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TALES 》 Ilkal Silk Sarees

Decoding the traditional handloom of Ilkal

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.

Generally traditional Ilkal sarees does not have any Kasuti ornamentation done, from couples of years its a add on feature of newer version of sarees, these sarees are available in 6 yards, 8 yards, 9 yards. which has Kasuti folk embroidery which is practised in karnataka state, generally it takes around seven or more days to weave a saree based on the designs. The name Kasuti is derived from the word 'Kai' which means hand and 'Suti' means cotton, which expresses an activity that is done using cotton and hands.
ilkal-banner-02

The main body of the saree
Generally, main body of the saree which carries small or heavy check patterns, rectangles, striped patterns, squares, plain sarees, the newer version Kasuti folk embroidery is been added.

The pallu(falling edge of the saree)
Also called as in kannada(regional language) seragu, the pallu is given special importance, as it is worn on the head. The pallu and the body are joined in a technique called as kondi. KONDI Technique is used to weave these sarees and they use three shuttles. Ilkal saree with colors such as red and orange combination is best known as Basanthi.

The striking Borders(annchu)
Borders are traditional yet handwoven, they carry such a grace for the saree, these traditional borders which measurers 2.5 inches to 4 inches, the predominant colors used are red and maroon, gone are the days whenonly borders used to be and more demand is for temple designs on top of the border, few types of borders are

  • Gomi dadi which is also known as Ilkal dadi
  • Jari dadi
  • Gadi dadi
  • Chikki kondi
  • Gayathri

Ilkal sarees are available in mediums such as:

  • Ilkal pure silk saree (Silk x Silk)
  • Ilkal pure cotton
  • Ilkal semi cotton silk(Cotton x Silk)
  • Ilkal viscose rayon (Art silk x Cotton)

Important Note:

  • Checks pattern locally known as 'Tirki'
  • Stripes which are thick are known as 'Jabra'

Length of the saree:
Traditional Ilkal sarees are available in

  • 6 yards ( 5.4 meter) approx
  • 8 yards ( 7.3 meter) approx
  • 9 yards ( 8.2 meter) approx respectively.

Paired with a perfect blouse(upper garment)
Blouse makes for a perfect pairing, Traditional handwoven Ilkal sarees sometimes it comes with blouse as a running fabric and some times one need to buy the blouse, normally the top five perfectly pairing blouses that can make your saree outstanding are Kalamkari fabrics, Mangalgiri cotton fabric, khadi fabrics, Khun fabrics from Maharashtra and ikkat fabrics as well, if anyone is interested with fusion than one can blend well is Khun fabrics with Kalamkari which makes best artpiece, and no additional embellishment is not needed, the saree blends well with these fabrics seamlessly and one can check out with classical version with modern elements makes a huge come back to the modern world.

Fabric care for Ilkal silk sarees
Do check out for specific care instructions on the garment once you purchase and follow the instructions carefully, it addition to it, here are certain quick checklist

  • Recommended only for dry clean
  • If washing at home, recommended only to use cold water to wash the fabric
  • Do not bleach or soak the fabric
  • Do not brush or lash a silk saree
  • Use good quality, mild detergent
  • Once wash cycle is done, dry the fabric in shade to prevent the color from fading
  • Never put naphthalene balls and other repellents in direct contact to these fabrics while storing
  • Do not wring or squeeze the fabric
  • Keep changing the folds of stored sarees once in a while to ensure that the fabric doesn’t tear from the creases
  • One can steam press and iron the fabric, in a medium-low heat
  • Use padded hangers to avoid wrinkling these sarees


* Click the image above to watch this video on Youtube ↗



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I see the younger generation of today although they study masters and get out of college and join some good firm and some point of time, they tend to quit routine 9 to 6 job, basically for two reasons, the first reason might be they are about to get 'Married' or second most important reason is 'Pregnancy' due to being able to deal with pressure in the workplace and rest during pregnancy is most valued reasons. During this time they tend to earn for their living at home while taking rest, what generally people fail to do some research and 'Basic prerequisite' before starting Saree Business, one should explore varies products, detailing, techniques and so many things. It's like failing to study the syllabus one full year and doing a last minute study. What you get the end of the day is mediocre results.

