The Charm of the Desert in Kota Silk and Cotton Sarees

20/06/2016, Hyderabad, India – From the land of the desert, Rajasthan, comes a work of pure silk and cotton known as the ‘Kota Doria’ or Kota Handloom Saree; a patient and devoted effort from ethnic artisans.  The Kota Doria has evolved smoothly over time from being a traditional fabric to a modern day trendy offering.

Kota Doria has cotton in the warp and silk in the weft to yield a special combination weave that has the binding strength of cotton and the lustre of silk. Fine textured, light and airy the Kota Doria sarees are translucent muslin fabrics, very comfortable in hot climes.

The chequered weave of a Kota sari is very popular with the delicately wrought checks locally known as khats. Pure Cotton with golden Zari threads woven in square patterns is a popular variety. Variations in borders and a whole array of bright colours and shades like pink, blue, saffron, orange etc. applied to traditional prints and beautiful embroidery work, the effects are stunning.

There are certain distinct features that stand out in the genuine Kota Doria.

While the whole fabric is soft to touch there are certain portions that have a ‘serrated’ feel where the yarns are a bit closer. Being handloom woven on traditional pit looms, the edges of the fabric are slightly uneven and noticeable. This gets compensated by the extraordinarily smooth texture of the woven motifs that do not have loose ends on their back side, making them virtually durable for the lifetime of the fabric.

The initial and subsequent washes of the saree distinguish the real from the spurious. The genuine Kota Doria would have the Khats getting more and more pronounced. Made by handlooms, a knot here or a loose thread there after a time makes it the genuine stuff. The speciality of the Kota Doria apart from the fineness of the weave lies in the colour usage and combinations.

Initially woven in white, the saree is dyed and washed separately in different colours one after the other. Where designs are involved you have the threads dyed in vegetable or azoic dyes prior to the weaving.


Woven on a traditional pit loom designed to produce check patterns on the fabric, the square shaped checks or ‘Khats’ are smeared with onion juice and rice paste to make the yarn strong and durable.

Cotton for the Kota Saree once came from Madhya Pradesh while the silk came from Karnataka. Today many other places supply these fabric materials.

The Masuria Silks are grand affairs of pure silk, gold and silver threads or Zari. The Katan Pure Silk Weaves are adorned with beautiful Jaipuri prints, traditional motifs, fancy zari or printed borders, exquisite embroidery work on the pallu, making them an exclusive must-have. Other worthy creations are designer Kota Katan Silk Saree richly woven in Meena work and with suitable accompaniments and the Dabu block prints on Stylish Kota Sari.

For the sake of economy, weavers take up three Sarees of the same design at a time. The setting-up of the threads is complicated and time-consuming and could take up to a day. More complicated the design, more the time taken for setting-up. It takes close to a week to complete three saris in the basic pattern.

Once upon a time these handloom sarees were woven in Mysore. The weavers subsequently migrated and settled in Kota, Rajasthan. Hence the name Kota-Masuria also.

The distinct square checks pattern of Kota Doria has been its brand hallmark. The GI registration under the Geographical Registration Act 1999 has been accorded in 2005 and is based upon this

unique character on fabrics made in the geographical region of Kota.

There was a time when weaving was done mostly by women, while the dyeing of threads was taken care of by men. Over time almost everybody in the family got included to contribute their mite in the making of the Kota Doria.

Unnati Silk Prints Pvt.Ltd., manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, genuine handlooms since 1981. Indian ethnic varieties in sarees, salwar kameez, Kurtas, kurtis, Indo western apparel. Prices attractive wholesale, retail, worldwide express shipping.

UNNATI SILK PRINTS PVT. LTD, #3-4-360, Vajra Complex, General Bazar (Tobacco Bazar), M.G.Road, Hyderabad-500003.AP,India. 040-27814522.