Whether it is silk or cotton, a Pochampally saree has always been an essential part of a women’s wardrobe. The silk sarees come in an energetic palette of colours and patterns and is fit for special occasions like festivals and weddings. Whereas the Pochampally cotton sarees with vibrant geometric patterns make perfect office wear. While the blend of both silk and cotton serves both the purpose. Pochampally ikat is a silk saree that has originated in a small town named Bhoodan Pochampally, located in Nalgonda district of Telangana. This town is renowned as the “Silk City of India”, and it gives as a tough competition worldwide when it comes to the quality of Ikat production.
One of the marks that make this saree stand out from the rest is the Ikat patterns that are basically woven into the fabric in an engrossing geometric pattern spread all over the body of the saree. Its uniqueness lies in the process of firstly transferring of the colour and design onto the warp and weft threads and then weaving them together. The fabric can be either cotton, silk or a blend of the two known as sico. Traditional looms are used to weave these Pochampally sarees where the structural designs are more than a century old. Mostly the hands behind these masterpieces are from the Padmasali Community. So, when you are draping any of these Pochampally sarees with its mesmerizing essence, be ready for all types of compliments.
A symbol of pride
Though India is the second-largest producer of silk worldwide preceded by China, but when it comes to consuming silk items it is the leader. Pochampally handloom sarees are known for the durability of the yarn colours. You can make out the authenticity of a saree from the GI tag award that was received in the year 2005. It is practically the first traditional Indian craft to have received the status of geographical branding. The Pochampally silk sarees are popular for Ikat designs and styling. The trade secrets are usually passed down generation after generation. The weaving process of a Pochampally saree is nothing but an art. The weavers put in unending effort in weaving each of these sarees. They are known for their skill of beautifying the sarees in the traditional geometric patterns in Ikat style of dyeing that are intricate and rich in colours so that each saree attracts the attention of the onlooker.
Tips to identify a Pochampally Ikat saree
Here, are few tips that will help you in purchasing an authentic sarees:
- The best way to identify a Pochampally Ikat saree at a glance is from its texture, which is smoother than most other Ikat fabrics
- The geometric design on these handwoven sarees which is distinct makes it stand out from the rest
- Always notice if the Pochampally Ikat sarees have a GI tag
- Regular Ikat fabric is heavy, but Pochampally is exceptionally lightweight
Some striking features
One of the most prominent features of a Pochampally silk saree is its intricate geometric pattern spread all over. The detailing gives it a really captivating effect. These unique handloom sarees are so light in weight and comfortable to carry that you can make them your perfect companion in the hot and humid Indian climate. The rich lustre of silk makes it just the right pick for the festive season. Now check out some of its striking features:
- Colour – Pochampally Ikat sarees acquire their colour from only eco-friendly natural sources. Some of the prominent and bright colors that you would come across are pink, orange, yellow, rust, blue, green and dull golden. The patterns were mostly noticed in dull yellow earlier, but now you will come across bright colour designs too.
- Motifs – Pochampally Ikat sarees are eminently known for the geometric patterns on them. The Pochampally sarees had borrowed these distinctive motifs mostly from the Patola sarees of Gujarat which includes a mix of traditional diamond motifs, swans, elephants, floral, parrots and dancing girls. These motifs are often intermixed within a geometric grid commonly used. The electrifying patterns that are used are triangles, checks, stripes and a lot more. Most of the designs are woven following the rumal layout having wide plain borders. In this type of saree, the use of zari is also on the lighter side compared to the other traditional variants. But these are no less gorgeous or elegant.
Few interesting facts
More than half of the population of the village Pochampally is either directly or indirectly involved in the production of Pochampally Ikat. Around 5000 artisans from the Padmasali community are engaged in this art. In the case of Pochampally weaving, when the number of colours used increases, so does the price. The reason behind is, since this requires more labour and time, the cost of production is also high. Because of its colourful geometric patterns, Pochampally sarees remain always in fashion. Still, a lot of new and latest designs are incorporated nowadays so that they fit in the taste of today’s modern women. While weaving Pochampally Ikat sarees, it is possible to change the design for every 50 metres and they can come up with a variety of designs in a single saree. The annual income from the yield of Pochampally is around a spectacular figure of Rs.10,00,000,00/-. Pochampally saree happens to be the uniform of Air India’s air hostesses. Both on the wedding and reception days, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan wore Pochampally saree.
The price range
With the introduction of online marketing and huge competition in today’s market, you can easily buy Pochampally sarees online anywhere between Rs.8,000 and Rs.15,000. But if you want to go for the designer options they can range between Rs.30,000 to even Rs.1,00,000.
Not only limited to sarees
Today, you will find the Pochampally Ikat weave is used to craft other different beautiful handwoven products apart from the sarees. With the introduction of power looms which is known to cut down the cost and time of labour, Pochampally Ikat has made its way into various other items like bed covers, bedsheets, stoles, dress material, Anarkali salwar suits, lehenga cholis, bags and potlis, belts, neckpieces and some home décor items too like cushion covers, photo frames etc.
The best way to take care of your Pochampally silk saree is to give it for dry cleaning. But if you don’t have that option and have to wash it at home, then for the first three times at least soak it in cold water and avoid using any detergent. This will preserve the sheen and lustre of the silk saree. Later always use a mild detergent. Fold the saree neatly and store it in a saree bag to add to its durability. Once or twice a year take it out and let it outside in fresh air to avoid it from ripping.
Niayaa Craftloom’s initiative Niayaa Craftloom one of the budding online stores brings you some of the finest handloom creations of India in the form of Pochampally Ikat silk sarees globally for people who know the value of artistry and craftsmanship. By making these exclusive handlooms silk sarees available to the customers Niayaa pays homage to the rich artistic background of India and the effort of the hardworking craftsmen.