Originating from the picturesque town of Molakalmuru in Karnataka, these sarees are a testament to the artistry of the region. Molakalmuru, nestled approximately 245 kilometres away from the state capital, is not just known for its scenic beauty but also for its exquisite sarees, often referred to as Karnataka Kanchipuram. While agriculture plays a vital role in the town’s economy, weaving is the primary occupation, with around 1,500 skilled weavers creating these masterpieces.
Fabric and Design:
Molakalmuru sarees are crafted from pure silk, predominantly using the mulberry variety. Zari, sourced from the renowned zari production hub of Surat, is skillfully incorporated into these sarees. The silk comes from the Bengaluru Silk Exchange, ensuring the finest quality. The limited production, exclusive to Molakalmuru, results in only about 440 sarees being made. These sarees boast intricate motifs inspired by nature, featuring floral prints, animals, fruits, birds, and more. Geometric and symmetrical patterns are also gaining popularity.
Heritage and History:
The history of Molakalmuru sarees dates back to the 19th century when the Sourashtra community from Maharashtra and the Padmashali community from Andhra Pradesh migrated to the region. These sarees gained royal patronage from Nalvadi Krishnarajendra Wodeyar, the prince of Mysore, due to their breathtaking designs.
Molakalmuru sarees are known for their vibrant colors, including shades of blue, pink, black, green, mustard, and red. The pallu, an essential part of any saree, is truly magnificent and often contrasts beautifully with the body of the saree.
Traditional Weaving Techniques:
These sarees are meticulously handcrafted using traditional handlooms, including the Kuttu technique, which involves manual interlacing of the border and body, and the Chalu Technique, which joins warp ends of the pallu. The tie and dye method is employed for coloring, and it takes approximately eight days to create a single Molakalmuru Saree.
Molakalmuru sarees come in various sub-varieties, including the butta saree, long border Molakalmuru sarees, and Double Molakalmuru sarees, each with its unique charm.
In 2006, Molakalmuru pure silk Handloom saree was registered under the Geographical Indication Act, protecting the interests of its producers and weavers.
These sarees are not just beloved in India but have also captured the hearts of fashion enthusiasts worldwide, including the United States of America and Australia.
As modernization continues to advance, let’s remember to cherish our cultural roots. Sarees are not just attire; they are an identity. “We should feel empowered by where we came from and who we are, not hide it.” 🇮🇳
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