Heirlooms hold a special significance in our emotional legacy providing a great connection our family legacy and memories of special occasions. And when it’s your mother-in-law’s Wedding Saree which you have inherited as a daughter-in-law of the family, it acquires a greater importance as it signifies great honour and a responsibility as you become the custodian of all the values and emotions associated with the heirloom.
Here we talk of a daughter-in-law inheriting her mother-in-law’s Wedding Saree and the journey of how she trusted us to restore it for her. Wedding sarees hold a great significance for every bride, be it in the very traditional Indian context or a very modern millennial concept as its symbol of your love, joy and commitment. It is a garment that will be remembered for years to come and will be a reminder of this special day and in most cases will be treasured as an heirloom and pass down through generations.
Rang Riwaaz at Leela Bengaluru for the Royal Fables Exposition
This beautiful story is from our client, Suparna from Banglore whom we met while on a business event in Bangalore and she had come over to discuss the restoration her mom-in-law’s wedding saree. In that particular event Suparna got the border from her the saree for repair and possible placement on a new saree as her expectation was that it is the best we could salvage from the precious heirloom, as rest of the bit were too tiny to be put to any use as her mother-in-laws wedding saree was a French Chiffon gotapatti saree embroidered in badrun jaal and chandla pattern.
Suparna's mother-in-law in the heirloom saree on her wedding day
Before we move ahead, just a quick snippet for Badrun Jaali, this pattern is very characteristic of Marble window grills in Mughal Architecture where ventilation was provided by cutting out beautiful geometric patterns on Marble creating fine specimen of architecture and sculpting in marble.
Coming back to our first meeting with Suparna, after understanding that we can do better that pitting the border on a new saree, she explained that there are fragments of gota and tikkas from her mother-in-law’s wedding saree, which she has been preserving with great care but does not know what to do with it. We explained that unless we want to recreate the entire wedding saree we can create two different sarees using the materials preserved and create two heirlooms which can be passed among the children in family. To this Suparna agreed but not without the due diligence of a daughter-in-law who has been entrusted with such a special treasure from the family.
Suparna decided to first get a dainty Chanderi Silk saree with Pure Silver Motifs transferred to understand the quality of our craftsmanship, before she could trust us with her special possession.
Chanderi Silk Silver Motif Saree restored before we started with this project
And as we write about this restoration we can proudly say that we did a good job and she liked our work to go ahead with the restoration of the gota pattis from her mom-in-law’s saree.
Also, since the silver motif Chanderi was in baby pink, we suggested to pick a different shade than the original shade of her mom-in-law’s wedding saree, as otherwise the heirloom trunk would all turn pretty pink only. So that colour chosen was a veridian red, which festive yet subtle and has been a part of the Indian trousseau since forever.
Another picture of Suparna's mother-in-law from her wedding
The key highlights of this restoration were redefining the shape of the pattis, from circular to petal and off course the mathematics involved.
When we started with the creating a new saree, few things which needed to be considered was that we had a given number of tikkas and gota stripes available as some of it was lost over time, so first things first we counted the gota pattis and then came up with a motif, which was slightly more refined than very vintage look of jaali and chandla. So finally we decided to create a border with semi-circular floral motifs utilizing 5 pattis per motifs, which amounted to 76 motifs from 380 pattis, and with a little math of keeping these 5 motifs 15cm apart we could create a border of 9 m and still saved petals for 11 complete flowers to be used on the overall saree.
Design details of the motifs and borders for the restored saree
As we write this blog we hope to receive the pictures of Suparna or someone from the family till then sharing these shots.
Finally, the resored saree
Do let us know your thoughts on this beautiful gesture of a daughter-in-law in preserving a piece of your family’s history and getting it revived to be passed on as special token of the family legacy to future generations.