WHY SHOP FOR SAREES AT UTSAV?

  • The largest variety by any stretch of the imagination
  • Absolutely and incredibly authentic stuff from master craftsmen.
  • 'Exclusive' sarees that cannot be found anywhere else in the online market.
  • Different varieties of sarees sourced from different states - all in one site.
  • Every colour, every fabric, every kind of work, every style available.
  • PARSI SARIS - THE PRIZED POSSESSIONS:
    Parsi sari, originally considered Parsi family heirlooms, became rare collectorís items because of their intricate work and exorbitant prices. But today, this ancient Chinese art form has been revived to make exquisite parsi sarees, which have become prized possessions of women all over India. Parsi saree expands into the pallav which is draped in front when worn in the Parsi style. To know more about parsi sari visit our saree catalogue where you can find exclusive collection of parsi saris, parsi saree in different colors and designs for online shopping.
  • THE HISTORY BEHIND GARA:
    Garaís history is as colorful as the garment itself. The gara was probably introduced in India by Parsi traders in the 19th century who used to travel to China to trade. The Parsis considered it as a prized possession and wore it for the weddings and Navjote (a ceremony for young Parsi boys and girls in the Zoroastrian faith). Today it is considered a rare fashion item worth possessing. The original Chinese garas were considered quite bulky to wear as saris since they had embroidered borders on all four sides. The most favored color was purple or violet. Several years after the introduction of the gara in India, craftsmen in Surat in Gujrat managed to duplicate the embroidery. But the Surat gara is identified by its net and French knots which the Chinese ones did not have. Besides violet, the colors popular were wine red, navy blue, white or off white with white embroidery in twisted cotton thread. At times, gold threads were also used.
  • THE MAKING OF GARA:
    The making of a gara starts with drawing of a design of paper. After that, a small sample in the actual colors is prepared. This is then given to craftsmen to study. The design is then traced onto the sari. A single design is repeated several times on a sari but is adjusted perfectly to blend into each other. Each sari is put on a loom at which 4-6 artisans work.
  • Making a hand embroidered gara takes 2 to 8 months on an average, depending on the complexity and density of the design. The workmanship is most vital as the embroidery is so closely done, that the background color surfaces as an outline.
  • Since the embroidery is specialized and intricate, after every few days the craftsmen are given a simpler sari to work on. This breaks the monotony of the hard work and the craftsmen return refreshed to the complicated motifs
  • MOTIF SPECIALISTS:
    A craftsman specializes in a particular motif like flower, tree, house, etc. so that there is uniformity in the workmanship. It is believed that if a Chinese craftsman embroidered birds, he would do so all his life. This concept is carried on in India also.
  • Although the motifs are hand embroidered, the finish is superb on both sides of the garment. Each gara has its own story in the form of pictures embroidered across the length of the sari. The popular motifs are trees, flowers, leaves, birds, figures, houses, bridges, each coming alive with the help of vivid colours and stitches. There are even distinct scenes of Chinese life -- pagodas, shrines, riverbanks, soldiers and cranes. More intricate the design, more expensive the gara becomes.
  • A gara could either be fully embroidered or have a border with embroidery sprinkled all over or just partially embroidered. The popular stitches are the crewel, stem and long and short stitch and the French knot. The popular choice of thread is off-white. Pastels are also favored. As many as 20-30 different shades of a color are used in one design, with perfect blending to give it the effect of a painting. The texture of the thread could be either cotton or silk although the latter is more effective. In most cases, the border of a gara is the cynosure of all eyes. It expands into the pallav of the sari which is draped in front when worn in the Parsi style.
  • GARAS WITH QUAINT NAMES:
    There also are several types of garas with quaint names like kanda and papeta gaga which literally means onions and potatoes that resembled large pink and yellow polka dots, where the pink denotes onions and yellow the potatoes. The karolia or spider design is actually a flower. The chakla\chakli motif (male/female sparrow) and the more (peacock) are some of the other variations.
  • The use of silk threads and synthetic fast colors has made the maintenance of todayís garas somewhat easy. Garas can now be hand washed at home in normal detergent and ironed unlike the originals.
  • The modifications brought in the design and manufacturing of this ancient Chinese art form has not only prevented it from becoming extinct but also made it affordable for more women to buy.
  • The most striking and beautiful examples of ancient Chinese embroidery can be discovered on the gara,the famous Pari sari of the last century. The Chinese gara a six-yard long sari worn earlier by Parsi women had a shaky future in modern times till Naju Daver decided to revieve it in 1986. Since then the gara has reached dizzying heights on the fashion carts making it one of the most coveted items in a womanís wardrobe.
  • At her first exhibition in January 1986 there were just two pieces of garas amongst her many sequined embroidered saris, but the response was overwhelming from the public. A gara is an item which is expensive. Therefore, people think hard before they buy one but once it is bought it becomes a collectorís piece which will go down generations.
  • The garaís history is as colourful as the garment is to behold. The gara was probably introduced in India by Parsi traders in the 19th century who used to travel to China to trade. Originally, it was an item that was normally a labour of love created by the Chinese. Patronized by the Parsi and worn for weddings and Navjote (a ceremony for young Parsi boys and girls in the Zoroastrian faith) ceremonies it is treasured and worn by girls of all ages and is today considered a rare fashion item worth possessing, informs Naju.
