Border Designs for Sarees


I have been mulling over the idea of sarees with different edge designs for a while now and it became stronger while researching for my post Saree Trends for 2015. The patti-patti border saree made famous by the likes of Sabyasachi and Anamika Khanna have been all over the place for more than six-seven years. I despise these embroidered straight border designs, often with contrasting coloured borders included, especially when compared to the alternatives available. In today’s post I will be discussing various border options along with other edge embellishments.



The saree edge could be finished with a basic hem, fold and stitch. Anamika Khanna’s shaded organza saree is a perfect example of it. Certain sarees require weight on the edge for it to fall fluidly, in this case a self coloured fabric facing could be stitched onto the saree. You could also add a thin self coloured fabric border depending on the saree fabric. This style of edge finish highlight’s the saree’s fabric giving it an airy look.


The saree could be designed with a thin border, no more than 1.5 inch wide. This could either be a fabric or embroidered border. Pick softer fabrics like georgette and silk crepe for thin border designs. Do not add heavy embroidery to the saree’s body. Focus on the blouse design. You could pair a simple design like this with printed crop tops or embroidered contrast blouses.



The scalloped border is an older alternative to the straight patti border sarees. The scallops add a vibrancy to any saree design, be it a plain net saree or a handloom saree. You could use the scallop border style with heavily embroidered sarees too. Keep two things in mind while buying or getting a scalloped border saree made. First, the scallop should not be too deep or the border will have a tendency to fold over. Secondly, make sure the back finish is continued to cover the whole arch making it neat.



The border like edge embroidered sarees look best when the outer edges are cut and finished in the shape of the embroidery. You could be experimental and pick up the aqua Papa Don’t Preach pointed jewel like border saree or go in for a more ethnic swirl design. The Bhumika nude peach saree originally uses a self coloured fabric border with jagged embroidery, you could go in for this style to save on the cost. In a saree if the cost for the edge embroidery is going up you could get it made on self colour fabric and stitch that.



Anamika Khanna has been using heavy edge embroidered sarees in her past two saree collections. This edge technique, especially when paired with a unique blouse style, adds lavishness to the ensemble. While trying out such a design make sure the embroidery does not hurt on the backside, a common problem with certain embroidery methods. Also there should be no odd coloured stitch threads showing on either side. You could easily wear it to a wedding in the immediate family.

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Among the three examples, two are based on straight lines and one has a thin embroidered border with extended embroidery along the saree edges. These are both similar styles in terms of the continuity of the edge embellishment. This style could be adapted for lighter weight sarees and heavily embroidered sarees. You could use this design placement with various embroidery styles, patchwork like Rohit Bal to zardozi like Vineet Bahl.



Three design variations of the width half and half saree is shown here. Rabani and Rakha have divided only the pleat part into two patches, added a half-inch silver edge finish and continued the border style onto the joint. Rohit Bal has used a medium-sized self colour textured fabric border and given the patch joint an elaborate floral embroidery. Manish Malhotra for his latest collection embroidered on the joint and did not use any other edge finish. The main idea is to attach two fabric along the length and finish the joint edge with embroidery or patch details.



In the picture above there is a mix of styles. You could do a basic hem finished edge and attach ball hangings from it. Manish Malhotra has filled the gap between the jagged floral embroidery and the saree edge with self coloured sequins giving it a discreet look. Ohaila Khan has combined the scalloped border with fabric patch joint embroidery finish. The foremost motive is to make the saree interesting while playing with the edge finishes.

The designs pictured above are only representative of the styles discussed. You may find varieties of similar design elements in other sarees. Please select the style best suited to your personality. Head over to my post on Saree Drapes for further personalization of saree wearing.

Keep experimenting! Enjoy. 🙂


Anamika Saree Design

Anita Dongre saree

Thin Border Saree

Saree Border Design