins, the popular Marodi work is arrived at with the aid of an awl-shaped tool and immense patience. This is usually done in a cobbler style stitch on heavier silk fabrics like satin, or gajji silk.
The Kasuti work comes with its geometric designs mostly done on Ilkal sarees and is typically lightly embroidered. The Phulkari embroidery is yet another handwork done with threads of multiple colours filling the border in such a way that the base material is nearly invisible, making it a bold and striking display of colours and glowing threads.
10 Saree Borders to Make Your Sarees Look Prettier
Bootis or light floral embroidery give a classic touch to a plain saree, which makes it perfect for both party or formal wear. 3.5cm wide and 9m long in length, this floral border roll on a colourfast polyester fabric is embellished with beads and pearls in red and gold embroidery and can be sewed to a saree by machine. The border weighs 290 gms and is also available in other colours. It is priced at Rs.904 on Amazon.
Gotta Patti work is one of the most popular works in Rajasthani designs, most appropriate for grand occasions or weddings. It looks gorgeous on both dull and bright colours alike, giving it an elegant air, with varied combinations of stone, silver, copper or gold gotta. Available in a 9m roll, with a width of 2 inches, this pink gotta-work border can be used to adorn a saree’s border. It is hand embroidered with zari and silk threads, in gold on a pink base material. It is priced at Rs.1,099 and is available on thedesigncart.com.
Scallops Floral Border
This heavy zari border has a contemporary floral design that looks like scallops and is royal blue in colour featuring blue embroidery and golden stones. This border roll is 9cms wide and 9m long (approx.) and Amazon offers it at Rs.1,134 per roll. The design is typically machine embroidered on the saree border with a trimming of floral pattern with intricately designed scallops and dots.
At times simple and at other times bright and jazzy, mirror work is versatile in the way it’s placed on a saree and can exude a certain elegance and sophistication to the cloth. The gaudiness can be played subtly with the use of threads in muted shades. This vibrant and bohemian themed border is embellished with a banjara styled mirror, thread & zari work. This border roll is 2.5cm wide and available in a 9m roll, priced at Rs.605 on lacecraft.in. It is also available in other shades like royal blue, turquoise blue, gold, pink, red, black and maroon.
Net Kundan Embroidery
From a premium collection of beautiful trims, this Kundan thread embroidery lace border with thin shimmery borders is a perfect embellishment for a saree. It can convert any plain saree into designer wear. It is a roll size of 40m in net fabric with heavy Daman embroidery fabric and golden diamonds work, available for a minimum order quantity of 10m. It is priced at Rs.180 per meter and is available at indiamart.com.
Velvet Lace Border
Velvet Lace is handcrafted in quality fabrics and is immensely popular owing to its shrink-resistance, colourfast feature and elegant patterns. Weddings or high profile social events are the appropriate occasions to flaunt the elegance of this trendy border on your favourite saree. This particular velvet border from Shubhlaxmi Enterprise with code: D.no.6083 is available at a minimum order quantity of 500 pieces at a price range of Rs.20-Rs.600, basis the chosen variety and piece.
Parsi Gara work is one of the most expensive borders, with a slightly cheaper variety also available, which has an imitation of the fine needlework. The authentic designing on a plain saree looks really magnificent. Delicately placed in a blend of brown, cabernet maroon, olive green, powder blue and violet colours on a near invisible creamy white base, this beautiful Parsi Gara border from CraftsBazaar looks and feels gorgeously grand, and can be used on any light saree, giving off a tender and romantic feel to it. It weighs 0.2kg and is 8.5m in length on a cotton silk fabric, priced at Rs.5,970.
Banarasi sarees are Varanasi’s speciality, known for their awe-inspiring features of delicate and interwoven floral and foliate motifs, Kalga and Bel, a string of leaves known as Jhallar at the external edge of the border. Banarasi borders are of antique quality, with some being developed from centuries ago, with the kalash and parrot designs, in resham and zari work. This designer Banarasi Border Lace with zari work comes in a varying width of 0.5-3 inches and 9-50 m length in a roll, priced at Rs.5 per meter, available at indiamart.com.
A unique choice which not everyone can pull off - the velvet border is getting immensely popular. Albeit a drape with rich velvet trim can make you a fashion diva, it is important to be cautious where you can carry it well. The velvet border works best for high-profile social events or weddings. It is best to steer clear of wide or jazzy velvet borders if you have a heavy body structure. Weighing 230gm, this velvet border is 4.5cms wide, with gold work on a beige base fabric, in a 9m roll. Priced at Rs.959 the border has embroidery and beadwork and can be purchased at Amazon.
Dabka work is typically done on silk or chiffon fabrics, and the embroidery is crafted with zari threads. This form of intricate embroidery work requires 3-5 people to design a piece and once the fabric is complete with dyeing and printing process, the dabka work is performed with a needle and thread. In this process, a French wire is used to conceal beading wire next to crimps and clasps, giving the entire design a finished and graceful look while protecting the ends of the beadwork. This border lace on an emerald green base fabric is embellished with dabka in gold and mirror work. It is available for purchase on indiamart.com being priced at Rs.200 per meter.
Bonus Styling Tips to Show Off Your Saree
With a wide variety of sarees available in the country, ranging from plain-printed, woven-embroidered and embellished ones, each region creates a unique variation and design in the competitive market of saree trends. Most sarees have borders placed along the hem or the drape, while the others are placed as a central part of the saree design. The size, patterns, colours and fabrics in addition to the techniques implemented in making the border make one saree distinct from the other. When styling a saree with borders, here are some things to keep in mind:
- It is best to purchase the border separately and add it to a plain saree for a unique look and design, thereby personalising it according to your liking and personality.
- Embroidered borders are the best for looking glamorous at parties, cocktails, weddings or receptions, and you can surely choose heavily embellished border sarees with an intricate blend of sparkling stones, mirror, sequins or Swarovski work.
- Pick plain border sarees for casual or office wear or for brunch and you’ll be the talk of the town!
- The main aspect of accessorizing a saree with a border is to ensure that the border is highlighted, without clashing with it in any way. For instance, a black saree with antique gold and crystal work may not go well with heavy gold jewellery but may work better with a pair of crystal dangler earrings, keeping the neck bare.
- Until recently, saree borders were available only with tailors. But now, thanks to online retail stores, you can also buy saree borders along with sarees, and matching accessories as well. So you can get more authentic designs and cost-friendly options to choose from.
The Ultimate Saree Accessory - Borders
Saree borders enhance the beauty of a saree, however plain it may be. Coupled with proper accessories and the right fabric, a saree border will only add to your charm and make you stand out from the crowd. Make sure you choose well!