THE EVOLUTION OF BEAUTIFUL BRASS JEWELRY

The making and wearing of brass jewellery is as old as antiquity. This metal has a unique appearance. Although it appears like gold, it is an alloy of zinc and copper. The use of brass can be traced to the Neolithic period. Unlike other metals, it is a flexible and soft material, ideal for jewellery making.

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History of Brass
The word ‘brass’ has been found in several ancient texts, particularly the Bible. From the 8th to 7th century BC, direct references to brass were found on cuneiform tablets. They were called ‘copper of the mountains’. It wasn’t until the latter part of the millennium BC that the use of brass became widespread. Starting in Spain and then Britain, it spread to India and Iran in the East. Brass exports from the Middle East region reached the coast of the East Mediterranean which led to the widespread production of brass-based military equipment and coins in Rome.

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In Europe, brass was also used to pay respect to the departed. Embellished and engraved brass plates were often hammered onto the surface of tombs.

The use of brass was also common with affluent society. It was a common sight to see candlesticks, chandeliers, sundials, navigation and astronomy instruments made from brass.

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In India, the use of brass was documented from the 1st century BC. Archaeological findings have unearthed brass coins from the Dhanadeva and Arya Varma of Ayodhya. In the Charak-Samhita text of Ayurveda, brass is regarded as ‘Rit’ along with silver, copper and gold.

Current Use of Brass
Today, brass is seen in a variety of home décor objects such as incense stands, candle holders, engraved plates and lamps. The use of brass can also be seen in belt buckles, pocket watches, figurines and cigarette lighters. Brass products continue to be the leading choice for presenting gifts.

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Brass jewellery is also a popular item. With the rising cost and unaffordability of gold, more women are embracing as a replacement for their jewellery. Brass bangles with a matte finish and subtle engravings are often sought after to be worn with Indo-Western outfits. Brass is also used to make kadas, bracelets, anklets, toe rings, braided brass necklaces, earrings, and Meenakari-style jewellery sets. Brass is suitable for all types of apparel, but it best compliments with warm hues like black, maroon and red.

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To shop for beautiful brass jewellery, visit Indian Wedding Saree.

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BEADWORK: ORIGIN, HISTORY AND CURRENT TRENDS

The use of beads in designing clothing is as old as human history. Initially, beads were used as curative agents, good luck charms and talismans in religious rituals. Today, the art of beadwork has taken a firm footing in traditional and Indo-Western fashions. Beautiful beadwork can be seen in both loom and off-loom lacing such as stringing, bead crochet, bead knitting and bead embroidery.

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History and Origin of Beadwork
The use of beadwork embroidery can be traced prior to the Ice Age. During this time, beads were made from egg shells, sea shells and seeds. In Iraq, archaeologists have unearthed 5,000 year old tombs of human skeletons wearing intricately stitched beaded headdresses. Similarly in Europe, human burials were unearthed that displayed linen and wool embellished by bone needles.

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From the period of Kings, Queens and empires, pearls were the dominant ‘bead’ used in decoration. Apart from ornamental wear, pearls were used in a variety of home furnishings as well such as table cloths, curtains and napkins. With the introduction of fine-toothed needles, embroidery was also incorporated with beadwork. Some of the stitches used with beads include the back stich, chain stich, herringbone stitch, single stitch, the crouching stitch and cross stitch.

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In the Middle Ages, beadwork was considerably used to embellish fancy boxes, pictures, shoes and purses. During festive occasions such as holidays, weddings and parties, members of the royal family and nobility were often dressed in clothing adorned with rhinestones, pearls and other fancy beadwork. This trend was brought over from Persia by the Mughals and has remained till this day.

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Current Trends
Today, there is not a single saree, lehenga choli, salwar kameez or any other form of Indian attire that does not contain some form of beadwork. It has become an inherent part of Indian fashion. This fancy beadwork is also noticeable on bags, purses, footwear and most notably, jewelry.

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Hand embroidered beadwork continues to be an essential component of Indian handicraft culture. It’s fine craftsmanship and finish is hallmark of our rich culture.

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The use of beadwork has a global presence as well. It is often seen on haute couture garments produced by famous fashion houses such as Karl Lagerfeld, Marchesa and Chanel.

To buy your lehenga choli or saree featuring exquisite handmade, beadwork, visit Indian Wedding Saree.

