How to Decorate With Antique Indian Saris

by Aiden Summer
Sari fabrics make colorful curtains, wall hangings and upholstery.

Sari fabrics make colorful curtains, wall hangings and upholstery.

Antique sari fabrics, which often contain intricate embellishment, represent traditional culture and artisanship, and can add texture to and beautifully accent a room. They usually are made of cotton or silk and come in many different weaves and thicknesses. They also come in a bevy of bright colors that can be mixed and matched for a lively, child-friendly decorating palette.

Colorful sari fabric may be used as drapery to brighten a bedroom or nursery. Hang translucent sari fabric as drapery over blinds or shutters. When the blinds are opened, the fabric softens natural sunlight and filters it with color. You also can use opaque sari fabric as curtains on their own, hanging them from a rod as panels or as drapes that can be pulled aside with tiebacks.

Antique sari fabric, especially embroidered, printed or appliqued fabrics with interesting designs or embellishments, make beautiful wall hangings. Hang the fabric from a curtain rod in the center of your room as if it was a tapestry. If the sari fabric isn't large enough to be a focal point of the room, hang it on the wall above a desk or a sofa, or hang it as a canopy over a bed. If the room is smaller or it has sloped ceilings, consider draping the fabric from the center of the ceiling to the wall for a kinetic, billowing effect.

Antique sari fabric can be used as upholstery as long as its weight, quality and thickness can withstand wear; certain vintage fabrics, particularly crepe and chiffon, are too thin and delicate to use for upholstery projects. Use smaller pieces of fabric to upholster throw pillows, a desk chair or an ottoman. You also may stitch different pieces of fabric together to create a patchwork upholstery for chairs, pillowcases or quilt covers, which can make for particularly creative touches to a child's bedroom.

If you don't have the time to sew or assemble fabric, use antique sari fabric to accent the furniture in your room. Drape a colorful sari over a small coffee table or end table, or lay a long piece of thick sari fabric across a table as a runner. Sari fabric draped as a throw may be used to accent the upholstery of a sofa, chair or daybed.

About the Author

Aiden Summer is a creative production consultant for artists, architects and designers.

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