My New Obsession — Embroidered Indian Sari Trims

Yesterday I posted a couple of pictures to my Instagram account (which you can find and follow here) and then realized that the main items that I have so far for my entryway and living room were right there together in a grid of four pictures.

living room and entryway so far

The top left picture is my new rug (I purchased this one from Overstock), my sofa fabric (a Crypton fabric from JoAnn, but it doesn’t look like they have my color anymore), and my new teal linen drapery fabric (this one from JoAnn).

The top right shows a closer view of the sofa fabric (which I’ve decided to go ahead and use). For a long time, I had my heart set on a velvet fabric, but I just couldn’t find one in the right color, or if I found the perfect color, it was in a cotton velvet. I DO NOT like cotton velvet. Then I found this Crypton fabric, and while it’s not velvet, it does kind of have that same sheen and hand that a silk velvet or blended velvet might have, but just with a shorter pile. It’s beautiful and feels really nice to the touch.

The bottom left is the artwork that I made for my entryway. You can see the details of the artwork here, and the DIY frames here.

And the bottom right is the credenza that I purchased for way too much money, considering the shape it was in, and then sanded down, replaced the top, and repainted. You can see the before and after here.

Anyway, I love all of the elements so far, but the living room needs something to give it a jolt of boldness and excitement. I still need to pick out fabric for my two upholstered chairs that I’ve been saving, and I’m leaning towards a medium to darkish purple for those. So all of the exciting colors will have to be brought in with accessories like pillows and such.

But I thought I might also add a bold contrast trim to my draperies. I always prefer my solid color draperies to have some sort of contrast band or trim on the leading edges (or somewhere else) just to add some interest.

So I set out to search for trim that I could use on my draperies, and that’s when I discovered a world that I never knew existed — amazing and colorful Indian sari trims.

There are several shops on Etsy that sell these, and I’m pretty sure I spent about two hours yesterday just scrolling through, amazed at the patterns, colors, and most of all, the prices! These are generally wide embroidered trims, and I’ve seen comparable trim from places like Schumacher, Fabricut, Kravet, etc. (i.e., the “to the trade” fabric and trim places) sell for $25/yard and up. Sometimes waaaay up. But these gorgeous Indian sari trims are generally $12/yard and under.


embroidered sari trim from Woman Shops World on Etsy - 1via Woman Shops World on Etsy

embroidered sari trim from Woman Shops World on Etsy - 2via Woman Shops World on Etsy

The thing about sari trims is that you’re not really going to find many subtle, subdued, neutral colors. They’re bold and colorful and eye-catching. And you’re also not going to find many (if any) modern or geometric patterns. I did find a couple, but most of them are florals. But there are a few really amazing non-florals out there.

embroidered sari trim from Woman Shops World on Etsy - 3via Woman Shops World on Etsy

Anyway, the challenge is finding just the right colors in a pattern I like. Plus, I’ve found that my options are limited even further since I need 18 yards. But if I can find one in the right colors and pattern, I’ll feel like I’ve hit the jackpot!

Woman Shops World, where the above trims are available, is one of my favorite shops that I discovered. You can see all of her embroidered sari trims here. She’s located here in the United States, and her prices are a little higher than others that I found, but she has a good eye for picking out some really amazing trims.

But the store I found with the widest selection and lowest prices is Shop of Embellishments, located in New Delhi, India. You can see their vast selection of embroidered trims here. What I love about this store is that in the first picture of each trim, someone is holding the trim, so you can get a good idea of how wide that trim is without having to scroll through several pictures of each item.

embroidered sari trim from Shop of Embellishments via Etsyvia Shop of Embellishments on Etsy

That trim is almost four inches wide, and if I did my math right, it’s about $8.30/yard. That’s unbelievable! Something like that from Schumacher would be at least $30/yard, if not more.

Can you imagine any of those trims used on the leading edge of draperies like this?

Anyway, I’m still on the hunt for the perfect trim for my living room draperies. I’ve found several that I really like, but only three that made me go, “Oh my gosh, I LOVE THAT!!” But on all three of those, the quantity I need wasn’t available. I’m not going to give up just yet, though. I’m sure these stores are adding new inventory regularly.

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  1. Have you thought about getting a customised sari trim? I’m sure there are places that do it on Etsy etc. I imagine it would cost more but it’s a possibility.

  2. Thanks for the links — I am definitely interested. For the cooler months, I add very bright colors in my all white bedroom. I have two saris (one fuchsia and one orange, both with beads and gold trim) draped over the bedhead from a corona. My source is Utsav.com, and although I don’t know if they do trim, you might find something you like on the site to add a bit of pizazz.

  3. Thanks for tip and the links. Even though I see beautiful saris, I had never thought about sari trim for curtains but it’s a great idea.

