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Maheshwari saree dates back to 18th century at the beautiful town of Maheshwar in Madhya Pradesh. These sarees were initially made of pure Silk, but with the passage of time, cotton yarn was introduced in the weft.
The interesting legend behind these sarees is of Queen Ahilyabai Holkar who ordered various craftsman and artisans from Malwa and Surat to design a special saree of 9 yards length which later came to be known as the Maheshwari saree. These sarees were supposed to be a special gift for the royal relatives and guests who visited the palace.
The grandeur of the forts in Madhya Pradesh and their designs play an important role in inspiring the motifs on the Maheshwari saree. Un-degummed mulberry silk yarn of 18/20 -20/22 Den is used in warp whereas 2/80 – 2/100s cotton yarn is used in weft.
Gold and silver zari are used for weaving extra warp design in border and for extra weft butta and stripe in pallu. These sarees are heavier and more compact than Chanderi Saree.