Last Updated on April 14, 2023 by Shariful Alam
The Muslin Saree is the perfect attire for a woman who wants to look beautiful and elegant. One can wear this traditional South Asian outfit on any occasion, and it is sure to make you stand out from the crowd. The muslin sari is a perfect outfit for women of all ages and body types. It will flatter any figure, and it is easy to match different jewelry and accessories.
The world is full of places where one can dress up for. A muslin saree is the most popular dress form by South Asian women and is worn on special occasions. Sharee is considered a dress and represents emotion, culture, and tradition. The first use of sarees dates back to 4000 BC in Indus Valley. During the ancient period, the women wore sarees made of natural cotton. South Asian women started using muslin cotton and silk to make sarees. This was the time when the real story of the muslin saree really unfolded.
A brief history of Muslin Saree
Muslin Saree is worn during marriage ceremonies, festivals, and other special occasions. While it may seem a trivial thing, the true meaning of this dress lies in its symbolism.
During the medieval period, it is believed that a muslin fabric was introduced to the Indian subcontinent by Muslim traders. The word “saree” comes from the Urdu word “Sar,” which means “white.” In contrast, Muslin was highly preferred in white and light colors.
The history of the muslin saree goes back to the years around 4000 BC, during the ancient period in Indus Valley. The women in the city wore muslin sarees and used these clothes like bedsheets. Before the 16th century, the muslin saree was considered just upper-class maintenance. But after the 16th-century, the Muslin handloom industries got wings to fly over at the Mughal empire. Mughals took Muslin globally. From Herem to political content, Muslin was used everywhere.
Muslin was not just a piece of fabric; it created political influences also. People who wanted to please the emperor for political or national issues gifted Muslin to the emperor as a weapon! That time Muslin was such a precious that they had succeeded in their scheme.
Dhakai Muslin story
Dhakai Muslin is no less than a fairy tale. We can say a platoon of an army who had immense patience and gifted efficiencies by god went through a long process to achieve a fine piece of muslin cloth.
Original ancient Muslin was made of a particular type of cotton called “Phuti karpas.” It needed a specific kind of soil that was rare and hard to harvest. Bank of the widest river of Bangladesh “Meghna was reliable to cultivate Phuti Karpas. Bikrampur, Kederapur, Sreerampur, Rajnagar- these were the place where Phuti Karpas was produced.
After processing Phuti Karpas, it’s yarn making what comes next. Cleaning dust or seeds from cotton, brushing, rolling, pulling, spinning were the steps for yarn making. The fun part is to separate and clean it; a special comb with slender teeth was used to be the main weapon made of the jaw of a local Cat Fish named “Boalee.” The full process gradually became hard while they were close to muslin cloth. The temperature was one of the villains in this fairy tale of Muslin. Daytime temperature or higher humidity was harmful in this process because Muslin was so fragile that it could break due to temperature.
Nowadays, where the textile manufacturing industry is so improved, there is no machine, no alternative to the magical fingers of those magicians who made Muslin. They didn’t do any risky household works like cutting, chopping, stitching that could harm their fingers.
Muslin saree in Matchbox/ Tales about Muslin
The glamorous history of Muslin has its own true stories. Those are real fairy tales with real fairies, which is more interesting than fiction.
There is a myth telling that fishing boats passing over the Meghna river had a belief that Marmaid made Muslin. Due to summer temperatures, ladies sailed to the middle of the Meghna river for spinning yarn. In the middle of the hot summer night, Meghna’s chest was filled with hundreds of beautiful lamps. Sometimes those girls would start singing to get rid of the fatigue. The fishing boats on Meghna mistook them with mermaids.
And they wouldn’t mistake? A full saree could fit into a matchbox. Yes! A matchbox! A full Saree could go through a ring. that’s why it was called ” Gem of Bengal.”
Muslin Saree fabrics
Nowadays, the cotton fabric we use is only an 8 – 12 thread count. Above 100 counts, we can consider it the best quality cotton. In comparison, ancient Muslin was above 2000 thread counts. Muslin saree was such a fine fabric that 9.1 meters muslin weighed only 3 ounces.
Muslin saree was one of the amazing creatures. It had gorgeous fabric; that’s why it was so popular in the Mughal harem. But this Muslin was so much thin and see-through.
One day the daughter of Emperor Aurangzeb was coming to the main Darbar wearing a Muslin dress made of 7 layers of Muslin fabric, but still, it was very revealing. That’s why anyone couldn’t look up to watch her, and the emperor felt ashamed of her. After that, she got punishment.
In the scorching summer heat, women in harems found relief and comfort in those simple but beautiful clothes. Many kings believed that the attire matched their personalities and helped them stand out from the rest. It had a great impact on political issues too.
Types of Muslin Saree
Muslin Sarees are simple, elegant, and perfect for any occasion. If you want to look as beautiful as possible and still be comfortable, you might consider these. These are perfect for any formal event or wedding. You can get this in different lengths and styles. You can even get matching blouses so that they can blend perfectly with your saree. These are easy-fitting, which means that they can be worn easily.
There are lots of types of muslin sarees. But all kinds are not available in this era. Let’s know about some kinds of muslin saree-
The Mulmul khas cotton was considered the best, making it only for the royal families. The king himself and the people related to royal families were allowed to use those clothes. It was 10 yards long and had 1-yard width, but it weighed only 6 to 7 tola! Whether you believe it or not, the delicate mulmul fabric could be passed through by a ladies’ ring!! With this much delicacy, the mulmul khas had succeeded in impressing people that time.
The Mulbul Khas was a highly respected and prized fabric, noted for its fine quality. Though it was not as luxurious as the Mulmul, these clothes were still considered exquisite and often reserved for royal use. So fine and delicate was the Mulbul Khas that it was sometimes compared to a spider’s web. Weighing in at only 6 to 10 ounces per 100 to 160 cubits, the Nawabs of Bengal often chose to wear clothes made from this fabric.
The transparent thread known as jhuna was very delicate to weave. Weavers would reduce the amount of yarn to make it more transparent to appeal to Mughal princes during summer. The cloth made from jhuna had achieved popularity in the Mughal Harem, where the women and dancers would make dresses using the fabric to look visible and attractive in front of the king.
Shabnam was as light and smooth as the dew on the grass in the early morning. It was so delicate that it was compared to the morning’s mist. This is why it was given the name Shabnam, which means ‘dew of the morning.’ People said that if the wet Shabnam were left on the grass to dry, it would be completely invisible. It might take efforts to find it with weak view sight.
Nayan Sukh was one of the few Bengali names for Muslin, known for its comfort and enjoyment to the eye. People used it for napkins, scarves, and mufflers to show their prosperity.
During or Doria:
The Duria or Doria fabric is made from special cotton called bhoga or siroch. This type of Muslin is thick and durable, making it a good choice for children’s clothing. A famous chef and friend of Jane Austen’s mother once attended a family gathering and was impressed by the children’s Duria dresses.
The fabric had a unique charm that was used to make adorable attire. Women loved to wear scarves made from Sarbanda, and men made ties from it.
The Jamdani we know today is not the same as the Jamdani available back then! Jamdani was known as Muslin back then and was designed with different glittery threads. It was highly demanded wedding ceremonies and other religious celebrations. Special occasions were not complete without this colorful Muslin.
Muslin saree design
A muslin saree is a lightweight fabric, which is perfect for summer. The simple design makes it a versatile piece that can be dressed up. The material is light and airy, making it ideal for hot weather. Muslin sarees are often decorated with intricate designs, making them a beautiful addition to any wardrobe.
Muslin sarees’ comfort, durability, and affordability have made them very popular. They are ideal for any occasion and are suitable for both formal and informal occasions. Muslin sarees are available in a wide variety of designs and colors. They can be worn with all kinds of jewelry.
- Nakshi Kantha stitched.
- Brush Painted.
- Embroidered Muslin Saree.
- Appliqued Muslin Saree.
- Traditional floral weaving.
Muslin Saree Blouse designs
With an influx of new muslin saree blouse designs, the traditional style of blouses is being revamped. This saree blouse should be light, airy fabric is perfect for the hot summer days and can be dressed up for any occasion. These designs of blouses which complements muslin saree the most-
- Hip-length blouse.
- High neck blouse.
- Boat neck blouse.
- Deep v neck blouse.
- Hand frill blouse.
- Pleated short sleeves blouse.
- Puff hand blouse.
Muslin saree accessories
While the muslin saree itself is beautiful, several accessories can enhance the look. Muslin saree accessories are a great way to accessorize your saree and add a unique touch. A muslin saree is a lightweight, sheer fabric made from cotton. It is often used for traditional ceremonies and is popular for summer weddings. Muslin sarees can be accessorized with various items, including shawls, belts, etc.
