The long journey of a royal fabric

kota doria saris

The long journey of a royal fabric

There’s nothing quite relaxing like wearing kota doria saris in the blistering heat of the desert land of Rajasthan. This particular fabric once served as headgear for the royal clan. With changing times, it eventually found itself being used in making saris since it was considered auspicious during festive times.

Doria implies thread. These saris were once confined within the womenfolk business communities of Rajasthan and have now emerged as one of the most sought after saris across the country. These trendy saris are in high demand in major cities like Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, and across metros like Mumbai and Kolkata. 

If you are wondering about the origin of these kota doria works, then embark upon a journey into the lesser-known town of Ladnun in the Nagaur district of Rajasthan, that is nearly 225 km north-west of Jaipur. 

Crafting kota doria saris has been a flourishing enterprise for around 5,000 craftsmen in Ladnun town. It all began way back during the Mughal rule. These stunningly crafted works were also promoted by the royal families of Rajasthan.

Besides Ladnun, kota doria saris are also made in hamlets in the district of Kota, Bundi and Baran. Crafting kota doria works is more of a household activity in Ladnun and other hamlets in and around Kota. At Ladnun, the homes are provided with traditional pit looms for the purpose of weaving the fabric. Both men and women are engaged in crafting the fabric, but women usually take up the process of weaving.
 
Shoppers visiting Rajasthani Textiles and Handicraft Emporium in Jaipur will be spoilt for choice with an astounding range of kota doria saris that are tagged at a wallet-friendly price.

In the major cities of Rajasthan, where the past is highly treasured, the denizens are well aware of the origin of home-bred kota doria works. According to Gopal Lal Meena, manager, Daak Bungalow, Jaipur, “Most of the craftsmen at work in Ladnun town belong to the Ansari group of Muslim community. The kota doria works are made of handmade weaves in which the warp used in the pit loom is locally known as soot. These saris are crafted by highly-skilled craftsmen. Usually, the craftsmen take around two days to make a single kota doria sari.” These are light, transparent saris that come in bright colours and mostly have floral motifs.

Gopal continues, “The state government of Rajasthan offers around 50% subsidy to craftsmen in making the warp for crafting kota doria saris.” In the bygone era, kota doria saris were crafted exclusively in white colour in order to offer relief from heat. But owing to growing demand, these saris are now available in five various shades of white, including conch shell, sea foam, jasmine, moon and cloud. These days, kota doria saris come even in black colour.

The price range of these saris is between Rs 450 and Rs 5,000.  

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