THE INDIAN CHOODI: SIGNIFICANCE AND CULTURAL PRACTICES

The choodi or bangles are traditional jewellery ornaments worn by women in India. Moradabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh is the largest producer of bangles. It is considered an auspicious adornment for married women. The wearing of bangles can occur at any age, but it is when a woman is getting married that the choodi plays a significant role. Nearly every state in India regards bangles with importance.

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There are many types of bangles. The glass variety are the most popular. There are also lac bangles which are an older variety. They are not commonly worn because of their brittle texture. Metal bangles, especially those made from silver, gold and copper are worn as well.

online bangles

The History and Origin of Bangles
Bangles have been excavated from several ancient archaeological sites across India. Contrary to today, women from residing in earlier civilizations wore bangles made from a variety of materials such as bronze, sea shells, copper, chalcedony and agate. This centuries old ornament was always worn in in pairs on each arm.

Today, glass and lac bangles are worn the most. During weddings and especially for the bride, glass bangles are mostly preferred.

Choodis online

Various Cultural Practices

Punjab – In Punjabi culture, there is a ‘chooda ceremony’. The maternal uncle of the bride-to-be presents her with a set of white and red bangles that have elaborate stonework on them. These bangles are not seen by the bride until the day the ceremony is held.

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Odissa and West Bengal – In these states, Hindu women wear a pair of white and red bangles on each wrist. This is called ‘Shankha Pola’. The white is made from conch shell while the red bangle is crafted from lac or coral. Unmarried Bengali girls wear the ‘Bengali Bangle’. It is made from bronze and is covered by a thin gold strip.

West Bengal Bangles

Gujarat – In Gujarati marriage traditions, the bride can only take the seven rounds around the fire after she has worn the ivory bangle given to her by her family.

Gujarat bangles

Rajasthan – The bride’s hands are adorned with 52 ivory bangles called the ‘hathi daant ki churi’, as well as yellow, red, white, green and gold bangles.

rajasthani bangles

Maharasthra – Glass bangles are considered auspicious in Marathi culture. The bride wears green bangles on her wedding day.

Maharashtrian bangles

The wearing of choodis or bangles is an important aspect of Indian culture. To view our exclusive collection of choodis, visit Indian Wedding Saree.

THE HISTORY AND CULTURE OF ADORNING THE NAUVARI SAREE

The Nauvari saree is a traditional saree style worn in the Maharashtrian community. It is worn during special cultural or religious celebrations.

NAUVARI SAREE

Origins of the Nauvari

Nauvari means nine yards. This saree is made from nine yards of fabric. During the rule of the Maratha Empire, women were involved in helping their fellow warriors. To make movement easy, the Nauvari saree was born. In appearance, it resembles a male trouser. Women who wore it were able to easily move around the battlefield.

NAUVARI SAREE

Although the Maratha Empire has ceased to exist, this beautiful saree style has not. In fact, wearing the Nauvari reminds many women of their equal stature and competency in a male dominated society.

Cultural Importance of the Nauvari
This stunning saree attire is typically worn by Maharashtrian brides. It makes the bride look suave and elegant. Apart from weddings, the Nauvari can also be seen worn during cultural festivals such as Gudi Padwa and Ganesh Chaturthi.

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Design and Variety
Nauvari sarees are available in a myriad of choices and colors. They were initially made from cotton but today they are also made from satin and silk. Traditional Nauvari sarees are decorated with floral prints, elegant patterns and motifs. The saree looks even more graceful and traditional when worn with a three quarter sleeve or sleeveless blouse.

During a Maharashtrian wedding, brides typically wear a Paithani silk saree in Nauvari style. The fabric of this type of saree is smooth and features royal wedding colors. Silk Nauvaris in particular are famous for having a thick border with golden or silk thread.

NAUVARI SAREE online

Accessories
No Indian saree would be complete without complementary accessories and the Nauvari is certainly no exception. Women wearing the Nauvari will often wear jewellery that is characteristic of the Maharashtrian culture such as the Nath or nose ring, heavy necklaces, toe rings, payals, a prominent bindi, earrings that wrap the ear bridge and hair that is tied up in a neat bun and tucked in with a gajra or flowers.

To learn how to wear a Nauvari style saree or to view them, please visit Indian Wedding Saree.

