The southern state of Andhra Pradesh produces a wide variety of handloom saris. The state is made up of numerous villages and many of these villagers specialize in their own special saris. The saris are identified by the village’s name. And so we have Venkatagiri,Narayanpet, Gadwal ,Uppada ,Pochampally, Mangalgiri and Dharmavaram, all exquisite types of sarees. Here we shall go into the details of the popular Gadwal and Pochampally saris to begin with.
The Gadwal sari is a handcrafted woven sari style in Gadwal of Jogulampa ,Gadwal district of Telengana. They are notable for their fine texture and zari work on the border. A typical Gadwal consists of the cotton body with silk pallu and is traditionally worn on special occasions and religious functions. The clever mix of cotton and silk is uncommon and is done using special weaving technique that manoeuvres the weft thread. The sari’s increasing popularity has brought in changes in its weaving. Today pure cotton Gadwal and pure silk Gadwal saris are available in the market.
Woven in beautiful colors with contrasting borders on which zari work is done, these saris are a delight to the eye as much as they are a pleasure to wear. These exquisite saris don’t come cheap, but they are well worth their price for their finery and art. They form an important, beautiful and ornate part of the rich Indian textile heritage.
Besides the colour contrast of the Gadwal sari, the other attractive feature is its elaborate and luxurious zari work on the border and pallu which makes them so grand and rich.
The zari embroidery on the traditional Gadwal sari fills the entire length and breadth of the pallu and is extremely intricate. Patterns such as the paisley and the peacock motifs are very popular and are used to embellish this classic sari. As embellishments go, Gadwal saris have tassels at the end of the pallu to give it a delicate and elegant finish.
Pochampally Ikkat saris are made in Bhoodan Pochampally, Telangana. They have traditional geometric patterns in Ikkat style of dyeing. The Ikkat weave is popular in Telengana, Gujarat and Odisha.
Pochampally is a cluster of 80 villages and has traditional looms where weaving is a cottage industry with more than 10,000 weaving families. Owing to its unique design, every effort is being taken to revive and preserve this wonderful art.
Pochampally Ikkat’s uniqueness is in the transfer of intricate design and colouring on to warp and weft threads first and then weaving them together in what is known as “double Ikkat “. The fabric of the saris may be cotton, silk, or Sico-a blend of silk and cotton. The colours used are all from natural sources. Ikkat saris are the rage in ethnic fashion.
To be continued