Kota Doriya, as the name suggests, is housed from a charming town called Kota in Rajasthan. However, the Kota Doriya fabric was not discovered in Kota, instead, it was discovered all the way down in Mysore, and the most skilled artisans who could take up the task of this tedious and precious craft style were brought up to Kota by the Mughal King Shahjahan, who was so taken with the fabric that he arranged for the comfortable settling of the weavers from Mysore to Kota. The artisans in Mysore who were skilled enough to take this up were called ‘mausarias’ and this style was called Kota- Mausariya, which later turned to be Kota Doriya.
There was so much buzz around this fabric that it was known to be considered to be auspicious at the time. It was loved so much by the royal people that it also soon became the symbol of royalty and was worn for religious occasions.
While we have introduced so many new styles, generations after generations, we still agree with the old testament that ‘Old is Gold’. The Kota Doriya fabric has been known to us for so many years, that often times it is feared that we may leave it behind in a world where it is becoming more and more cumbersome to carry on the traditions of the past. However, my old school self is extremely relieved when I see the elegance and charm of the Kota Doria fabric, knowing that it is 100% safe even in today’s rush.
Kota Doriya fabric includes the common fabrics of cotton and silk- which makes it conveniently available and a wearable fashion choice, but still a delicacy amongst beauty appreciators. It is either made up of cotton, silk or a mixture of the two. The geometrical designs on this print are made with precision to the finest order, as every Doriya (thread), is placed with thought and accuracy. The Kota Doriya fabric consists of square patterns that are called ‘khats’. There are approximately 300 to 350 khats by the width of a Kota Doriya saree. The doriya by doriya weaving ensures that this fabric is fine like no other and can be clearly distinguished from its power loom non- identical twins. This fabric is one of the finest and softest there is, with ethereal designs made on them. It is delicately draped around your body to give a classy and high end look, with an airy and lightweight feel. The maintenance of this fabric is especially easy as it is mostly made with cotton.
The Kota Doriya process is a completely manual one. It is produced on traditional and age-old pit looms with a throw shuttle technique. The processes that lead to the creation of this elegant fabric are winding, warping, dyeing, sizing, drafting, denting, piecing, weaving, and designing. Once the Kota Doriya fabric is created, rice paste and onion juice are applied on the fabric to strengthen the fabric. No additional finishing is required apart from this effective technique.
Kota Doriya, apart from being a prized possession in a woman’s closet, is also the source of livelihood of the humble Indian man, and we have taken it upon ourselves to preserve this classic and traditional handicraft, that is perfect for Indian weather in these months.