Rajasthan is well known for the fine Kota Doria Muslin saris. Transparent and light, kota saris are ideal for hot summers. Kota Doria, as the name suggests, is woven in the villages on the outskirts of the Kota city in Rajasthan.
The special weave: It is a type of cotton cloth that becomes special because of its weave. Cotton yarn of different thickness along with silk is used in the weaving. The silk gives the necessary transparency, while cotton provides strength to the fabric. The lack of uniformity in the thickness of the fibers creates geometric patterns in between, which are locally called as ‘khats.’
This is the most open weave fabric woven in India. The weave is a result of sufficient spacing between super fine warp and weft threads with slightly thick thread at regular counts to produce a very subtle check pattern. Also, the thicker threads make the cloth strong and more durable. The thin fibers maintain its softness, delicacy and give it a translucent and gossamer look.
Design and color: The traditional Kota Doria is white, but once dyed, these textiles come in bright hues like pomegranate red, purple, Bordeaux red, turquoise, lapis, turmeric yellow and saffron. Single color dying, a mixture of shades and bandhani are the most common patterns available in the reams of fabric. Kota Doria saris embellished with zari work is worn for festivals and weddings.
History: Kota Doria is also known as Masuria Malmal. Maruria means Mysore, the place where the weaving of this particular cloth originated. Kota saris were first made when weavers were brought to Kota (between 1707 and 1720) from Mysore by Maharao Bhim Singh. The art of weaving cotton in the open khat or check structure has been passed down generations. The whole process of weaving is done in an age old manner - right from the setting of the patterns, to graph making, dyeing of the yarn and setting of the loom. Down South, this fabric is still known as Kota Masurias.