The Gara is actually a well kept secret normally found in an old Parsi cupboard. Carefully wrapped in muslin, it is a much cherished sari passed down reverentially from generation to generation.
Normally, this richly embroidered sari is made of chamois silk, with distinctly Chinese motifs worked in satin stitch . This is because several Parsi merchants who did trade with China brought home yards of this fabulous fabric for their women folk to wear. This soon became a coveted item and for many years was the sari to wear for special occasions. Its soft silk fabric and stunning embroidery has to be really seen and felt …..
Gradually these saris were made in India, painstakingly hand embroidered. Today many of these are no longer hand embroidered. Even the fabric has given way to crepe silk or even a synthetic nylon. There are a few revivalists like Ashdeen and Naju Daver who still make them to order . Obviously these are expensive but for some Parsis they aren’t as authentic enough as the ones handed down to them by Mummy or Aunty Freny!
Many of the saris that date from my wedding have sadly given way. One sari that still remains is a deep blue Mysore georgette. The sari has a finely worked gold border and gold booties in the main part. Apart from it’s rich appearance, I love this sari for its fall and drape . Even now it clings at the right places and flatters my not so flattering silhouette!
Georgette is another of those modern fabrics that has found its place in the Indian Textile Tradition. It is versatile and lends itself to many traditions . While Mysore georgettes are famous for their fine gold work, the brilliant hued georgette from Rajasthan are famous for their bandhani work. Even Chikankaris from Lucknow like this fabric to showcase their fine embroidery. This is largely because georgette is a sturdier fabric than its country cousin the chiffon.
Is it any wonder then that this fabric has become part of the Indian Textile Tradition?
Disclaimer : I am neither a textile manufacturer nor a historian . I am just passionate about textiles and fabrics. I have gathered all my information from the Internet. Please excuse any errors and omissions.
Tomorrow is a day of rest and I can’t say I’m not happy.
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