    1. After looking at them, they’re not just great for curtain trim but would be nice as borders on throw pillows or for edging on pillow cases.

  4. I have to ask Kristi, did you have any trouble getting that many yards of fabric from JoAnn? Years ago my husband and I re-upholstered 2 sofas….a large one and a loveseat. I ordered something like 15-20 yards of fabric. I am forgetting exactly since it was in 2007. I had so much trouble with JoAnn getting that amount! it was terrible. JoAnn went back and forth on their order for me for a couple of weeks and because I didn’t have a business I couldn’t even get it. I think in the end I had to go through an upholsterer to even order it. I figured I would never order a large amount from them again. Maybe things have changed now? Online ordering is bigger at their store now so maybe that is better as well. Just wondering.

    1. That’s interesting. I worked at a decor store at that time (although it wasn’t a chain) and we often ordered large quantities for customers. They were required to put down half (because we didn’t want to get stuck with that much yardage) and would pay the remainder when it arrived. Upholstery fabric is sold (by manufacturers) in varying yardages, depending on the total weight. Usually, minimum ten yard bolts, but lighter weights can be up to 50 yards. I can tell you, those things can weigh over 100 lbs!!! My guess is that since they are a chain, they don’t allow the stores to place quantity orders unless you are a designer or other business. Sometimes it’s better to deal with smaller retailers for these reasons!

      1. Ok, that’s interesting then Marianne! I don’t remember Joann having any policy like that back in 2007 where I had to put down half of the money so maybe that is why they didn’t want to complete the order. Oh and yes, I can only imagine how heavy those bolts of fabric were in your shop that you worked at. This was 15-20 yards of heavy duty microfiber fabric and only my husband could move it! ha. I was useless with any of that. Thanks so much for responding and the advice about sticking with the smaller retailers until I have a business.

  5. It can be hit or miss, but back in 2013, I purchased sari trim from EBay for some projects. One pattern was vintage from an actual sari but one that I purchased was available by the yard.

  6. You have picked another winner! I love the rug!!! I am so amazed at what you accomplish and the wonderful end product! I love the idea of goal setting and have started to do it myself!

  7. Oh my, you’ve gone down the rabbit hole and come out the other side in India. I’ve been buying whole, used saris from India for a couple of years now, and I’ve never been disappointed. I have one or two favorite ebay sellers in India and service has been excellent. Now to find time to turn them in other, wonderful things.

  8. I had no idea about these trims either. So gorgeous! I’m headed to check them out. I think they would work great for you, if you can find one you love.

  9. Not sure in your area, but if you travel to a city with a large Indian community you can check if they have any fabric stores. Years ago I bought the most beautiful fabric for curtains for my dining room. They price way VERY inexpensive. This was in Edison, NJ. Best of luck.

  10. I had to laugh at your comment, “the living room needs something to give it a jolt of boldness and excitement.” I thought that rug and the wall art you painted were bold and exciting! I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder…

  11. Have you looked at the Etsy store LesBonRibbon? Their trims are so amazing and are custom made for them. It says that they do custom orders.

    1. I should say, a lot of their trims are custom made. They do have trim from France and other countries. Another great trim store is Zozuta from Germany.

  12. I have been in love with the Sari trims for decades…long before internet shopping. Thanks for reminding me how gorgeous they are and now they are easily available. For those who haven’t seen them “in person”, if you live in a location that has an Indian immigrant population, you might find out if there are any stores that cater to that community. The sari fabrics are also some of the most beautiful you will find and I have used them in decorating in the past. Also, you might find them in some import stores or independent fabric stores (if you can find any of those anymore). Kristi, thanks again because I, too, am looking for window treatments for several rooms and have been having trouble deciding on what I want. This reminder opens a whole new world of options. And, these trims are equally gorgeous on Roman shades, valances, cornice boards, pillows, etc., most anything you want to make beautiful. Do inquire about fabric, colorfastness, etc. to make certain the trim is compatible with your fabric especially if you are using washable fabric. These trims and fabrics are not usually meant to be laundered, just beautiful!

  13. Kristi…. think you need a button where we readers can simply hit…. REPEAT… gorgeous, beautiful, wonderful, exceptional, inspired… as I am pretty much auto replay on my comments with every one of your posts. Just love how you give a fresh spin on things, march to your own drum, and never say “I can’t do this!”

    Years ago I used a variation of these ribbons to make a polar fleece cold weather onesie like outfit to slip over clothes for my kids… long before the amazing ready to wear they have now. It was my sanity for moving a sleeping baby into car seat commute without the child being a marshmallow and melting.

    It ended up being a bit more Scandinavian, Laplander feel but these ribbons would have been awesome!!!!

  14. Anyone looking at the picture of the rug and artwork would be certain the artwork was inspired by the rug. Such a fantastic find!