  • Najuís love for the revival of the gara was kindled when she tried to salvage a sari for a friend. At that time Naju, an expert embroiderer, seriously considered devoting her efforts to resusciate the dying art. The original Chinese garas were considered quite buky to wear as saris since they had embroidered borders on all four sides. The most favoured colour was purple or violet. Several years after the introduction of the gara in India, craftsmen in Surat in Gujrat managed to duplicate the embroidery. But the Surat gara is identified by its net and French knots which the Chinese ones did not have. Besides violet, the colours popular were wine red, navy blue, white or off white with white embroidery in twisted cotton thread. At times, gold threads were also used. Unfortunately, colour fastness of fabric and threads was dubious thereby spoiling the garment. Here Naju has rectified it and changed the fabric to synthetic silk, which is easier to maintain.
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  • Because of the visual beauty of the rich and intricate work, always hand done, it could take up to nine months to complete each gara. Decades ago a gara was a must in a brideís trousseau. Today a gara may cost a large sum starting with Rs.2,500 because of the lack of craftsmen. Since the embroidery is specialized and intricate every few days, the craftsmen have to be given a simpler sari to break the monotony of the hard work so that they can return refreshed to the complicated motifs. A craftsman specializes in a particular motif-like flower, tree, house, figure etc. so that there is uniformity in the workmanship, adds Naju. Most of the craftsmen are from all over India specializing in their particular motif. It is believed that if a Chinese craftsman embroidered birds he would do so all his life. This concept is also carried on in India.
  • A gara is not an easy piece to purchase. In fact it is well-night impossible because nobody makes such saris any more in China. During the Mao regime it was a banned craft since they preferred manual labour to artistic talents. For the last 50 years no garas have been produced in China and Parsis who owned a few family heirlooms have either sold them or cut them up due to disintegration, adds Naju.
  • Naju born into a family of expert embroiderers- her mother was an expert and her grandma and grandpa sat together and embroidered grandmaís engagement and wedding saris-was initially not fond of embroidery because it was made into an alternative by ,my mother to either do housework or embroider and I always chose the latter and even then would experiment with big stitches to fill up the fabric faster. Though when she saw her first gara she was so dumbstruck by its beauty that she ended up making one for her daughterís Navjote all by herself.
  • Although the motifs are hand embroidered, the finish is superb on the right side as well as the wrong. Each gara has its own story in the form of pictures embroidered across the length of the sari. The popular motifs are trees, flowers leaves, birds, figures, houses, bridges, each coming alive with the help of vivid colours and stitches. There are distinct scenes of Chinese life-pagodas, shrines, boatment, river banks, soldiers and cranes. The embroidery is very close to each other and the more intericate the design the more expensive the gara becomes. There also are several types of garas with quaint names like kanda and papeta gaga which literally means onions and potatoes that resembled large pink and yellow polka dots, where the pink denotes onions and yellow the potatoes. The karolia or spider design is actually a flower. The chakla/chakli motif (male/female sparrow) and the more(peacock) are some of the other variations. There are still some Parsis who do not wear a peacock design as they consider it inauspicious, informs Naju.
  • Surprisingly, the interest in the gara is not just restricted to the women but even men are ardent admirers. One of Najuís male clients who had searched the whole of China for a gara for his wife was very happy to know that he could buy one right here in Bombay!
  • A gara could either be fully embroidered or have aborder with embroidery sprinkled all over or just partially embroidered. The popular stitches are the crewel, stem and long and short stitch and the French knot. The popular choice of thread is off-white. Pastels are also favoured. As many as 20-30 different shades of a colour are used in one design, with perfect blending to give it the effect of a painting. The texture of the thread could be either cotton or silk although the latter is more effective. The border of a gara is the cynosure of all eyes in most cases. It expands into the pallav of the sari which is draped in front when worn in the Parsi style.
  • Naju who tries to recreate the original designs from small pieces of embroidery in her collection has also modified some. She is also experimenting with other forms of garments with embroidery similar to the gara. Materials too have changed to synthetic as well as crepe silk and chamois satins. The background colours in vogue are navy blue, black, red and white. At any given time, Naju has nearly 40 designs on display and each is exclusive.
  • The start of a gara means a drawing of a design of paper. After that a small sample in the actual colours is prepared. This is then given to the craftsmen to study. The design is then traced onto the sari. A single design is repeated several times on a sari but is adjusted perfectly to blend into each other. Each sari is put on a loom at which 4-6 artisans work. The embroidery is done on an assembly line system-one worker does one particular motif only. Todayís gara can be hand washed at home in normal detergent and ironed unlike the originals. The longevity of the present saris is better than their predecessors because of better fabrics and thread.
  • Originally considered a Parsi family heirloom, today with the help of Najuís revival of the garment the gara has become the prized possession of woman all over India. The original Chinese garas are considered priceless works of craftsmanship but the biggest compliment paid to Naju Daverís efforts was the comment after hours of careful examination that it must be an original from China!
  • Because of the beauty and grandeur of the gara jewellery is never worn with it and definitely not gold but if one must dress it further than it should be with pearls only advises Naju.
  • Naju Daver, has shot to fame with her dedicated revival of an art form that would have died had it not been for her intense love for beauty and tradition that prompted her to work tirelessly in the promotion of the gara. ďI treat it more as my hobby and not a business and very often I donít ever like to part with the saris because they have become a part of my life as I have watched them being created.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

