Though the silk used for Tanchoi Sarees are quite heavy and rich, the colours used are mostly sober and subtle, making it an excellent combination. These sarees are embodiments of richness and elegance as the weaving of these sarees makes use of many threads made of silk. The sarees are finally created after going through several refinement processes. Tanchoi sarees are also admired as the wedding sarees in different regions in India. This particular Tanchoi sarees that are used as wedding sarees, are generally heavy silks that are also worn in other festivals and occasions. Tanchoi sarees of Gujarat mostly have a satin finish.
Origin of Tanchoi Sarees
As per the history of Tanchoi sarees, the Tanchoi brocades are originated from China. This type of saree was introduced in India by the ongoing trade between Parsi, China and England and India in 19th century. It is believed that in the last half of the 19th Century, 3 Parsi brothers called ‘Chhoi’ learned the technique of weaving these brocades in China and introduced it to Indian weavers in Surat at Gujarat. Hence the name Tanchoi, which literally means ‘Three Chhois’ was given to this particular sarees. A descendant of one of these brothers continued producing Tanchoi sarees in Bombay into the early 1950s.
Present Day Scenario of Tanchoi Sarees
Although Tanchoi textiles are traditionally "Amru Brocades" that originated in China, Benaras took over the market in the 1940s and 1950s, and began to incorporate zari. After the introduction of Tanchoi sarees, the Varanasi weavers started making less expensive versions. Banarasi weavers started incorporating zari work into Tanchoi sarees. Banarasi Tanchoi sarees have evolved in different varieties over the decades. Since then the amalgamation of Chinese technique with Indian style of weaving was created to form the Indianised version of Tanchoi sarees.
Making of Tanchoi Sarees
Tanchoi Saree is weaved in a figured silk and is technically related to complex weaves because it has 1 or 2 warp and 2 to 5 weft colours often in the same shed on Silk fabric. A densely patterned, heavy fabric is created without any floats on the reverse. Sometimes, the 'unused' threads are woven into the 'foundation' at the back. As per the tradition of creating these sarees, the weavers create the face of the fabric with a satin weave ground (warp threads) with small patterns made by the weft threads repeated over the entire surface.
Designs of Tanchoi Sarees
Famed for the intricate and small weaving patterns over the fabric, the commonly used patterns used are those of flowers, small birds in flight, peacocks and parrot motifs. In fact Tanchoi sarees are one of a kind which have spots all over the surface and are woven with a dual color wrap. Another stand alone feature of the Tanchoi sarees is that the fabric texture background has a Satin finish. Some extra threads are added to give the saris an appearance of being embroidered.
Varieties of Tanchoi Sarees
Tanchoi Sarees has several differen varieties: