The majestic mesh-like textile of Kota Doria, not only has a magnificent appeal but feels extremely light on skin. Crafted from the perfect blend of two natural yarns- cotton and silk, the spectacle and grace of this fabric is unmatchable to any other fabrics. It has incorporated the goodness of both the fabrics i.e. the tenacity of cotton and the shine of silk.
As the name goes by, it originated in the town of Kota in Rajasthan but has gradually flourished in every nook and corner of the world. The interlacement of the two types of yarn is done in such a manner that square checkered patterns are formed on the resulting fabric. The intriguing feature of this textile is these square patterns. Kota Doria has been popular for its finest open weaving technique which makes it highly breathable and light-weight. Thus, it is considered as a favourable textile to beat the summers.
The story behind the craft is as alluring as the craft itself. Kota Doria derives its name from a small town of Rajasthan, Kota, where craftsmen have been practicing this craft for ages and thus has passed this craft from one generation to another. The second word- Doria means thread. While some textile researchers and historians disagree to the fact that the craft incubated in Kota, the locals claim the opposite.
Some say the art of Kota Doria was first discovered in parts of Mysore and Karnataka. There, artisans who practiced this were referred to as Masurias. Later on Mughals brought these Masurias to Kota with the help of Rao Kishore Singh, a general in the army of Mughal king Shahjahan because weaving this fabric required deft professionals and was extremely tedious. Kota-masurias were later renamed as Kota Doria. This fabric came out to be so divine that it turned out to be an auspicious fabric at that time and the wealthy Rajasthanis used it for all religious occasions. Attires made from Kota Doria symbolized royalty. Even though only cotton was used initially, silk was added later on to add lustre and intricacy.During those ancient times, only two basic colors of white and beige were involved in the craft. But as the technology advanced, Kota Doria continued to be experimented and was manufactured in innumerable shades.
Kota Doria is one such versatile fabric that is used for both casual and formal wear. The colourful sarees designed using kota doria fabric is ideal for all occasions. There are also three basic designs of Kota Doria-Basic, block printing and with zari border. From Sarees and Dupattas, Kota Doria has advanced to dresses, tops, scarves and home furnishings. With the advent of sustainability and slow fashion, upcycling the worn out sarees as curtains is quite in vogue.
This fabric is not only skin friendly to beat the scorching heat but also easy to maintain. Thekind of Kota Doria practiced traditionally is only made of cotton and zari. Block Printing was later on used on Kota Doria to make it more attractive and is referred to as hand-blocked Kota Doria. Kota Doria’s with a zari border definitely adds elegance to an outfit and make it look more appealing. Thus, a handful of fashion designers have also adopted this textile as one of the main fabrics for the construction of their garments and showcase them on ramp.
Kota Doria is definitely a vivid evidence of the excellent craftsmanship of our country which can surpass any power loom’s fabrics. The government has also been taking desired steps to preserve the handloom industry in order to uplift the lifestyle of artisans and provide them employment.