1) Pearl or Statement Jewelry: Muslin Saree is elegant by itself. But if you wear a nice pearl necklace or any statement jewelry, it will be cherry on top.
2) Waist belts: Nowadays, waist belts with saree are in trend. If you wear a contrast waist belt with your saree, it will look fashionable.
3) Hair accessories: You can use Hair accessories to enhance the beauty of your elegant look of muslin saree.
4) Cape Blouses: Muslin sarees are sheer by nature. So if you wear a cape blouse, it will look elegant as well as sober.
5) Fashionable Brooches: Brooches available in the market give a very classy and trendy look. With your muslin saree, these brooches will get complimented with fashion.
6) Shawl: Muslin saree with a shawl. That shows a royal scenario in mind. A shawl contrasted with your muslin saree will take your look to another level.
7) Trendy Clutches: Maybe clutches or handbags are girls’ favorite accessories. A trendy clutch will enhance your look like fireworks.
How to wear a Muslin saree?
Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to wear a muslin saree! This is a simple guide to show you the basics of styling and wearing this versatile garment. Before starting, you need to arrange these items to wear a saree neatly:
- Safety pins,
- Petticoat matching with Saree (Underskirt)
- Footwear (preferably, heels),
- And the saree.
- Now Let’s Start to make you understand step by step how you can wear a muslin saree without any hassle-
- First of all, wear Peticoat and blouse. Petticoat should be tied tightly; otherwise, your saree won’t sit properly.
- Tuck the saree’s starting part into the petticoat’s right side. Start by twisting the saree around your waist, tucking it into your petticoat. Make sure to keep the right length, so it doesn’t get stuck under your shoes.
- Once you’ve twisted it around once and tucked it in, start making pleats using your thumb and forefinger, one pleat at a time. Try to make as many pleats as you can. That will enhance the beauty of your saree. Pin in the middle of pleats with a safety pin to make it secure.
- After making All these pleats, tuck those into your petticoat on the right side of your navel.
- Now make sure your pleats are in place, ensure they are neat by making it even and straight.
- Now take the rest of the saree, twist it around left to right and place the inner part over your shoulder.
- Adjust the size of the ending part that reaches the back of your knee and secure it using a safety pin on your shoulder to ensure no fallout.
And that’s it. You are done with your saree. Wear accessories that will complement your saree more.
Quality check to choose Muslin saree
Many blindly buy a saree for fear of cheap quality. But this is not recommended. Most of the saree from affordable sources come with a poorer quality of muslin cloth. This can affect the color of your saree and also fade over time. Let’s know about the best qualities of muslin saree-
- 100% handmade.
- Rich and sophisticated.
- Free of harmful chemicals.
- 100% risk-free for sensitive skin.
Top 9 Muslin Saree
A muslin saree is a lightweight and sheer Indian cotton saree. They are often handmade and come in a variety of colors and designs. Muslin sarees are perfect for weddings, parties, and other special occasions. They are lightweight and flowy, making them comfortable to wear in any weather. It comes in various colors and designs so that you can find the perfect one for your event.
Here are our top 9 favorites!
1) Allover Floral Motif Work Pure Muslin Silk Jamdani Saree:
The Dhakai Muslin Silk is the perfect fabric for those looking to add a touch of luxury and elegance to their wardrobe. The silk is handwoven with all-over body floral motifs and a rich pallu, making it a unique and beautiful piece. This one is from OisheeDesigns (ETSY).
2) Bengal Cotton Muslin Saree with Colorful Woven Florals:
This vibrant and lightweight saree is a timeless classic from Bengal! The cotton muslin fabric is adorned with colorful florals and vines, adding a touch of elegance to the wide borders and pallu. The saree is ready to wear, along with falls and pico are done. This one is from Shobitam (ETSY).
3) Multicoloured Pure Cora Muslin Dhakai Jamdani Saree:
The authentic Muslin Jamdani Sarees are Handwoven, pure Cora Muslin Silk Sarees, intricately designed by Weavers of Fulia. Made with fine muslin silk with a splendid display of Jamdani Golden Zari artwork all over the body, these sarees are perfect for any festival or social occasion. This one is from OisheeDesigns (ETSY).