ISLAMIC WEDDING ATTIRE DURING NIKAAH CELEBRATIONS

The Nikah is part of the marriage celebrations in a Muslim wedding ceremony. It permits a woman and man to unite in Islam and live together as wife and husband. Muslim wedding celebrations are a three day affair. It starts with the mehendi ceremony, followed by the Nikah or wedding and ends with the Walima or reception. Different types of attire are worn on these three days and range from the graceful saree to the elegant sharara. During all three celebrations, the female covers her head in a veil called a ghunghat. This is drawn partially to cover the forehead, eyes and sometimes even the entire face.

Nikaah Dress

The Mehendi

During the Mehendi Ceremony, the bride-to-be wears a yellow colored outfit to match the significance of the mehendi. The outfit can take the form of an elegant salwar kameez or saree. She is ushered into the ceremony under a yellow dupatta by her female relatives and friends.

Mehandi Dresses

The Nikah

On the occasion of wedding, the bride is dressed in a heavily jeweled or beaded lehenga that has several pleats. It is usually in a bright color such as red and features a lengthy blouse which is embroidered with gold accents. The dupatta is gently draped over her head and hugs her facial frame. It is styled further around her waist and shoulders to preserve her modesty and respect. In addition to the clothing, the bride wears the finest jewelry featuring precious and semi-precious gemstones. Every part of her body is bedecked in jewelry, starting with her forehead, ears and nose to her hands, feet and toes.

Muslim Nikaah Dresses

On this special day, the groom is dressed in a sherwani. This is a heavily embroidered kurta that is worn with churidar pants. During the actual Nikah, the groom must wear a floral veil made from roses.

The Walimah

The Walimah is the reception which is held on the third day. On this occasion the bride may wear a traditional sharara or a lehenga choli which is heavily embroidered and bejeweled. The groom may wear a Western suit or a fancy kurta with pajamas.

Traditional sharara for walima

To shop for exclusive bridal wear for your Nikah, please visit Indian Wedding Saree.

WHY ARE BENARASI SARIS A POPULAR CHOICE AMONGST BRIDES?

The famous Benarasi sari has its origins in Benaras or Varanasi. It is one of the finest types of saris in India. A Benarasi sari typically features silver zari, high quality silk, lavish embroidery and gold brocade. It often reflects Mughal-inspired designs like foliate and floral motifs, bel, kalga, jhallar and leaves. Due to its extensive gold work, minute details, mina work and metallic effects, the Benarasi sari is considered a staple item in a woman’s bridal trousseau.

BANARASI SAREES for brides

What makes the Benarasi sari a popular choice amongst brides?

#1 Luxurious Texture
Fabric plays an integral role in a bride’s wedding attire. Your wedding sari should be opulent and “bridal” while being comfortable. Considering the number of lengthy rituals in a Hindu marriage, your bridal outfit needs to be cozy to an extent while being elegant at the same time. A Benarasi sari achieves this feat. Not only is it a gorgeous sari with its silky sheen but it is comfortable and soft to wear.

banarasi saree online

#2 Array of Colors
Benarasi saris are available in multiple shades and hues, from single colors to mutli-colored hues. Due to the opulence of this sari, most bridal Benarasi saris are made in royal purple, vibrant red, brilliant blues and sunny yellows. The color choice is highly personal and reflects the bride’s personality.

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#3 Numerous Embellishments
Whether your Benarasi silk sari is contemporary or traditional in design, it has numerous enhancements on it that make it an ideal choice for wedding attire. These include zardozi work, sequins, thread work, beads, stones and zari, etc. The embellishment you choose is highly personal, but when in doubt you can always opt for a conventional bridal Benarasi sari.

bridal banarasi saree

#4 Affordability
Most beautiful things come with a price tag and the Benarasi sari is no exception, especially a wedding one! Although your wedding is a once in a lifetime affair, your budget cannot be ignored. Luckily, Benarasi wedding saris are priced as low as
Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000. This price range is considered manageable by a majority of middle class Bengalis.

banarasi saree online

To learn more about Benarasi saris or to purchase your very own, please visit Indian Wedding Saree.

Guide to Shopping for a Men’s Kurta

Shopping for a men’s kurta used to be a straightforward affair that is until the fashion gods noticed. Today, purchasing a kurta for a man can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know what points to consider.

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Worry not! Our guide to shopping for gents kurtas will help you make the best purchase for your father, brother, spouse, relative or friend.

