Organza, the wonder fabric of western fashion throughout the medieval ages and early modern period, can also create magic in sarees. Although not as popular as in western fashion, it’s gradually getting into the Indian fashion world now.
The name of the fabric relates to the word “organzine,” which, refers to any type of silk thread that is made with a simple twist spinning method. Origin of the fabric was somewhere along the ancient silk route and the name of the fabric is believed to be related to the Turkestan town ‘Urang’, which was a major silk trading center in those days.
Organza is a thin, sheer fabric woven in extremely low density. Originally it was made only from silk. In modern times, it is created with polyester and nylon as well. The plain weave of the fabric makes it strong, hard-wearing and durable. The organza woven in India is slightly coarser, making it perfect material for sarees. Organza silk sarees are thinner and lightweight compared to any other saree and are great for semi-formal and casual occasions.
Organza is a plain weave fabric. Both the warp and the weft threads, which are the two opposing threads that are woven together in the process of fabric weaving, in this fabric are the same size, and they have the same number of picks per inch as ends per inch. Since organza is so lightweight, its quality is measured in terms of holes per inch (HPI) rather than thread count. To obtain this measurement, the number of holes in every square inch of this fabric are counted, and the higher the HPI rating, the better the quality of the organza fabric.
The organza silk production process is also different from other silk fabrics. Before weaving the fabric, two silk yarns are twisted in the opposite direction and then put together. When put together, they naturally cling to each other due to opposing kinetic forces. Before the resulting yarn is weaved, it is combed and treated with acid, which increases its stiffness, which is one of the main defining factors that differentiates organza from other silk garments.
The saree I am wearing here is a digitally printed silk organza with the Kanchi munga border. I purchased this from one of my favorite boutiques in Kolkata. It’s very comfortable to wear, particularly in humid Kolkata weather. It’s not too pricey, but not too cheap either. It’s one of my proud collection nonetheless.