The Sariwalli

My sariwalli Melinda is here visiting. I spent some satisfying time last evening pawing through her stash of saris. She specializes in regional handlooms, particularly cotton, and has wonderful taste (you can see her wares at Since she’s captive in my house I also got her to identify some of the older saris I’ve gotten on eBay and elsewhere.

Turns out I have two lovely gold Chanderi saris from the 1950’s (this one is my favorite):


and she identified another of my favorites as a silk Dhaka sari from Bangladesh (or East Pakistan depending on its age):


What fun!

The last thing I need is yet another sari, but I may not be able to resist one of her baby-soft Kanchi cottons.

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14 Comments to “The Sariwalli”

  1. So, how much did you pay for these?

  2. Not very much! I got them on eBay a while ago, and I think I was the only bidder. They were so inexpensive in fact that I don’t really remember exactly what I paid. The parsi ghara sari that I feature elsewhere on this site was a steal too. Sadly, it’s not that easy any more although you can still find some genuinely old ones from estates occasionally.

  3. I admire your interest in things Indian and would like to know your views about emerging Indo western fusion wear. That is an area I am very intersted in. It was to really an eye opener and a pleasent surprise to read about you in an article in Times Of India newspaper.

  4. Hi Dinesh :-) I love fusion wear! And I have been very happy that Indian influences have been showing up in western clothes for the past few years.

    I also really love traditional Indian wear, sarees and salwar/churidar kameez outfits. They are so beautiful and so easy and comfortable to wear at the same time, although I don’t wear sarees here in the US (except to Indian weddings). I do wear salwar suits though, and always get compliments :-)

  5. How can I show u some interesting woolen fusionwear photos ?

  6. Would love to have u comment on them

  7. Those Chanderi sari are a rare great find. From the photo they look like highly skilled work. I was in Chanderi for 3 months this year working on a documentary on the weavers there. I bet we could find out who the actual weaver was. (Plus how come I’ve never heard of you on the web? I’m a bollywood fan myself.)

  8. Hi Byron, I have actually visited your site :-) The two Chanderis I have were woven in the 1940s-50s and they really are pretty. Gossamer fine and very gold!

  9. You mention buying saris on ebay! Hain? Really?

    Do you have regular sellers who you do business with or is it strictly luck of the draw? How can you tell about the quality. I have never attempted to buy textiles on ebay and am intrigued.

  10. Yeah, you have to be careful. I usually buy them from antique dealers in the US (the quality coming from India is awful usually) who have acquired them from estates of people who travelled a lot a while ago :-) I always ask for close up pictures too if they don’t have any in the listing. I’ve been pretty lucky (eBay is where I found my ghara sari, although I’ve never seen another one on there).

    I’m cogitating on another textile post :-) soon, very soon!


  12. my district kutch is famous for its handicrafts which are as good as/gorgeous the sarees you showed

  13. Hello, Fantastic blog great stuff, you have a wonderful saree collection, I hope mine grows to be just as impressive please do keep up the great work. Kind regards

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