TALES 》 Mysore Silk Sarees from Government of Karnataka India
Melting Mysore pak to butter-soft Mysore silks by Sarees are my passion
It is called as City of Palaces, the cultural capital of Karnataka, heritage palaces, magnificent buildings, art galleries, and monuments. Mysore has lent its name from renowned dishes like Mysore Masala Dosa which leaves me craving for melting dessert called Mysore Pak(sweet-dessert). Mysore, the original name of this city was 'Mahishapura' which is derived from the demon named Mahishasura. Mysore officially renamed as Mysuru is one of the districts in Karnataka state.
Few most attractions are Ambavilas Palace, Jaganmohan Palace, Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion Lalitha Mahal. Not only it is famous for Palaces but also in artwork such as Rosewood Inlay work, Ganjifa Art and classical south Indian painting called Mysore painting. Taking the blessing from lord Goddess Chamundeshwari from the foothills of Chamundi is a must when you visit Mysore and finally how can I forget to mention festivities that takes place here during the period of Dasara(Nadahabba) attract a worldwide audience.
In India almost each and every state has it's own saree weaved and how interesting it is to know, that India is one of the second largest consumer of silk in the world. Sarees are the most fascinating unstitched garment, that every women loves! So lets us now check the renowned traditional sarees from Karnataka which are Ilkal silk sarees, molakalmuru sarees and now comes the turn of cultural capital of south Karnataka that's the fine taste of pure Royal Mysore silks.
Roots of History and Traces
Initially the 'silk fabrics' and 'silk sarees' were manufactured exclusively for Royal family and armed forces. KSIC, was established in the year 1912 by the Maharaja of Mysore province, Naalwadi Krishnaraj Wadiar. Once Maharaja Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV went to Britain for Queen Victoria’s jubilee celebrations and during his visit he was impressed by 'Silk fabric' which was used by British royalty which was machine made, this inspired him to order 32 power-looms, from Switzerland thus begin the earliest known production of machine made silk saree in India. After India Independence, Mysore Sericulture Dept took control of the silk weaving factory, later in the year 1980 the silk weaving factory handed over to Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation Ltds(KSIC). There are presently two silk factories the first one being in Mysore(Mysuru) which is the country’s oldest silk manufacturing unit in the heart of the Mysore city and is spread over acres and the second factory which is located in T. Narasipura which is 25 kms away from the Mysore silk saree making factory and silk weaving factory in Mysore, presently owned by KSIC and this company is being certified as ISO 9001:2000, and is the only organization to give guarantee for its zari.
The weaving process involves two types of looms by which it is manufactured namely
- Jacquard looms
- Dobby looms
Butter soft Mysore silk saree are available in mediums such as
- Mysore Chiffon silk saree
- Mysore Georgette silk saree
- Mysore Crepe silk saree
- Mysore semi-crepe sarees
- Mysore zari printed crepe silk
Unique embroidered identification code
Printed seal mentioning(KSIC)Mysore silk 100% pure Mysore silk
Luxury Mysore silk saree varities can be sub-classified
Based on designs, border, pallu, patterns these luxury sarees can be sub-classified as zari printed saree, small mango saree, tissue Saree, traditional zari Saree, checked zari saree sunrise design saree, mango border saree, butta pallu saree, double line checks saree, embroidery design saree, rich pallu saree, Jawar border saree, zari print saree, rich pallu zari saree, big butta pallu zari, medium small checks plain saree and printsallover saree.
Fascinating facts to know more about century old saree
- Mysore silk saree weighs anywhere between 400 and 600 grams approximately
- Each saree is given unique embroidered identification code opposite edge of the pallu and a hologram to prevent misuse and that allows you be sure of authenticity
- Printed seal saying(KSIC) Mysore silk 100% pure Mysore silk
- KSIC introduces water-resistant saree for higher priced sarees
- Zari/Jari used by KSIC will never tarnish
- Not only plain simple weave they have but also available in printed silk sarees as well
- Kasuti embroidery and Bandhani designs is also been added as an embellishments to variants of saree
- More than 115 varieties of sarees and more than 300 shades of colors which are designed by the KSIC
- They use gold, silver threads for zari/jari
- Obtained geographical indication(GI) registration
The main body or base of the saree
The main body of Mysore silk, most popular one is plain, so if you fan of plain and simple colors make sure be careful of stains, this will show spots as well. The other ones carries checks, strips as well. Each saree is measured 5.5 width(in metres) and a blouse-piece material attached to it.
When it comes to colors there are around 300 shades of colors, some are plain and simple with single tones and some comes with contrast shades. But as far as my personal choice I love Combination with contrast shades one which I am head on heals is oil red with black!
Border the game changer
Traditional ones are most are beautifully incorporated like mango border, Gold lace border, thin zari border, Jawar border and so on.
