Beautiful fabrics last; synthetics don’t. Certain fabrics, develop their own character over time.
This is precisely what one would say about the Pochampally saree, a fabric that traditionally evolved as one of the finest handloom offerings of South India.
Who has not heard of Pochampally? A small village in Nalgonda District, Telangana, from where Vinobha Bhave had started his Bhoodan Movement across India. Today it is the home to some of the finest fabrics in silk and cotton, in both single and double ikat. The latter variety especially is a specialty weave of Pochampally that involves effort and intricacies to ultimately yield unique and classy outcomes.
Unnati Silks and a special class of Pochampally Silks
Pochampally ikat or for that matter any form of ikat comes out beautifully on cotton fabric. There is however a new lot of Pochampally handloom silk ikat sarees brought out from Unnati Silks. Two ranges have been offered.
- Pochampally Ikat Kuppadam Silk Cotton Pattu Saree
- Pure Handloom Pochampally Ikat Silk Saree
Pochampally Ikat Kuppadam Silk Cotton Pattu Saree
What is Kupadam? It is a cotton field with pure silk, zari border and pallu. The fine cotton field is woven separately, with the Pallu made of pure silk. The interlock weft technique is known as Kupadam. The procedure involves sections of the warp and weft tied first and then resist-dyed to achieve a pre-fixed design pattern. This is then interlaced to get the perfect Pochampally Ikat.
The difference in the single and double ikat lies in the manner in which the dyeing is done – single has only the warp dyed whereas double has both warp and weft dyed.
What does one observe in this range of fine Pochampally ikats?
For a start the ikat border with some motif continuously along its length is the prime attraction. The ikat, having a large width is split into two equal sections by a lovely medium width golden zari piece running the length of the border. The choice of the plain body is simply neon or vibrant. When you have colors like bright yellow, blue, green as the body color the effect is like a lightning bolt. If there were golden zari striations then the effect is heightened further.
One yellow saree reminds me of the dress color that Amal Clooney (wife of George Clooney) sported on the wedding day of prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently.
Exploring the other features we find the ikat saree handwoven and handcrafted, the pallu is a designer affair with added allure from the tasseled end portion in multi-color threads.
The Handloom Mark lends its legal weight certifying it as a genuine Handloom product.
Pure Handloom Pochampally Ikat Silk Saree
Here too there is lot of vibrancy in the chosen colors of yellow, blue, green but with the sheen of pure silk. There is a deep golden zari border running all along its length on the outer, whereas on its inner border is the lovely colorful ikat with its motifs of flora and fauna. An added attraction is the innermost border next to the ikat one that has the popular temple design throughout the length. The Pallu has a different color compared to that of the body, and there are light golden zari bands along its width. The body has the checks pattern in sizes big and small.
Both the pure silk and silk cotton versions are lovely in the sense that they lighten up the environs. If the wearer were to wear a good plain contrasting blouse with semi circular neck and three fourth sleeve format and suitable accessories the effect could be devastating.
Pochampally is an art and craft to be encouraged for its unique imaginative designs and the craftsmanship in the weave. No tradition can survive merely on praise and discouraging returns. If tradition needs a morale booster, then it is the market that has to do its job of acknowledging and promising returns.