Rajasthan a popular textile hub is home to many renowned crafts like Gota Patti, block-printing, and bandhani that have been passed down for generations and passed across the country, securing the staple spot in every woman's wardrobe. Recognised for their breathable and lightweight fabrics, eclectic prints and ranging colours, Kota saree is amongst some Rajasthani sarees that makes for an ideal pick for your summer closet.
The name Kota Doria saree, as the name suggests, indicates the origin of the craft. Kota, a town amidst the southern parts of Rajasthan, hosts several clusters which have been weaving delicate muslin sarees, called Kota Doria or Kota Masuria. The word ‘Dori’ literally translated from Hindi, means ‘threads’.
The Kota weave—characterised by its checkered appearance i.e., tiny woven squares (khat) —is essentially cotton woven with silk threads which are to-date handwoven on traditional pit looms giving it a fine finishing while weighing very less. Silk is added to the cotton (20:80 ratio) to strengthen the saree while also providing the lustre and softness. At times, gold zari is used to make the weave more exquisite.
In the mid 17th century, weavers from Mysore in Karnataka who wove a characteristic small squared lightweight cotton fabric that looked like graph paper and was suitable for turbans caught the fancy of Rao Kishore Singh of Kotah. He brought with him the said weavers to the land of Kotah.
Since originally the weavers came from Mysore, the resulting fabric was called Kota Masuria. To make the traditional turbans that we are familiar with, narrow 8-inch looms were used while the gossamer-light sarees were made on larger looms.
If you are looking for something simple, comfortable yet easy to experiment with, the Kota Doria saree comes with a certain versatility that makes it a choice fabric, especially during summers. These materials cascade nicely and due to their lightweight quality which also makes it easier to drape them avoiding unnecessary volume. They can be paired with more contemporary looking blouses and accessorize them with some statement jewellery or belt to jazz the ensemble. They normally don’t droop which is a plus if you are looking to show off those gorgeous curves.