Why there is a massive fan following for Mysore silk saree ?
- Texture of the saree is butter-soft and hence superfine weave
- Majority of the saree has minimalist design
- Lustre(gentle sheen)
- Non-crush quality
- Can be gifted as a legacy collection
- The fabric is opaque
- It still remains brand new after years of draping it
How one will feel once you drape Mysore silk saree?
- Butter-soft-feel of the texture
- These sarees glides and hence easy to drape
- Light-weight elegance and delicate woven silk yarns
- Sleek and sober look
- Lastly the sophisticated and a statement attire can be drape for long hours so comfortably
Products not just limited to sarees alone
KSIC is not just limited to silk sarees but also has spread across there line of products which include finest of salwar kameez, designer silk sarees, men shirts, kurta’s, silk shawls, anarkali suits, stoles, silk dhoti and men’s tie soft silks, scarfs, hankeys, neck ties, stoles and ethnic clutches.
Why Mysore silk is so expensive?
The reason being why it is so expensive comparative to other silks is that they use high quality pure silk and 100% pure gold zari, this is the reason the price of Mysore silk is a bit expensive!
How to identify genuine Mysore silk
- Printed seal saying(KSIC)Mysore silk 100% pure Mysore silk which is printed were you initially tuck the saree
- Unique embroidered identification code as well
Fabric care for Mysore silk saree:
- Silk fabrics is best to be given for dry-cleaning, as they use 'chemical solvent' other than water to clean the fabric, they generally use non water based solvents to remove soil and stains from fabric.
- Avoid storing this precious sarees in polythene bags, warp these sarees in clean muslin cloth and store them.
- Never wring the silk fabric.
- Once in a while make sure, you change the folds of the saree.
- Make sure these butter soft sarees to preserve against dampness and moisture.
- Once in a year or twice in a year, also expose zari part of the sarees for few minutes to the mild-sunlight once.
- If ironing the silk fabric, check out for silk-settings in the iron box, keep the fabric settings as medium or low heat or delicate/silk setting and iron the fabric always on backside of the silk fabric.
My personal note
I appreciate weaves across India, it's just art end of the day, no matter how cost effective the weave or how expensive to the sky, every weave requires equal amount of passion, dedication and hours of laborious work involved in it. Mysore silk is one of the aesthetically textured fabrics I have ever come across till date, I just cannot express more, one have to feel it!
I always fall in love with natural fibre products one among them is Jute, it is one of the most affordable natural fibres and also called as golden fibre. Jute is one of the versatile fibres, that has been used in raw materials for construction, packaging, textiles, non-textile and extensively used for sacking for agriculture goods. Here is a list of top countries who are producing Jute are India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Vietnam, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Brazil and People's Republic of China. There is a great demand for these sarees across the globe and these exquisite sarees are hand-crafted and there might be slight irregularities in weaving which enhances the fabric uniqueness and appeal.
Lotus(Nelumbo Nucifera) is a very ancient water plant. Lotus is one of the popular motifs used in Indian textiles, motifs are generally inspired by nature, human figures, architecture from buildings and animals so on, this flower occupies a unique place in Indian art, textiles, poetry, literature, religions purposes and mythology of ancient India. Although this flower is rooted in mud, it continues to float on the water even after emerging from the mud, it remains unstained! The flower is represented with both its opening and closing petals indicating the ups and downs of life. In fact many Hindus are infatuated with lotus flowers, Gorgeous Lotus are called by varies names such as Kamal, Tavare-gadde, Motunkamal, Utpala, Pundarika, Tamarai and Padma and are found in white, pink, red, purple and blue are found in Asian countries.
Florals are back again this season when fashion consultants start a trend to get back all the blossom floral prints time again new fashion vibes to take off...Here is a fresh light weight floral printed silk saree, which is featherweight, easy to drape and which does not go out of fashion!
A small town called Shantipur, also called by Santipur, Nadia district in the Indian state of West Bengal. Santipur is famous for handloom sarees from ancient times, this place and surrounding region has been famous for handloom sarees. Shantipur sarees are also called by name Santipore saree. This place is famous for handloom sarees from ancient times and elegant designs inspired from nature and especially known for its superfine dhoti and handloom saree with jacquard design. In this place, they generally use 'fly shuttle' frame looms filted with jacquard invariably used in Shantipur. Graceful looking sarees have been granted and awarded GI tag(Santipore Saree). To weave double-sided design they use Do-Rookha technique, the front and the reverse side of the saree looks extractly the same.
Tamil Nadu, the famous Mulberry silk called Kanchipuram Silks apart from this one can see magnificent craft called Toda embroidery, which is locally called as Pukhoor. This beautiful embroidery looks very refined as if it is done in a machine but done by beautiful hands, the hues such as charcoal black and pomegranate red with white canvas, what a blend of shades with impressive thread art, its mind-blowing!