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Beige net resham embroidered saree. Available with matching blouse, blouse shown in the image is just for photography purpose. (Slight variation in color and patch border is possible.)
   superb
By sunu from merseyside united kingdom on 5/9/2013 11:43:37 PM
Bottom Line : Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
Comments :gorgeous saree, looks even better than the photograph, amazing, very happy with this saree.
 
Different occasions demand different looks and the design finds much importance after the rich the colour. This suede cream faux georgette saree with blouse is beautifully designed. This saree is embellished with golden dot print, resham, zari, sequins and patch work. Deep fawn raw silk blouse is available with this and the blouse shown is only for photography purpose. Slight variation in color and patch patti pattern is possible.
   Beautiful Saree
By Texan from Texas on 5/8/2013 8:58:52 AM
Bottom Line : Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
Comments : This is a very beautiful saree and true to the picture. Very impressed with it
 
 
Wine faux chiffon saree designed with resham, zari and patch border work. As shown matching blouse can be made available and also can be customized as per your style or pattern subject to fabric limitation. (Slight variation in color is possible. )
   I LOVE IT
By Mahreen from NEW JERSEY on 5/17/2013 5:34:45 AM
Bottom Line : Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
Comments :I just bought this saree and i love the color and stitching
 
Purple and light green net and brasso faux georgette saree designed with zari, resham, stone and patch border work. Available with matching blouse, blouse shown in the image is just for photography purpose. (Slight variation in color and patch border is possible.)
   Superb Saree
By Devi from Melbourne on 5/17/2013 5:20:06 AM
Bottom Line : Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
Comments :Saree is just as same as photo...thanks to utsav to sell such a beautiful and latest designed sarees....i want to say just one word...that .....I loved it.........
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