Kota Doria Saree, Prospects and Challenges
Kota Doria is famous for its unique kind of fabric in the world. It is one of the most important Indian saree. The Doria sarees are worn by women all over India. It is designed in a small town of Kaithoon near Kota city in the state of Rajasthan of India. If we look into the history of Doria fabric, it was weaved in the state of Mysore in south India. The weavers were brought from Mysore to Kota by Rao Kishore Singh in 17-18th century. Therefore it is also called Mysore Malmal. Now it is a bio-culture product of Hadoti region of Rajasthan and has great significance from the cultural and historical perspective.
Kota Doria Saree is one of the most demandable fashion items also. Here Doria means thread. This sari is handloom product with a square checked pattern and one of the best fine examples of Indian handicraft art. It generally takes around 15 days to design one sari. They are handmade items through traditional hand spinning wooden tools to provide eye-catching designs. Kota Masuria sari is made of cotton, silk, and zari(metal threads). While making fabric, cotton and silk yarns of different sizes and thicknesses are used. The fabric made in square checks in a variety of sizes and colors is called Khats. Each square of 14 yarns (8 cotton yarns and 6 silk yarns) is called Khat and is the most unique feature of Kota Doria saree.
It is the composite product of cotton and silk fabrics. Cotton gives strength and stiffness while silk provides luster, transparency, and suppleness. The paste of rice and onion juice is applied to yarn to make it strong. It is available in multi colors, designs, and motifs. Mostly vegetable dyes are used which are biodegradable and eco-friendly. The price of the saree depends on the design work. The price of handloom saree begins from 25000 rupees while that of power loom is around 250 rupees.
The local geographical conditions are favorable for making such fabric. The local moist climate helps in fine weaves. The high-quality raw materials are brought from nearby regions. Cotton yarn of fine counts is used. It is just not light in weight but also porous and airy. This sari is ideal to wear in moist and hot climatic areas. It is comfortable to wear in humid air. Being a hot country for most of the year, women in India can wear these sarees for almost 9 months a year. Because of this great utility, Kanjivaram designs are being incorporated to generate its market in hot and humid south India.
This is in great demand in India because of its simplicity and easy maintenance. These are of three types. The basic Kota Doria is plain and worn casually. On special occasions, the printed and zari saris are used.
Nowadays due to the efforts of the government, it is getting the attention of many designers. Bibi Russel a famous fashion designer and model of Europe has organized many ramp shows to promote this beautiful piece of art. Many designer sarees were produced. Apart from sarees scarf, kurta, handbags, dupatta, curtains, lady suits, stoles, lehenga chunni and many apparels are also produced. The traditional color of Kota Doria is cream but red, purple and other colors are also used in many sarees. The fabric is decorated with floral patterns called buti. The other methods used in decoration are batik, tie-dye, embroidery, applique work, and hand block printing. Kota Doria has also received the GI tag (geographical indicator) to protect it from fake products.
Kota Doria faces challenges on many fronts. The fake power-loom products are very cheap and hence the growth of this fine art is impacted. The bunkers have very limited capacity and living in pity conditions. They don’t have market access. The middlemen get the majority of the profits. The raw materials are also expensive. Majority of the products are sold through melas, trade fairs and haats. Sometimes the stocks are not sold. The share of online shopping is very less.
The production capacity needs to be enhanced. More value addition can be created by diversifying the products. The financial capacity of Kaithoon handicraft workers needs to be enhanced. They need to be educated. They have health problems like backache, shoulder pain, and low vision and poor living standards. The easy loan at low rates can bring more investment and increase production.
Rajasthan Handloom Development Corporation is taking lead in developing products other than saris from Kota Doria fabric. It has helped in developing an all silk sari on Masuria. Recently there is a growing demand nationally and internationally which is a good sign for the future of this exclusive traditional saree.