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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.
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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



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Srikalahasti Art from India ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Magic of Srikalahasti artist, Srikalahasti style
Here is yet another Srikalahasti style kalamkari saree from my closet depicting various avataras(descent) of Lord Vishnu such as Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Vamana, Narasimha, etc. If you love art or a connoisseur or statement piece collector than you should grab one of these in your Timeless collections and one can wear these colorful handcrafted Srikalahasti style kalamkari sarees for board meetings, art festivals, raas(dandiya Raas), temples, etc.

Ilkal Silk Sarees ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
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.

Understanding the choice of 50 year and above Women in Saree Business ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
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.

Guntur Sarees ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
The finest spicy Grandmother's attire, nostalgic saree!
Each thread narrates of a story that weaves into a magical saree, red hot Guntur city lies on the south eastern side of Hyderabad in Guntur district of Indian, state of Andhra Pradesh. This city residents are referred as Gunturians, purest forms of the language can be heard here is Telugu(regional language). One can see largest Asian market for red chillies here, this place is main producer and renowned globally for exporting of most varieties of Chillies and chilli powder from India to countries like USA, UK, Latin America, Middle East, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and South Korea. Guntur sarees are known for finest cotton sarees, these sarees are worn by particularly in the coastal areas it's so simple and sober, which feels comfortable for everyday wearing. Main body of Guntur saree has single plain colors and patterns scattered here and there, with or without checks patterns and has small woven butis all over.

Elephant Motif ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
The Royal march floating in textiles, Sarees are my passion
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.

Dharmavaram Silk Sarees ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Lavish Saree of Bride, mulberry silk Dharmavaram
A beautiful city in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh state, India known for its renowned cotton, splendorous silk weaving industries and leather puppets, Dharmavaram. According to the history notes, name of the city Dharmavaram ,has been named after 'Dharmamba', who was the mother of Sri Kriyasakthi Odeyar (person, who built the first tank in the region). The economy of the town is dependent on the weaving industry. Natives of this place speak Telugu(regional language). Dharmavaram sarees is been registered as one of the geographical indication from Andhra Pradesh.

Bandhani Sarees or Bandhej Sarees from Gujarat India ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Meticulously tying the bonds of colorful junction
Bandhani is derived from Sanskrit word, bandh known as to-tie and patterns, colours are limitless. Wondering what are the varies names to Bandhani? called and known by varies names such as Bandhej, Piliya, Ghar Chola, Patori, Bandhni and in Tamil Nadu its known as Sungudi. Khatri of Kutch and Saurashtra community involved in making this colorful art since ages. Places in Rajasthan like Jaipur, Sikar, Bhilwara, Udaipur, Bikaner, Ajmer, Tamil Nadu and Jamnagar in Gujarat are the well known centers producing odhnis, sarees and turbans in Bandhani.

Narayanpet Sarees ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
The Gods, Goddesses and Narayanpet sarees
This Beautiful small little town is renowned for exclusive splendid handloom silk and cotton sarees, Narayanpet in Mahbubnagar district, Telangana state, India. Primary source of income for people here is from weaving sarees. This charming place is extremely hot in summer and cold in winter. Since it's a business hub for sarees people known many regional languages such as Telugu, Kannada, Urdu, Marathi and of course English as well. Narayanpet sarees is known for its durability, affordability and lower maintenance. In this modern age of Indo-western twist and fast fashion outfits, Narayapet saree still remains classy.

Hubli Cotton Sarees ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Plain weaves for lazy Summer afternoons
One of the most traditional sarees which I had seen apart from Ilkal saree is Hubli cotton sarees, due extreme humidity generally localities adore this saree for daily bases. This is one of the simple weaves but I totally in love with this saree, the texture of the saree is so soft due to the high count of cotton yarn used.

Bomkai sarees or Sonepuri Sarees ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Immersed in traditional spun
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.


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Tant Sarees from West Bengal India (also popularly known as Bengali Cotton Sarees) ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Traditional flawlessness crispy weaves to flaunt
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.

Sambalpuri cotton sarees ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
The oldest and largest city in Odisha is Sambalpur, it lies on the bank of Mahanadi river. Sambalpuri sarees are woven on a handloom, these sarees have awarded Geographical Indications(GI) tag as 'Sambalpuri Bandha Saree & Fabrics'. The official language of this place is sambalpuri, the localites of this place is called as Sambalpuriya. Sambalpuri sarees are produced in the Sonepur, Bargarh, Sambalpur, Balangir district, Boudh District of Odisha. The hands behind these traditional masterpieces sarees are Bhulia weaving community and to weave one Sambalpuri saree it may take around three days to a fortnight.

