Minor Research Project


Effluent Load Assessment of Maheshwari Textile Processing and Suggesting Remedial Measures for Its Reduction

Principal Investigator

Mrs. Vidya R. Thakur

Assistant Professor

Department of Textiles & Apparel Designing

Sir VithaldasThackersey College of Home Science (Autonomous),

S.N.D.T Women’s University,

Juhu Tara Road, Santacruz (West),

Mumbai 400049.


2015 - 2017

Submitted to

University Grants Commission (WRO)


Maheshwari Saris are traditional Royal saris popularized from the time that Devi Ahilyabai Holkar ruled Maheshwar for thirty years, since 1765. Maheshwari saris are known for their light weight and elegance. They are woven with cotton or silk yarns or combination of both. The motifs used in the border of the sari, are inspired by the detailing of carved designs on the borders of doors and other parts of Fort situated in Maheshwar near Indore in the State of Madhya Pradesh, India. Conventionally, these saris were dyed with vegetable dyes but later, synthetic dyes have also been used. Over the years there are many developments in the materials used, motifs, techniques and the methods of dyeing. To study these changes, site visits were undertaken.

There is one major dyeing units and several small scale dyeing units situated on the mountain of Maheshwar which is on the bank of river Narmada. The generation and disposal of the dyeing effluent is of great concern from the environmental point of view.

Color is the main attraction of the fabric. The art of applying color to fabric has been known to mankind since 3500 BC. There are many developments and changes took place in the colouration process of textiles. However their toxic nature has become a cause of grave concern to environmentalists. Colour in effluent is a problem for dyers and many small dyers need to find an easy and economic solution to the problem. Space is often a premium and small dyers are not large enough to justify the expense of an on-site treatment plant and local water authority will not accept coloured effluent. Dyeing processes have always had a great impact on natural environment with liquid effluent being discharged to sewer or water course.

This study is an attempt to gain an overview of the present conditions and to identify the problems and to suggest appropriate cost effective remedies for its reduction. Data was gathered through interviews and conversations with the dyers. Interview was planned with Maheshwar weaving and dyeing authority to understand the facts. The dyers were found to be aware of the environmental issues to some extent and willing to take appropriate measures for environmental safety. It is necessary to assess the effluent load caused by the processors of Maheshwari textiles in terms of BOD, COD, TSS, TDS, pH, colour, etc. It is also important to detect the measures taken for the treatment and disposal of the generated effluent.

Key words: Maheshwari sari, dyeing effluent.