Doria (striped) fabrics in narrow widths used for turbans were woven in Kota in the past. Today, this activity is practiced by the weavers of the Hadoti region (Bundi, Kota and Baran districts of Rajasthan). Kota is now famous for its “Kota Doria Saree”, sometimes known as “Kota Masuria Saree”. The saree is produced by using cotton and mulberry raw silk yarns for the base fabric with gold and silver zari (fine metal threads) yarns in the extra warp and extra weft for designing. The cotton yarn provides strength and suppleness while the fine raw silk gives the fabric a transparent and delicate appearance.
The light as air Kota Doria weave has been perfected for the long hot dry months of Rajasthan. The lightness of the weave, its transparent and delicate texture and its soft feel making it perfect wear, whether draped as a sari or tied on the head as a turban.
The name of the weave derives from the location of the weavers in the town of Kota in Rajasthan; while Doria refers to the fine woven lines and checks on the textile created by altering the density of the yarn, patterning the textile without adding to its weight. The self patterning on a Kota Doria sari is called khat, and there can be over 400 of these micro-check khats across the width of the fabric. Using metallic zari yarns in gold or silver the weavers add on an element of embellishment considered necessary for an Indian wardrobe.
Kota Doria is woven in several villages located in Kota, with the oldest and largest concentration of weavers in the village of Kaithun, about 15 kms from the town of Kota. Woven by the community of Ansari weavers there are records of the antiquity of the tradition to the time when weavers from Mysore in the south of India were brought to Kota by the ruling Prince, Rao Kishore Singh (1684 – 1695). The weavers settled in Kaithun and gradually grew in number as they inter-married and the craft of weaving Kota Doria spread from a few families to several households across to villages in the vicinity.