Panetar & Gharchola Sari
Our country India is boasts of diverse cultures. Every region of our country harbors its own set of ethnic and regional rituals and practices. This is even more prevalent when it comes to weddings and marriages. A Gujarati marriage is one of the classic examples of ethnicity. Her wedding attire exhibits the glimpses of their rich culture heritage. In Gujarati weddings, the bride usually wears a white sari with red bandhini border called Panetar.
The panetar and gharchola form an important aspect of the wedding ritual. The panetar sari is a gift by the bride’s maternal uncle while the gharchola sari is the gift from her new in-laws. Historically, the bride wore the panetar at the beginning of the wedding and then gharchola at the end of the wedding ceremony. Today, it is common for the bride to wear a gharchola chunni over her head and shoulder to symbolize her movement from one family to another. The panetar is an unique silk sari or chenia choli with with a white body and red border. The plain white body is woven in Gajji silk with linear stripes or checks in gold zari. There are tie dyed (bandhani) motifs usually yellow/gold or green to adorn the sari.
Basically, Panetar sarees are white or off-white rich silk saree with contrast red or maroon borders and pallu. They resemble the traditional white and red Bengali sarees a lot but since being bridal saris, Gujarati Panetar saris are obviously more embellished and gorgeous. This single most important saree of any Gujarati bride could be made of any fabric based on personal preference and the stipulated budget. Even though silk is almost always the first choice, many also prefer their traditional Panetar sarees to be in organza or tissue. All the traditional bridal Panetar sarees flaunt ornate resham and zari embroidery embellished with kundans, sequins, beads, zardozi, etc. Panetar sarees come with contrast red or maroon embellished blouse, similar to the shade of the border and pallu of the saree.
The gharchola is a sari that the bride receives from her inlaws. The weaving technique of the gharchola originates from the region around Khambat in southern Gujarat. Gharcholas are first woven by using silk and zari thread and are then later embellished by bandhani work. The gharcola comes in a grid pattern that is dyed in red. Some communities use a green gharchola with red, yellow, and white bandhani work. The zari checks or grids appear in forms of 9, 12, or 52. The border of each grid is in zari. The bandhani in the center of each grid style around various themes of peacocks, floral patterns, or religious references. Where more than two dye colors are used, the design is known as ‘phulwari’ meaning ‘garden.’ When animal motifs (peacocks, elephants, birds) predominate, the pattern is known as ‘shikari,’ which means ‘hunting scene.’ Families may choose any decorated style of gharchola, though they tend to have symbolic meaning in the family. The Gharchola silks are one of the most beautiful varieties of Surat saris. These saris are famous for the refined technique of weaving that is used.
The majestic elegance of the panetar and gharchola is breathtaking.
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