The Mughal emperor Shahjahan, nominated Rao Madho Singh as the ruler formed Kota in 1631 A.D. The city is famous for opulent palaces, impressive forts, and splendid temples dating back over several centuries retain its past glory with a contrasting modern industries and edifices.
Kota Sarees were also known as Masuria Malmal. These saris were called Masuria as they originated from Mysore. Rao Kishore Singh, the then Mughal Army General brought these weavers to Kota from Mysore. The weavers were brought in the late 17th and early 18th centuries and from then the saris came to be known as ‘Kota-Masuria’. Kota saris are popularly known as Kota Doria outside the state and ‘Masuria’ in Kota. The word ‘Doria’ means thread.
Indian Saree enthusiast woman makes it a point to have at least one sari from each part of India. They desire to own a sari that is the specialty of a particular region of India. Each state of India has its own specialist saree. The wardrobe of the Indian woman also has synthetic, printed, plain sarees apart from the specialties. Women in India complement these specialty sarees with matching blouses and designer jewelry.
Kota Saree is the specialty from the desert state of Rajasthan. The fabric derives its name from the city of the same name. The sarees are made in and around the city of Kota.
Kota Sarees are also known as Kota Doria. They fabric is transparent and yet cotton-silk weave. The silk provides the required transparency while the cotton provides the necessary strength. The absence of uniformity in the weave forms the graph-like pattern. These fabrics are woven in a way that the graph-like pattern formed from the different thicknesses of fiber is prominently visible. These checked patterns itself within the weave are known as Khat. Other elaborate patterns are also used for weaving these sarees. These saris are mostly worn during the summer months to get relief from the extreme summer heat.
The designs are so made they give a weightless feel. The weaving, spinning and dyeing are done by skilled artisans. Basically white is the basic color and later dyed in different vibrant hues. The weaving of doria requires special skill and aesthetic knowledge of color combination.
Kota Sarees are sold with matching blouse pieces and are available in 3 different types- Plain, Printed and Zari.
In Plain Kota saris the checks are formed either by coarse cotton or golden threads. Printed Kota generally have white or off white background and have sanganeri patterns. Traditionally these sarees are either with single motifs or jalls. And the last one is Zari Kota where the borders are embellished with sequence and zari work.
Kota Doria was initially used as a ‘Pagri’ (traditional headgear) to sari and even now ladies suits and dress materials. This weaving activity supports almost 2500 families. Though the Kota Doria has come a long way from being used as the Pagri to saris and dress materials it is a dying art now and is the protection of such a fine art is the need of the hour.