Chanderi cottons are exceptional in their ability to stay crisp and airy in summer heat. Chanderi cottons are usually woven with traditional motifs on a semi-sheer background. The motifs and borders are sometimes woven in zari (gold metal thread).
Chanderi cottons traditionally include some silk, which contributes to the fabric's crisp touch and elegant sheen. Some mass-produced fabrics sold as Chanderi cottons are blended with synthetic fiber ("art silk"), but you can still find traditional hand-loomed Chanderi cotton sico (cotton-silk) saree and salwar fabrics.
Chanderi fabrics are named after the region where they are produced. Chanderi is in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Chanderi's weavers use traditional methods to spin and weave the yarn into fabrics that are easily recognized by their distinctive weight and style.
Most regional fabric varieties produced in India identify the wearer with the region where the fabric was produced. Although Chanderi cottons are worn and appreciated in other regions of India, the appeal doesn't appear to be universal. I rarely see Chanderi fabrics in my local community, where most of my neighbors are from the north-eastern state of Punjab. Chanderi fabrics are more popular among some of my Hindi-speaking friends from other areas of India.