The special technique of the Pochampally silk weave

The Ikkat technique involves applying bindings which resist dye penetration to the threads in pre-determined patterns and then dyeing the threads. These threads are then woven to produce the desired pattern. When several colours are used, the dyeing process on the threads is repeated for each of the colours chosen. Then the fabric is woven with the multi-coloured threads into the pattern. Within the ikkat style of dyeing are methods of single-ikkat and double-ikkat.

Pochampally silk weave

Single ikkat has two variants – warp ikkat where the warp threads are dyed after applying resists according to pattern on the warp threads. After that, only, is the weaving done. In the weft ikkat it is the weft threads which are coloured by applying resists before the dyeing and then weaving is done.

Single ikkat

In either case the dyeing is done prior to the weaving so carefully that the pattern emerges as the weave progresses. In the double ikkat method both the warp and weft threads are dyed before weaving.

Alternatively, in the tie-dye method it is quite the reverse of the Ikkat style of dyeing. Here the threads are first woven and the resist bindings then applied to the fabric before dyeing it.

Double ikkat
Endearing features of the Pochampally silk saree

The painstaking efforts of the weavers in maintaining the purity of dyeing and weaving, including the control and placement of threads during the weave contribute largely to the complexity of the weave patterns and pleasing appearance of the sarees. Colours that are employed for the dyeing of threads are fast and well-chosen. No wonder the outcome of the Pochampally saree displays an extraordinary ethnic skill that is hard to match. Current trends see Pochampally silk saris with traditional designs, zari borders and elegant pallus with pleasing designs and colourful prints, making it a must-buy for weddings, festivals, traditional functions and even corporate wear.