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Thursday' 13-Aug-2020
In India local market I heard shop owners saying that we have Best Quality Saree, Best Price Saree, Wholesale Sarees. I always wonder, the educated crowd are they going to shop around on this? definitely, they say no please. The sophisticated group understand what is a plastic made recycled saree(synthetic versions) and authentic ones! They are always towards the art and crafts part end of the day, they read and update themselves.

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Thursday' 13-Aug-2020
At some point of time waking up in the morning and going to a job is not feasible as grow older right? How many of you think like that, the hierarchy in office which makes crazy, although we work hard like anyone else we don't get recognition nor promotions, this is a common pool that majority of them are facing today, some they share and some they don't share, basically after all this ups and downs in life once they cross thirty years or after they realize that 'I NEED BE MY BOSS' this is the peak time to start something which is fresh, so many follow their passion which they are good at. Passion is something which will not fetch any money to be frank, one needs to work towards it to make a profitable business.

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Thursday' 13-Aug-2020
Are you serious, to look very young and pretty for simple Cocktail parties, then a must watch saree from Sarees are my passion: Banarasi zari supernet saree.
In this particular saree video the grace of Peach Pink shot with Watermelon shade is so graceful, a fancy version of Banarasi saree, inexpensive as well. At a glance, you can see how simple and outstanding the charm one should cherish.

Niche Korvai Kanchipuram Pattu Saree ↗
Thursday' 13-Aug-2020
Two main reasons why people go to Kanchipuram is firstly to Kanchi Kamakshi Amman temple to take blessings from her, which is the most important shakti peetha temples in India and secondly to SHOP SHOP and SHOP again for all the stunning bride, for a BIG fat Indian wedding. Kanchivaram is a traditional silk saree from south India and each and every house would have endless collections of these pattu sarees. Basically, pattu means in regional Tamil language silk. Korvai is one of the complex technique used to weave Kanchipuram silk sarees, not all sarees which are woven in Kanchipuram are Korvai.

Luxurious Collectible Sarees ↗
Thursday' 13-Aug-2020
One of the challenging factor when it comes to luxury market is getting the right people on board and targeting specifically for them is a niche. So much of ultra-refined, handcrafted series is required. But the fact is not always all are suited for this. Understanding them takes time and they hate wholesale market stuff. They value their time and they don't waste others time as well. Behind their thought process vintage, classic, collectible is just investments and which might in some times if they need to sell which fetch them back what they have invested!

Kollegal Handloom Silk Saree ↗
Thursday' 13-Aug-2020
Weaving is a tradition
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How to identify a genuine Mysore Silk Saree ↗
Thursday' 13-Aug-2020
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Flooded with an unlimited supply of so-called duplicate, replicated and imitation Mysore silk sarees in the local wholesale market saying it is a pure Mysore silk saree, how far it is true? let us just imagine a current per gram gold price is said three thousand and above, so in original Mysore silk saree, they use extensively use gold and silver zari, how can you get a Mysore silk saree worth less than a ten thousand(INR)? This is a logically based question that many fail to think before you invest and spend your hard earned money on fake silk sarees.

Why Handpicked sarees are sold like hotcakes? ↗
Thursday' 13-Aug-2020
Why Handpicked sarees are sold like hotcakes?
It was one of the most humid days of summer in March, Bangalore and all of a sudden earthy mud smell ha being 'Taurus' sun sign I really love to play in the mud, and with natures basket, it might also include rain as well and slightly it drizzled it was first rainfall of a season and I had this topic in mind for a long time, having a cup of green tea to refresh me, so now so let's get started.

No border (without border or borderless) designer Kanchipuram Saree ↗
Thursday' 13-Aug-2020
Romance in Moonlight is one of my handpicked saree for my 'Reception' during my wedding, what I really love about this saree is the hues are just apt since it was an evening event. I had a personal perception I would look short, but I'm 'neither tall' nor 'short', I picked this saree for the combination of colors, the peacocks, they generally call this variety of saree as 'No border' or 'Without border' designer saree, all I had in my mind was I would look a bit taller and this saree really did justice for what I wanted.