In the 19th century, the Parsi community, who had migrated to India likely between the 8th and 10th centuries, were well placed in many professions, including trade. China was a major port of all. On the return journey to India, the merchants would also bring back gifts for their families and friends.
The Chinese silks with their outstanding patterns, often based on nature, resonated with the Parsi merchants and they brought back lots of the same. No less ambitious than the men, the Parsi women, who had already adjusted the Indian sari as their attire and wore it in their incomparable style, used the heavily embroidered patterns to turn them into sarees. Called gara or garo, it was the Parsi women's cultured sartorial challenge to the European dress worn by European or British women at the parties.
According to fashion experts, the Parsi Gara experienced its golden era approximately between 1910 and the 1930s. Some of the most famous embroideries were the Chinese phoenix and the cranes. Fish was another traditional motif. Fabrics also sported designs such as ornamental flowers and even Chinese prospects. Intricate motifs and vivid color designs thoroughly worked over the fabric to create a bouquet on textile define a signature Parsi Gara saree. Parsi Gara sarees are known for their beautiful, complex work. Parsi traders, who used to trade with China, introduced Gara in India. The traditional Chinese Garas had embroidered borders on all four sides and consequently, were heavy to wear. The popular colors were purple and violet. Slowly, manufacturers in Gujarat managed to duplicate the embroidery and regional procedure called Surat Gara evaluated by net, to which French knots were introduced. Over time, colors like red, blue, and white became the fashion in Garas.
In the duration of the method, the design is drawn on the paper, followed by the creation of the sample color. The makers study the designs and trace them on the saree. The making of Gara sarees is a complex process, and it takes between two to eight months for the creation to emerge. An impressive feature of the design is that the manufacturer who specializes in a particular motif proceeds to draw that motif itself so that there is regularity and specialization in his work. The popular motifs are trees, flowers, leaves, birds, figures, houses, and bridges. A Gara can be fully embroidered or have a border with embroidery scattered or just partly embroidered.