Varli or Warli Prints

Warli Art on Fabric

Warli Art on Fabric

Warli or Varli art is practiced by the Warli tribe of Dagra and Nagar Haveli near Gujarat. It is a much loved tribal art style that was formerly done on mud walls of hamlets, on paper and canvas, and is now imbibed by designers on sarees and dress materials. The look is similar to Batik, and often depicts the sun and moon, which are the essential deities of the Warli tribe. This art form rarely uses a straight line, instead, a series of dots and dashes are made, generally on white or cream backgrounds.

Origin & History

 The Varlis are non-aryan tribes, who are firm believers of Sun and Moon. Their attire also represents their faith in the Sun and Moon. Varli was the non-aryan tribe that eventually moved to Konkan. The Varli costume for men includes a loin cloth, waist coat and a turban, while, for women, it’s a one-yard saree.

Warli Woman

Warli Woman

Style & Attire

The attire worn by the women in this region is a Lugden that is worn till the knee and, it is normally a one yard sari. The sari is influenced from the Maharashtrian rural regions. The knee length draping looks similar to the Maharashtrian style of draping a sari. There are some women who drape a loin cloth around them after wearing this one yard sari. This loin cloth covers the upper half of their body. This Padar or loin cloth is a garment that is draped around on the opposite side of the Pallu thus covering the upper part of the body completely.

The men wear a loin cloth, a waistcoat and turban to represent their culture. The style is original, tribal and very simple in every way.

Present Day Scenario

For the women of this region, the Lugden and Padar form their regular wear. Whenever they go out on a normal visit, they use the Padar to drape themselves. On special occasions, they tend to wear the Lugden in various different bright colours that make it appear distinctive. The contemporary designs and dresses that have come up using the warli print can be used for regular dressing. The kurtis are interestingly available in various colours especially for regular wear.


Warli as the word Varli is today known as a tribe and, one of the main tribes in this region. Their hamlet version is the tribe of Padar. Varli is famous for their painting styles. This style is today imbibed on many sarees and dress materials. Similar to Batik print, the warli print is an innovation that has been given out by this quarter. The tribes are famous for this beautiful and innovative art. Several designers have created saris, dress materials and kurtis using this print on them.

Global Influence

Warli print inspired from the Varli tribe has made a mark globally. Many people have found a love for this new variety of print that has come their way. Apart from the warli print, the lugden and padar have found their place in the global dictionaries too. People do love to see this traditional attire and, a lot of global channels have been successful in capturing this part of Indian dressing style.

Warli Art on Fabric

Warli Art on Fabric (Source:


The ornaments that suit this style of dressing include silver and white jewellery. A lot of oxidized wear is found on the neck and hands of these women. The women tie a bun and, adorn it with flowers.


The one yard sari with the loin cloth is suitable for all weathers. The reason being the material used in these saris is either loin or cotton. The cotton or loin material makes it suitable for every occasion/season.

Interesting Facts and Comparisons

  • The women of the main tribe Varli wear the lugden while the Padar community, a hamlet variant of Varli drape the padar around them.
  • The style is very similar to that observed in rural Maharashtra especially Konkan region.


Categories:   Motifs & Embroideries