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                                    Pure Silk Sarees – a traditional need, a trendy proposition

The Indian woman and silk fabrics are made for each other. For the woman, it has traditionally been the love for the enchanting lure of gossamer material, so light, so shiny and so diaphanous; for the fabric it is the woman who drapes it around so snug and stylishly, it highlights it as attire of elegance and allure.

The appeal of the silk saree

The Indian saree is a garment from ancient times that has over the passage of time been much explored and experimented with, to transform it from a traditional attire of need to a fashion fabric of appeal. Silks have always been a favourite with women because of the rich look, airy comfort and the exclusiveness in price compared to other fabrics. Costly pure silk sarees range from 15000 rupees onwards to touch a lakh and above. Guarded jealously such silk sarees are worn with caution and care exercised at every step, to be donned for grand events only. Pure Silk sarees are for those exclusive occasions such as weddings, festivals, religious rites, grand parties or social invites.

Manufacturing of silk sarees across India

Almost all Indian States have an ancient tradition to have only silken sarees for weddings, festivals and other auspicious ceremonies. Once worn only by royalty and upper classes, today almost every average household lady in India would be having at least one silk saree. You have pure silk centres of Mysore, Dharmavaram, Kanjeevaram along with other notable places like Narayanpet, Pochampally, Uppada, Venkatagiri, Rasipuram, Arani, Coimbatore and some others with their own brands of silk fabrics in the Southern part of India. The Northern part has Banaras, Chanderi, Maheshwari, Kota, Chattisgarh, Bhagalpur and others. Rajasthan and Gujarat in the West, with Baluchar, Sambalpur eic. in Eastern Orissa, West Bengal and the North Eastern belt with Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, add to the variety of pure silks in India. All these have traditionally evolved their individual styles of weaving and adornment and have existed harmoniously for a long time.

Inspiring breath-taking weaves of good texture, fine thread counts, beautiful patterns and motifs displayed in a myriad of colours have seamlessly included the modern saree-wearer’s likes and preferences in new colour shades, embellishments on the saree, abstract and fancy prints, without sacrificing the essence of the ethnic quality.

There is a healthy mix even of different regions wherein the saree could have the attractive and appealing features of different traditional styles. Such as the modern designer prints being block printed on the body, the attach border having exquisite embroidery and the pallu portraying scenes from nature in eco-colours, hand painted in tribal art. IT has also helped in the design of extraordinary patterns with sensational colour combinations. Transfer of prints directly from the printer onto the fabric has also become a reality for one or two fabric types.

The superiority of pure silk in comparison

Silks are produced by several other insects, but generally only the silk of moth caterpillars has been used for textile manufacturing. There are a variety of wild silks, produced by caterpillars other than the mulberry silkworm that have been known to have a scale of production much smaller than that of cultivated silks. The mulberry silkworm Bombyx Mori reared in cultivated environment domestically, produces what is known to the world as pure silk. Reasons given are that domesticated silkworms are bred scientifically through a strictly controlled diet of mulberry leaves and the environment kept conducive for the making of cocoons by the silkworms. Naturaly the silk is of continuous long length staples, of good texture and feel about it since the silk yarn is reeled in without breaks from the cocoon directly, ensuring better strength of the silken fabrics. Wild silkworms, not ‘diet controlled’ nor under close observation, the reeling in is not continuous and with multiple breaks the overall texture and strength of the silken fibres is affected. The shimmering appearance of silk is due to refraction of incoming light from different angles, thus producing different colors.

The endearing properties of silk

Silk has good strength, is one of the best in fabric fibres. A natural shine, soft, smooth textured, pure silk is not slippery like many other fibres. Pure silk fabrics have universal appeal for the regal feel they provide. The purity of pure silk from the domestic silkworm serves as a comparison standard for fabrics with its yarn filament considered as 1 denier. The thickness or fineness of other yarn fibres, are compared using this as reference. Silk's absorbency makes it comfortable to wear in warm weather and while active. Its low conductivity keeps warm air close to the skin during cold weather. It finds application in all kinds of apparel and furnishin