The most common traditional Kota Doria sarees have a cream, unbleached base colour. These are sometimes coloured later, usually with tie-dye, batik, solid dyeing or printing processes. Bright colours like red, purple, turquoise, yellow and saffron are also used. The use of golden zari, especially for the borders, is also prevalent. Vibrant hues with ornate borders are used for festive wear sarees, as is customary for cultural traditions. These colours are preferred owing to the hot climate for which these sarees are prepared.
Small buti patterns on Kota Doria fabric
The motifs of Kota Doria saris are mostly borrowed from other crafting techniques, such as the Banarasi saree. The patterns, if any are present, are kept to the bare minimum in order to lend a weightless feel to the fabric. Floral and vine motifs woven in a solid colour or similar shades of the same hue are often used. Floral patterns in small size and high repetition are called ‘buti’. Alternate stripes of gold and silver on the borders, is another pattern appreciated by the clientele.
L: A repetitive pattern of leaves
R: Paisley motifs with zari border
The most prominent feature of Kota Doria, the khat pattern, is formed by the cording of threads. For this, cotton is usually put to use as the warp thread, while silk is taken as the weft thread. This difference in the fineness of fibers creates a striped pattern on the fabric, which on close observation, appears like square checks. These can vary in sizes from extremely small to slightly larger. Eight cotton yarns and six silk yarns are traditionally used in the preparation of a single khat. Approxmately 300 to 350 khats constitute the width of the fabric that can be woven on the loom. The final fabric prepared is extremely delicate for this reason.
Floral border motif on Kota Doria fabric
A variety of Kota Doria sarees
Initially, sarees were the only products made from Kota Doria. A wide range of dupattas, salwars, in yardage for kurtas and lehengas are also available today. Accessories embellished with Kota Pattis, a strip with rich Kota Doria work and embroidered mirrors, are widely used in contemporary fashion.
Kota Doria with leheria motif
Images: Craftsvilla, Indiamart, Aapnodesh, Hometextileindia, Jabong