Where to buy second-hand sarees

#16 Aug 5th, 2009, 00:02
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post I sometimes see advertisements in the newspaper offering to buy old silk saris. What do they do with them?
I heard that you can buy beautifully soft knitting yarn which is made from old silk saris. I'd assumed they came from the exchange guys, but perhaps they come from those newspaper ads?

Or perhaps they get sent abroad to sell, as second hand clothing is very common in western countries.
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#17 Aug 5th, 2009, 02:45
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#17
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Originally Posted by Nick-H
I sometimes see advertisements in the newspaper offering to buy old silk saris. What do they do with them?
I have come across handicrafts stores in India that sell ornamental pillowcases made out of 'antique' silk sarees with very heavy jari work. I bought several to give as presents.

I have also seen import stores similar to Pier 1 that sell curtains made from old saris.
#18 Aug 5th, 2009, 04:10
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#18
Ahh.. true; I've come across a lot of "sari fabric" handicraft items, in UK also, too.
#19 Aug 5th, 2009, 10:10
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#19
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Originally Posted by Manjinator View Post I have come across handicrafts stores in India that sell ornamental pillowcases made out of 'antique' silk sarees with very heavy jari work. ........
They weave jacquard fabric with zari work especially for this, it is a separate big cottage industry, mostly concentrated in UP I think - pillow cases, bed covers, bolster cases, cushion covers, runners, table cloths etc. Ive bought quite a few bed cover sets as presents, they are well appreciated. You get good bargains at the handicraft exhibitions that keep coming around.
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#20 Aug 5th, 2009, 11:10
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Originally Posted by Aussie Meher View Post My first one is about purchasing second-hand sarees. I love Indian textiles and am excited to head home with some second-hand cotton sarees that I can cut up for quilting and other craft projects. I've heard that there are second-hand saree markets in Kolkata, but am not sure if there's anything like that anywhere else? If so, I'd love it if someone could provide the details.

I'm currently in Chennai but will probably be traveling through Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bhuj, Udaipur, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Delhi, Chandigarh, Agra (and Kolkata if we have time!)
In the 70s, I asked a young woman on the street, and she asked me to phone her monther the next day. I was invited over, and she sold me 8 sarees, a kurta and a ladies' South Indian longhi for around $10. Some of them were very nice and I still have a couple of them. She was tired of them and they were pieces her daughter didn't want.

They used to sell used sarees in the market at Durbar Square in Kathmandu; I don't know if they still do that!

Good luck, and please let us know what you find.
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#21 Nov 21st, 2010, 12:48
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#21
At least one can buy used silk sarees and recycled saree silk yarn at ebay - for quite a high prices!

I have usually trouble with new textiles (very atopic skin) and buy everything here in Finland recycled. I have ordered lots of silk sarees and saree yarn from India directly and was dreaming of recycle shops... but I guess, then, that this material is bought & selled in bulk quantities.

Maybe I should try to find the address and contact info of the sellers of recycled sarees and yarns I've been dealing with in the past (haven't done that in 2 years now as I've known I'll travel to India soon) and ask them about this... If I still find the contact info somewhere & get answers, I'll try to remember to post the answers here.
#22 Nov 28th, 2010, 22:40
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#22
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Originally Posted by nayan View Post In a middle class family - saris, once old, will usually be handed down within the family or given to the maids or exchanged for utensils, buckets etc. So they are already reused and recycled extensively.
If a persn who can afford a new saree buys a second hand saree she would be thought to be the ultimate aunty scrooge

I know a second hand clothes market in khidderpore(kolkata)but I dont think that has saris.
I am trying to follow the life-cycle of a sari. The way you put it implies that sari's are always handed down and never thrown away...is this right? Is there any point at when a sari actually ends up in the dustbin before it becomes a well-worn, dirty piece of fabric? How does India manufacture sari's? What happens to the factory rejects etc...? What happens to the second-hand sari's that do not sell?
I am a student looking for an interesting topic for a college assignment. I am just thinking - there are many designers who call themselves ethical because they use second hand sari's but if these sari's are never thrown away how is it really environmentally or socially conscious? All they are doing is buying 6m of beautiful fabric at a really cheap price....
#23 Nov 29th, 2010, 11:12
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#23
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Originally Posted by binarypixie View Post I am trying to follow the life-cycle of a sari. The way you put it implies that sari's are always handed down and never thrown away...is this right? Is there any point at when a sari actually ends up in the dustbin before it becomes a well-worn, dirty piece of fabric? How does India manufacture sari's? What happens to the factory rejects etc...? What happens to the second-hand sari's that do not sell?
I am a student looking for an interesting topic for a college assignment. I am just thinking - there are many designers who call themselves ethical because they use second hand sari's but if these sari's are never thrown away how is it really environmentally or socially conscious? All they are doing is buying 6m of beautiful fabric at a really cheap price....
One buys a saree and uses it till she is bored or it goes out of fashion or is damaged.
Then she either hands it down to another member of her family or over to a maid or exchanges it for utensils.
If exchanged the sarees end up in a used clothes seller who mend and repair these and these are sold on the streets in many towns and cities to people who may not be able to afford anything more expensive.

Those that are too tattered or nor get sold after a period are used to make cheap quilts or such that are gain sold similarly by street vendors.

This is the life cycle or not just sarees, but most clothes including mens clothing. In many town and cities you will find sellers who deal in these old used clothes.
#24 Nov 29th, 2010, 11:39
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#24
Narendra is right.
It would be very unusual for a saree in good condition to be exchanged for utensils etc.
A saree would never be thrown away - so nothing really ethical about recycling it.
#25 Dec 3rd, 2010, 01:25
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#25
Don't know about the second hand saree but good saree at good prices you can get them in Mumbai if you happen to be in Mumbai in the first place near Kabutar Khana @Dadar, Mumbai. Hope this little contribution benefits to someone looking for Saree's



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#26 Jan 8th, 2011, 21:23
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#26
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post How much would you expect to pay, and how many would you want?

My suspicion is you might as well buy them new; cotton saris can be had very cheaply, and even the nicer ones will not cost a great deal.

You can also get all kinds of wonderful silks and other stuff, by the metre, at prices that might pleasantly surprise you.

In any case, if you enjoy fabric, your trip won't be complete without visits to the bigger sari shops. My personal favourites are Nalli and RMKV in T. Nagar, and Radha Silk Emporium (Rassi Silks) in Mylapore.

For cheaper cotton saris, though, better to visit the "local" shops, away from the posher areas. If you are really serious, the is a whole street of this stuff up to the North of the city; check out Washermanpet.

Welcome to the site, to India and to Chennai

Are there actually any saree warehouse in Chennai??
#27 Jan 8th, 2011, 22:10
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#27
Where there are retailers, there are very likely to be wholesalers. Mind you, i think the big-name stores probably buy direct from the weavers.

There are major rag-trade areas in Parry's/Georgetown/Washermanpet

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