I am huge fan of Banjara jewelry which are antique yet collectables, their most flamboyant and mind-blowing costumes one goes crazy and highly appreciated, they still follow the rich and age old traditional art forms, which are been reflected in their art work, especially hand embroidery requires lot of time and patience and its laborious. These tribes speak Lamani language/Goar-boali it is also called as Banjari language. One can see Banjara tribes in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat in these places they are widely spread across.
Remote corner in the state of south India is famous for its traditional handloom attire called Ilkal silk sarees and Ilkal cotton sarees, named after after the town Ilkal, in Bagalkot district of Karnataka state, these traditional handwoven sarees are GI protected craft of India. Ilkal is famous for red granite stone and traditional Ilkal sarees. Localites out here are very friendly and they speak Kannada(regional language of the state), one of the main source income of this place is weaving these handwoven evergreen classic sarees. If one happens to peep around in this place, almost all house are engaged in weaving these sarees, their is no discrimination done, both men and woven are engaged in weaving to make their livelihood. Major centres of weaving is from villages of Ilkal, Kolhar, Kamatgi and Nidagundi at the Bijapur district and many of them have their own loom at home.
Kanchipuram is also known as Kanchi/Kachiped/Kancheepuram. Kanchipuram is a district in the northeast of the state of Tamil Nadu in India. Kanchipuram nickname is called as The City of Thousand Temples and served as the capital city of the Pallava Kingdom.
The south Indian women are not complete without a lustrous Kanchipuram saree. With bright contrasting borders. During occasions such as Diwali (or Deepavali), Pongal, weddings and festivals, only Upper-caste families used to purchase of many silk saris. Current trends on Kanchipuram sarees, silver is being used in addition to gold. The famous 'Kamakshi Amman Temple' is a must if you are visiting Kanchipuram place the deity here is Parvati.
On the banks of charming 'Vaigai river' the beautiful Madurai city is localled, the district, in Tamil Nadu state, India, this place is referred and called by various names 'Madurai', 'Koodal', 'Malligai Maanagar', 'Naanmadakoodal' and 'Thirualavai'. During 16th century due to economic crisis weavers from 'Saurashtra' and 'Gujarat' migrated to Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring states and some of them settled down in inviting 'Madurai'. These 'Saurashtrians' are highly skilled manufacturers of beautifully crafted fine silk garments and were patronized by Kings and their families, they were called by 'Patnulkarans' the Tamil name by which these people is well known in southern India.
Indian textiles are rich in artifacts, Begampur is a small town in Hooghly district in West Bengal, the sarees woven here carries deep and bright colours. The economy of this place depends on textiles and also famous for dhotis. What reminds everyone when you say Bengal is handwoven cotton sarees and is the center for fine cotton weaving and these Begampuri cotton sarees are known for loosely woven light-weight and translucent and are extremely comfortable to drape. These cotton beauties would take one to two days to weave which are very simple ones and more intricate designs could even take five to six days to complete, although the saree fabric named after the city, the subtle madness look after wearing them is absolutely sophisticated.
In Indian textiles, the heirloom weaves were much given influential value, the deep understanding was to appreciate inherent skill which was passed several generations.
Here is a sample of a traditional Handloom Bangalore silk saree which adds the loop for its artistically woven checks, fine mulberry silk which is a featherweight. Royal purple with a blend of Manjal shot adds the traditional lookbook, the aged designs and motifs are been inspired from nature and from ancient temples Hindu architecture. Experience this magnificent saree.
Ancestral Molakalmuru with a modern twist!
Molakalmuru is a village panchayat town in Chitradurga district,Karnataka state, India. Molakalmuru is best known for its hand-woven silk sarees of exquisite design and craftsmanship It is said Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV (Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar) during his visit to the place in 1914, he appreciated the finesse of these sarees. Molakalmuru sarees are available in silk and cotton. It has been granted geographical Indication tag, which add a extra credit to these sarees. The beautiful floral designs and the rich pallu make these sarees attractive and gorgeous. The long border sarees have a contrast border and the traditional touch is their specialty. The weaving is done mainly on pit looms with either fly shuttle or throw shuttle technique.
Ancestral Molakalmuru with a modern twist!
In India, Elephants motifs are richly used in Indian textiles Industry, Elephants were used by kings during wars in India. It is considered as auspicious animal and called by varies names such as Yanai, Hathi, Āne and so on. Elephant symbolizes royalty, prosperity, fertility, strength and wisdom. Our traditional motifs are deeply influenced by religious belief, culture, religious beliefs, environment, architecture, history, day to day activities which are carried out in life and so on and thus motifs represent over poetic expressions, and devotional characters, which can be interpretation of expression as well in the form of motifs.