When art manifests itself in terms of fabric, it gets intermingled with a utilitarian aspect of clothing, but also with a specific beauty and grace associated with it.

Famously known as the ‘Heart of India’, Madhya Pradesh can be rightfully termed as a harbinger of the cultural heritage of India as being a city well known for its incredible culture. It is the land of vibrant folk music and dance which is still intact since the ancient period. Handicrafts of Madhya Pradesh are well sought after owing to their intricate designing. The culture of Madhya Pradesh is vibrant and colorful. It has been carved out by the ample contributions of tribal communities.

The varied forms of art and crafts of Madhya Pradesh even contribute to the rich culture of the state. Apart from adding a unique charm, handicrafts of this state of central India reflect the painstaking craftsmanship of the place

The clothing of the state displays in multiple dimensions in different aspects. Here people wear different designed beautiful costumes and rich ornaments.

Maheshwari silk saris are one of the noteworthy crafts of the state.

Maheshwari Handloom

A center for prime handloom weaving since the 5th Century, Maheshwar, an ancient town on the banks of Narmada, enjoyed a considerably elevated status in terms of royal interests. It was this encouragement by the royal family that the Maheshwari saree came into being. Legend has it that Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar conceived and designed the first saree herself.

The fabric was dyed with naturally extracted colors and zari and kinnari were used to enhance the richness of this weave. Weavers also used gold or silver threads and gemstones to embellish the intricate patterns and add shimmer to the saree.Apart from saris, Maheshwari fabric today is used for Kurtas, shirts, stoles, dupattas, etc. Since the fabric is airy and lightweight, outfits made of this fabric are perfect for the Indian weather, making them an absolute favorite.

A traditional craft of Madhya Pradesh

Though originally done only in silk, Maheshwari sarees are now available in cotton, silk cotton, and even wool. Initially, these sarees were woven in earthy shades like maroon, red, green, purple and black.  Authentic Maheshwaris have designs that are inspired by the grand temples, palaces, and forts of Madhya Pradesh. Popular designs include the mat pattern, which is also known as the chattai pattern, along with Chameli ka Phool — all of which may be traced back to the detailing on the walls of Maheshwar Fort.

Maheshwari sarees are mostly woven in cotton and silk.These sarees are characterized by a narrow colored border embellished with zari, and small checks, narrow stripes, or solid color in the body.The specialty of Maheshwari sarees is its reversible border, also known as bugdi, which can be worn on both sides.

Maheshwari Saree


Popular colors today include shades of blue, mauve, pink, yellow and orange, mixed with gold or silver thread.

When thread moves and deftly create themselves into beautiful crafts, it becomes a beauty for the world to see and cherish. Maheshwari as a skilled art traced its journey from the small town of Maheshwar to this date, encouraged by the royalty but living with the people.