4) Red Dual Tone Nakshi Kantha Embroidered Muslin Saree:
This vibrant red and orange saree is adorned with beautiful multicolored Nakshi Kantha embroidery. The aanchal features a stylish patterned border, while the blouse piece is included with the saree. The saree is made of high-quality muslin fabric and is perfect for special occasions.
5) Ivory Printed and Appliqued Muslin Saree:
This ivory and red brush-painted and printed muslin saree comes with a matching unstitched blouse piece. The blouse shown in the photo is a styling suggestion; it is not a part of the actual product. The aanchal is patterned, and the blouse has hand applique.
6) Blue Appliqued and Embroidered Muslin Saree:
The blue muslin saree with applique and embroidery is a beautiful addition to any wardrobe. The saree features a tassel-trimmed aanchal and comes with a matching unstitched blouse piece. This blue muslin silk saree is made of muslin fabric, hand appliqued, and hand embroidered. It also has a patch border. The blouse piece is also made of muslin fabric and is hand appliqued and hand embroidered.
7) Silk Jamdani Saree in Off White and Copper Zari Work:
This soft muslin silk saree has a beautiful off-white and copper color. The fabric is delicate and perfect for a special occasion. The floral border with a contrast butta weaving is a lovely touch. The saree is the standard length and comes with no blouse piece.
8) Exclusive Muslin festive Jamdani Sarees in Aqua Green and Multicolored:
The vibrant aqua green and multicolored woven bird motifs on this soft muslin silk jamdani saree are a sight to behold. The handwoven work is exquisite, and the fabric is of the highest quality, making this a must-have piece for any wardrobe.
9) Handwoven Offwhite Muslin Dhakai Jamdani Saree with Floral Border And Pallu:
The Dhakai Jamdani Saree is a piece of art that is handwoven with great skill and precision. This intricate saree is made from pure muslin fabric and is a beautiful off-white color. It is a Jamdani weave, one of the oldest weaving techniques in the world. This saree is from the Dhaka weaving cluster, known for its expertise in this art.
Where to buy Muslin Sharee?
It’s sad but true that the ancient original Dhakai muslin saree is unavailable. Some outstanding scientists from Bangladesh are trying to remake it. But they haven’t started commercially. With the highest hope, we can come around getting a must-have piece of dhakai Muslin from this era.
There are many places to buy muslin sarees, but not all of them offer the same quality or selection. Here are some of the best options to purchase muslin sarees online-
FAQ: Muslin saree
What are the unique features of muslin silk sarees?
A: The fabric of a pure muslin silk saree is nearly transparent and is very light. This makes it a popular choice for summer sarees. The silk that is used to weave these sarees is sourced from Bengal, one of the most renowned regions for silk production in South Asia.
How do you care for a muslin saree?
A: It is best recommended to soak the muslin saree in cold water mixed with mild liquid detergent for about 10 mins prior to wash. Then rinse the saree with running tap water and let the soapy foams get washed away. Use your fingers softly to rub & clean. Do not wring, twist or squeeze when the saree is wet.
Is muslin and linen the same?
A: There are many types of muslin fabrics available today. You can find them made from cotton, linen, or other materials. Basically, if the fabric has an open weave, it is classified as muslin. This weave is also called mull or book muslin.
What does muslin look like?
A: Muslin is a cotton fabric that comes in different weights and textures. The best muslins are finely woven from evenly spun warp and weft and are given a soft finish. They can be bleached or piece-dyed and may be patterned in the loom or printed.
What fiber is muslin made from?
A: Cotton muslin is the perfect fabric for creating stylish pieces that will keep you cool and comfortable all day long. Made from 100% cotton, this fabric is lightweight and breathable, making it a great choice for summertime outfits.
Conclusion: The Muslin saree
The Muslin saree has a rich and interesting history with traditional touch. Dhakai muslin sarees are a garment that can be worn at any time of the year. Wearing a muslin saree promotes a very rich and sophisticated look. We’ve tried to gather all information that can draw your mind to the alluring history of dhakai Muslin and must have a piece in your closet to reminisce the golden era of Muslin. Though a saree is an essential garment for south Asian women, a muslin saree is not only a dress, but it is an emotion, tradition, and witness of glory.
Shariful Alam Pavel, A fashion lover, passionate marketer. Love to share wisdom based on real life experience to enrich knowledge.
Founder of Muslin Dhaka, a brand, speaks the truth about royal muslin and fashion. Explore the digital fashion universe with organic cotton muslin and much more!