Pay attention to these points when browsing for kurta possibilities:

Kurta Type
The type of gent’s kurta you buy will be determined by the occasion. If you’re looking for an everyday piece that can be worn for lounging around the house, getting together with friends or heading out to run errands, then opt for a casual kurta.

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If the kurta is required for a formal affair such as a ceremony, a festival celebration or a wedding, then you need to find a kurta with fancy embroidery, colourful stone work and sequins.

Kurta Style
Generally, there are two types of kurta styles, traditional and modern. The former design features simple cut shapes with elaborate adornments, hemmed sleeves, side seams and no collar.

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Modern kurta styles tend to have Mandarin collars. They are often featured in office shirt type colours such as blues, greys and greens.

Whether you select a modern or traditional style will also depend on the occasion the gift is for.

Kurta Length
Most kurtas end at the waist, knee or ankle. Waist-length kurtas tend to be traditional in design and are generally suitable for formal wear. Knee-length kurtas are usually embroidered and or decorated with striking patterns. Lastly, ankle length kurtas are conservative wear, typically worn for religious functions.

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Decide on the length based on what the person feels most comfortable in.

Kurta Materials
Kurtas are constructed from several types of materials, predominantly cotton, cotton blends, silk, rayon and chiffon. Cotton fibres are soft and breathable. It can be worn on a regular basis.

Cotton blend is a type of fabric that mixes cotton with synthetic fibres to create a durable and wrinkle-free kurta.

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Rayon, chiffon and silk fibre tend to be shiny and smooth which is why they are often worn during formal occasions.

Kurta Ties
The pant portion of the kurta has a waist that is held together with one of multiple methods. These are cloth loops, tassels, or buttons. Formal style kurtas often have metal buttons that resemble cufflinks.

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Now you can shop for the perfect gents’ kurta using our guide. For gents kurta design ideas, visit IndianWeddingSaree.

Top 3 Indian Designer Bridal Wear You Should Consider for your Wedding

When you think about Indian designer bridal wear, there are three names that automatically spring to mind: Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Manish Malhotra and Ritu Kumar. These three designers are the first place would-be brides look to for wedding dress inspiration.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee bridal collection

With that being said, how do you decide which wedding dress designer to choose? We recommend examining their design philosophy and samples of their work. When you see “the dress”, you’ll just know!

Sabyasachi Mukherjee

His well-known design philosophy is “Personalized imperfection of the human hand”. This designer takes much of his inspiration from antique textiles, gypsies, deserts and cultural traditions from his hometown in Kolkata. Mukherjee relies on a fusion of styles, unusual fabrics, detailing and texturing as embellishments in bold colours to create his signature looks. He freely uses block printing, gotawork, hand dyeing and bandhani in his bridal wear designs. This is why sometimes his pieces evoke mental images of medieval and ancient times.

sabyasachi mukherjee collection

Originality is the hallmark of Sabyasachee. As someone who pioneered the usage of textiles into modern design, Sabyasachee’s work is often dubbed as “International styling with an Indian Soul”.

Sabyasachi’s designs are ideal for brides who prefer to set their own design trends versus copying those that are tried and true, or “safe”.

sabyasachi mukherjee bridal collection

Manish Malhotra

When you think of glamour and Bollywood, the name ‘Manish Malhotra’ should spring to mind. This master fashion designer is known for his widespread use of gold threads and embroidery, sequins and any materials that add a dreamy touch to the wedding attire. It’s no wonder that every piece that comes from his fashion house resembles something out of a Bollywood movie.

Manish Malhotra Dresses

Another genius attribute of Malhotra is his ability to create silhouettes that skilfully drape a woman’s shape and curves. This is why he is considered the dream designer for most brides. It’s no wonder that so many socialites like Shilpa Shetty, Kareena Kapoor-Khan and Deepika Padokone love dressing in Manish Malhotra originals.

Manish Malhotra Collection

Ritu Kumar

One of the most respected and celebrated Indian designers of all time, Ritu Kumar has made her mark on both the Indian and global fashion scenes. Her career began in 1969, with a few humble hand block printers and tables, grew a fashion house that caters to the very rich and famous.

Ritu Kumar Collection

Kumar’s bridal wear designs feature an innovative use of ancient designs and traditional crafts, resulting in a new form of classicism. When you see a collection of Ritu Kumar’s bridal wear, you can immediately sense the gloriousness of Indian aesthetics.

