Although people in the Indian subcontinent have used sarees since ancient times, the modern saree dates back to the 12th century, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. The first Pochampally sarees are much more recent, dating back 1970. Unlike other textile industries in India, the weaving of Pochampally sarees does not have strong roots in the past.
A saree or sari is a traditional garment for women in the Indian subcontinent, made of colorful and richly decorated silk, cotton or even synthetic cloth. Sarees made in Pochampally, an administrative area of the Indian State Andhra Pradesh, are famous for their colorful patterns often found on their borders. Like sarees from other regions, Pochampally sarees are about 5 to 7 yards long, and are worn wrapped around the body. Considered luxurious garments by many people, Pochampally sarees are often worn for special occasions, such as weddings.
History of the Pochampally Saree
The characteristic features of Pochampally sarees are their bold, large and bright patterns, which are often based on abstract shapes and geometric lines. In addition to patterned colorful borders, Pochampally sarees can also have wide and plain borders. Like Kancheepuram and Banarasi sarees, Pochampally sarees also have a GI (geographical indications) registration, which confers legal protection against imitation.
Pochampally artisans use a weaving technique called "ikat," where the yarn is dyed before weaving, in order to create the designs on the fabric. Although traditionally handwoven, some Pochampally sarees are also made with the Aasu machine. Local artisan Mallesham invented the machine in 2001, and featured in the Forbes list of Rural Innovators, according to the news portal "Telegu People." While an artisan can take five hours to produce a saree, the machine does the same job in only one hour.
Although Indian wedding traditions can vary according to caste, religion, ethnicity and region, traditional Indian weddings are commonly organized in pre-wedding ceremonies, wedding day ceremonies and the Vidaai, which marks the bride's departure from the home of her parents. During these celebrations, people often wear luxurious clothes and jewelry. Due to their beauty and delicacy, Pochampally sarees are popular in weddings, not only around the area they are produced, but across India and in other countries.
- Encyclopaedia Britannica: Sari
- Telegu People: Mallesham - The Hero of Pochampally Saree!
- Utsav:Pochampally Sarees
- "The Hindu"; GI Registration: Pochampally Sarees Set The Trend; Indrani Dutta; December 2005
- "The Sari: Styles, Patterns, History, Techniques"; Linda Lynton, Sanjay K. Singh; 1995
- Photo Credit Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images