RECYCLING – Convert a Couple of Old Favourite Silk Sarees to a pair of quilts!

Recycle 2 sarees to make a pair of coordinated quilts 60″ X 80″ or larger!

Often we have favourite silk sarees – which become unwearable over time – or get a tear or two. They cannot be converted to salwar kameezes either. Or may be you just have had enough of them, and do not wish to wear them any more!

What better way to continue to enjoy a pair of sarees than make it into a pair of quilt tops over an afternoon? J

Sarees are usually about 40- 44 inches wide and between 5 metres to 5.5 metres long (200- 220 inches). This includes a `pallu’ which may be any size – rarely more than 40 inches long. For the purpose of this tutorial, we shall take 2 sarees, which are

40 inches wide

200 inches long

40 inch pallu

Remember, you have a lot of flexibility while working on this, so do not worry if your saree measurements do not match with what I have taken! In this example I have taken sarees with borders – we can also use sarees without borders.

Take the two sarees and closely examine them for any fraying, wear and tear and cuts. Pin a small piece of paper or stick a `read me’ notepaper near the damaged portion. You can always work around it!

Saree A                                                                               Saree B

Step 1. Cut the pallus and place aside. We may need to use them later, especially if the saree is damaged.

Step 2

Cut the main saree lengths into two along the width as shown.

You shall end up with 4 lengths approximately 80 inches long.

A1                                               B1                                     Pallus A, B

A2                                                         B2

If the saree is damaged, work around to get an 80″ undamaged length (B1 in the illustration below)


Step 3

Now comes the fun part!

  • Cut A1 (Saree A) lengthwise along the centre – vertically – into two equal lengths.
  • From B1 (Saree B) cut strips (including border) approximately 8-10″ wide from either side

A.1.1             A.1.2                      B.1.2         B1.1          B1.3

Step 4:
Join them so! You shall have two quilt tops approximately 60X 80 inches in size

A1.1        B 1         A1.2                B1.2      A2     B1.3

Step 5

You have several options to lengthen the quilt, if you wish to – add the pallu, or undamaged portion of border from Saree B! Use your imagination to make your own, unique pattern J

You could also incorporate the pallu in the centre, and stitch around it! And make matching cushion covers from the left over fabric.

But remember, when working with old sarees, and silk ones at that, the fewer seams you have the better! Also, the golden rule about a quarter inch seam is not valid while working with silks. You may want to take a half inch seam, or even a` French seam’ .

Use an old cotton saree to make the backing. Quilt it yourself if you will – or `bag’ it (stitch three sides of the top to the backing) and give it to the razai walla to fill and quilt!

Here are my pair of quilts. Since the sarees were badly damaged, I had to incorporate the pallu. I used an old cotton saree to back one of the quilts and had them filled and quilted in the market.

Author: Mads

In alphabetical order: daughter, mother, painter, philosopher, poet, quilter, seeker, wife...

17 thoughts on “RECYCLING – Convert a Couple of Old Favourite Silk Sarees to a pair of quilts!”

  1. Wl someone in Bangalore make the quilt for double King size bed. I have the cotton and sari – need someone to do the ginning and make quilt.. Pls give addresses in Bangalore. thanks

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