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.
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
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)
- 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
Summer is nearing, how about floating in air with breathtaking saree, looking for what to wear, here is the beautiful handwoven 'Kota Doria' are the best for the reason, when I wore Kota saree, It feels like, I'm floating, transparent, featherweight, soft, airy, light textured, such a beauty it is, these cosy sarees are very fine weaves and weigh very less and comfort, these gorgeous sarees are handwoven on 'traditional pit looms' and drape gracefully. This village called 'Kaithoon' twenty kms from Kota city, the weavers are located in Kota district of South east 'Rajasthan'. Kota Sarees are primarily made in Kota, Rajasthan, Mau, Uttar Pradesh as well.
Colorfully yarns woven on a handloom by the weavers of Tamil Nadu, this sarees hails from the temple city 'Kanchipuram', well Known and called by many names Kanchi, Kanjivaram, Kanjeevaram and Conjevaram. Kancheepuram district is situated on the north east coast of Tamil Nadu. Kanchi cottons are distinguished by beautiful motifs woven, handwoven sarees are soft, airy and yet comfortable. Silk and cotton sarees of Kanchipuram are inspired by the temple designs.
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.
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.
Touch of ancient beauty, a small town were colorful artists are born, in Madhubani district in the Indian state of Bihar, Madhubani. The word 'Madhuban' means 'forest of honey' from which Madhubani is derived. Madhubani art is also known by the name 'Mithila art', Madhubani painting/Mithila painting was traditionally created by the women of the Brahman, Dusadh and Kayastha communities in Mithila region in India and it is named after Madhubani district of Bihar which is where it originated, this painting as a form of wall art was practiced widely throughout the region. Madhubani painting being accorded the coveted GI(Geographical Indication) status.
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!
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.
A hint of tradition, one of the classy handloom saree from Odisha state called Bomkai sarees, these sarees are also called by Sonepuri sarees, produced in the village of Bomkai in Ganjam district, India. Bomkai sarees is named after the village Bomkai. The community who is involved in weaving these handloom sarees are 'Bhulia' community of Subarnapur district. GI tag is been provided for 'Bomkai Saree & Fabrics'. People here are very friendly, medium of communication here is Odia.
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.
Living in the world of fast-moving fashion, where designer Ruffle Sarees takes a runway show stopper pace, I see the 'contrast' the traditional and the modern world. In India, especially when you focus on South India, Karnataka when we take a slice of the pie, the elder generation(mothers or grandmothers) still wear evergreen beauties like Ilkal, Udupi, Banhatti cotton sarees on a day to day bases, depending on the cultural belief system and comfort zone.
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.
On the banks of holy river Ganga in Varanasi District, Uttar Pradesh state of North India, a spiritual city called Varanasi, this city is also called by the name Kashi, Benares and Banaras. Its a major religious hub, Hindus believe that death in the city will bring salvation, making it a major centre for pilgrimage. Kashi Vishwanath Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva is Among the twelve Jyotirlingas. A Banarasi saree is a saree made in Varanasi, these Banarasi sarees became more popular during the Mughal era. Its not a simple and easy tasks to weave these sarees, much of unity, team work is involved, atleast three craftsmen work together to make up one saree, ha that's passion.
Located on the banks of mighty river Brahmaputra, from few years back Sualkuchi Handloom industry is center for weaving and labor intensive industry for weaving and encompasses cotton textile, silk textile and Khadi fabrics as well and known as the Manchester of the East, Kamrup district of Assam. Sualkuchi is heavenly kingdom for weaving and the looms are found in almost very home in the villages of Assam and depending on the design, patterns and complexity it would take around six or more days to weave one beautiful masterpiece saree. The economy of this place is mainly dependent of handlooms, not only Tanti community of Tantipara are weaving this craft but also other communities like Garo community of Assam, fishermen and Brahmin communities also are engaged in weaving, the official languages are Assamese, Bodo and Bengali and renowned for Assam tea and Assam silk.
What reminds everyone when I says Bengali is mouth watering and luscious dessert 'Rasgulla' and 'Mishti doi' to name the most popular ones in the list and of course Bengali cotton sarees. The medium of communication here is Bengali. The traditional attire of Bengali women is simple forms of these Tant sarees takes around two days to weave and more intricate designs could even take five to six days to complete a saree. Generally Tant saree comes in pastel shades with beautiful thick borders.