Patteda Anchu Saree ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
I never heard of Patteda Anchu Saree before
Well, many of them are not aware of this weave in the same state, it's an irony. Lack of awareness and less usage leads to this stage. It was in the year 2016 I first saw the Patteda Anchu Saree and I was very impressed at the first glance, for its simplicity and minimalistic weave, no woven designs these characteristics caught my attention towards this weave. Being and brought up in Karnataka, I was just familiar with Ilkal Saree, Molakalmuru Saree, KSIC Mysore Silk, Banahatti Saree, Hubli Saree because my mother had these magnificent weaves, and she wore them very often. When I told her about Patteda Anchu Saree, she was astonished and happy to shop one...

Parrot Motif ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Parrot motif, the bird of love and fortuneteller, Sarees are my passion
You call them as pet birds, the bird of love, best known for fortune-telling, these small little birds who are extremely friendly, many times repeating people’s words and phrases. As a child, I do recollect when I used to shop, I used to say parrot green not much of shade/tones or hues I knew those days and Parrot are called by varies names such as Tota, Kili, gini, Popata, Chiluka, tatta, shua and so on and it is considered as auspicious symbol having one.
Parrot motifs, many a times often used in couture designed for both brides and grooms and are prominently present in textiles from West Bengal, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. Parrot motifs are widely used in Chanderi sarees, Paithani saree of Maharashtra, Kanchipuram Organza sarees, Kanchipuram silk sarees, Pochampally silk sarees and the art sarees called Kalamkari, this cute bird symbolising passion and courtship.

Kasuti Embroidery ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Folk art of Karnataka-Kasuti Embroidery, Sarees are my passion
Graceful Mysore silk, traditional Ilkal sarees and one of the intricate hand embroidery called Kasuti embroidery hails from Karnataka, the word Kasuti is split across two words Kai which means hand and Suti meaning cotton, the activity which is done through cotton and hands. It was used on everyday apparels. Kasuti Embroidery is been given Geographical Indications, Karnataka Handicrafts Development Corporation(KHDC) holds a Geographical Indications(GI) protection for Kasuti embroidery.

Kasavu (Kerala) Saree ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Mind blowing nature, abundant coconut trees, endless backyard greenery, peppercorns, famous backwaters, lush tea and rubber plantation, elegant houseboats, simple and hospitable smile, coffee, cardamom, Kalaripayattu the martial arts, Kutiyattam (theater art), elephants, thundering Kathakali classical Indian dance, Pookalam, coastal foods, Ayurveda, thick forest, richest temples in the world, highest literacy rate in India, traditional taste-bud-tingling cuisine, Naalukettu houses, temple festivals, gigantic western ghats yes it's known as God's Own Country, Kerala!

Join classes - Sarees are my passion ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
You want to be your own boss without restrictions (unlike a job you work for others), time frame and you want to lead a business being an entrepreneur. So, if you are passionate about starting your own Saree business venture, here are few aspects you may stumble upon.

Chirala Cotton and Silk Sarees ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
A Coastal town, situated in Prakasam District in the state of Andhra Pradesh called Chirala, this town was also known as 'Kshirapuri'. Chirala town is renowned for handlooms. Years passed by, the town gained popularity for its excellent handloom sarees known for the softness and durability. The name Chirala means Saree in Telugu and so eventually the name of the town got transformed to Chirala. Main occupation of this village is handloom weaving and paddy cultivation.

Ilkal Cotton and Silk Sarees ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Contemporary Ilkal sarees goes on a delightful weaves!
The most down to earth yet vibrant colors are seen in traditional attire of Ilkal, Ilkal is a small town, this town is located in the South-East part of Bagalkote district, Karnataka state, India. This place is very hot during the summers but has a pleasant weather during the winters. The language of communication here is Kannada. Ilkal was an ancient weaving centre and known for renowned handloom sarees. The main source of income comes from the 'Red granite' which is exported all around the world, while Ilkal sarees are secondary source of income for the people residing over there since generations. The availability of local raw materials helped in the growth of this saree.

Before you start a Saree Business ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
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.