Ritu Kumar Bridal Wear

Part of Kumar’s success lies in the variety of handmade textiles, handlooms and fabrics that she sources from India’s many artisans and cottage industries.

How do you determine if you’re a Ritu Kumar bride? If you’ve got an appreciation for ethnic prints, handmade fabrics and timeless designs, Ritu Kumar bridal wear is your best choice.

Ritu Kumar Bridal Wear

To view the latest Indian designer bridal wear, visit IndianWeddingSaree.

The Buying Aspects of Sarees that Belong to the Western Part of India

It is a widely accepted fact that sarees play a significant role in making an Indian wedding spectacular. You cannot imagine an Indian Wedding without sarees. It is so because they are worn on all the major occasions in India. Moreover, there are different styles in draping a saree. These techniques coupled with the unique look of each sarees play a significant role in depicting their popularity to the world. The saree is an integral part of a gala Indian wedding event. Sarees originated from India, and nowadays they have attained sheer popularity. On the other hand, the sarees are quite popular on most of the social occasions across India as wearing a saree retains the traditional flavor in an Indian wedding.

Sarees Online

In this context, it is important to point out that the sarees originating from the western part of India are gaining popularity and publicity as they help a bride and the other women to look fabulous. If you concentrate on the sarees that originate from the western part of India, you would be amazed to know that there are many astounding collections of sarees within your budget.

Online Saree

The Considerations in Buying these Types of Sarees as Traditional Indian Wedding Attire

While buying Pre-Stitched Sarees that hail from the western part of India, emphasis should be laid on their quality. Besides that, you should also put stress on the prices. It is best if you compare the prices of the sarees in a comparison site before buying them. This would suit your budget too. Quite interestingly, you should also be on the lookout for the color combinations in these sarees as the perfectly matched combination would always make you appealing for a wedding occasion. Your primary concern should be to select the bright colors in the saree as it would give you a stylish look.

Wedding Saree

Selecting a Proper Shop

If you are of the opinion that you would buy these sarees only from the physical stores, then you can buy them from there too. On the other hand, you can also opt for buying them from the online medium too as they would give you the best discounts.

bollywood saree

Moreover, if you buy these sarees through online stores, there are high chances that you would get your favorite western saree. You can check www.indianweddingsaree.com website for this purpose.

Sarees are a Hot Favorite for the Christian Brides in India

If you have the perfect alignment of choices for your wedding, then nobody can stop you from being a beautiful bride for your wedding day, especially if you are a Christian lady hailing from India. It is obvious for you to stop and breathe a few heaves before choosing a saree for your wedding. For you there are hundreds and million pieces of beautiful Kerala based silk sarees available that will immensely help you in achieving the best look for your wedding at the Church. The Kerala Christian Weddings have inspired the Indian designers so much, that they do not fail to showcase a great line of designer sarees of the Christian Brides of India. Below are some great examples as well as the details of the Kerala Christian Bridal Sarees that are extremely popular with the ladies out there. Dig in to know more before your D-day and start preparing.

Christian Bridal Saree

  • Unlike the other parts of India where the bridal sarees start from the bright shades of red, pink, blue, green and magenta, the Bridal sarees of Kerala are based on the elegant color of White and its variety of shades. If ever, you get to attend a Christian wedding in Kerala, you will be able to witness how beautiful the bride looks in a stunning white color based saree bordered with golden intricate designs.

Kerala bridal saree

  • Since Christian weddings are forbearers of elegance, natural beauty and grace of the bride, a white or cream saree bordered in golden thread provide the best way to showcase the beauty of the bride when accompanied with great golden jewelry.
  • The real magic of the entire attire unfolds when the bride adorns her total look with a garland of jasmine flowers, just like the southern superstar Asin Thottumkal adorned in her wedding with her North Indian husband.

Christian Bridal Saree

  • It is extremely important to trust your tailor who will take up the job of cutting and sewing the properly matched blouse for your saree. In the case of the saree, you do not have much to experiment, whereas, in the case of creating a blouse, you are at the full advantage of getting a great piece stitched to suit your style.

For more ideas on ReadyMade Blouse and Pre-Stitched Sarees for your wedding, visit http://www.indianweddingsaree.com.