Give your ensemble a beauteous edge

Give your ensemble a beauteous edge

Border banter

Indian embroidery and embellishments are elaborate and demand a fine eye for detailing. Stylish in look and timeless in appeal, kinaris or decorative borders have been used since the history of fas­hion in India  to adorn ethnic attires.

Not surprising, the country is known globally for its delicate and fine embroidery work and craftsmen from different regions create beautiful and decorative kinaris with fancy embroidery, sequins, rhinestone, zardozi, zari, lace and other

These decorative trims are primarily made from glass beads, sequins, embroidered cutwork designs, metallic beads, zari work and pearl beads. The ornamental trims and borders are used as patchwork or embellished laces  used on saree pallus, lehenga hemline, salwar-kameez sleeves and neckline, to add an attractive look to the outfit. In contemporary times, there has been an interesting marriage of ancient crafts with modern designs and fabrics. Nowadays, the use of kinaris are not just restricted to Indian clothes, but are employed to accentuate curtains, cushion covers,
bedspreads and more.

According to Anindita Sarkar, head designer of, a fashion portal, kinaris can add a lot to the final look of an attire.

“Take a dyed fuchsia and orange plain chiffon six yard fabric, decorate the borders of the fabric with kundan work kinari and your saree is ready. This is the kind of appeal kinaris add to the look of a dress. Choose the right kinari design, and you can transform your plain saree into a gorgeous attire,” says the designer.

However, before you rush off to splurge on yards of material and matching kinaris, there are somethings you must bear in mind, cautions Anindita. “Before choosing the kinari for a dress, always keep in mind the prints and type of the fabric. For instance, if you wish to add a kinari or edging to your party-wear saree, select from trims embellished with sequin or stone work. But if you’re designing a bridal lehenga, the kinari designs and styles must have an Indian touch. You can choose from kundan work kinaris, mirror work edgings or zardozi embroidered borders to up the bling factor of your bridal lehenga. Patch work and edgings with religious motifs and traditional Kalamkari or Madhubani patterns are often stitched on sarees which are popular as festive and ceremonial outfits,” Anindita adds helpfully.

There are various kinds of kinaris and some of the popular ones are thread embroide­ry kinari, zari borders with si­lver and golden threads, za­­­­­­r­­dozi kinari, cutwork Parsi borders, colourful crochet la­ce, kundan work borders, etc.

Also, bear in mind that kinaris require special maintenance  and care, given the delicate thread work and cra­ftsmanship that goes into th­eir creation. It is recommended to get the outfits emb­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­e­­­­llished with zari work kinari dry cleaned, instead of a machine wash. For ironing purposes, it is advisable to do the same by placing a layer of cloth over the saree or salwar instead of directly treating it to heat. Also, keep the tempe­rature of the iron moderate.

Designer Niket Mishra from Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and Indian Federation for Fashion Development (IFFD), adds, “A very important advantage of kinari is that it adds weight to the drape and gives a proper shape to the sarees. Saree borders having zaris when not in use, should be kept wrapped in soft muslin fabric, to ensure that the zari does not turn black.”