Pochampally Sarees: History, Influence and Making

Posted by mandakinisaree on March 26th, 2020

Pochampally Sarees: History, Influence and Making

 Perceivably, you can spot Pochampally Ikkat sarees by their “chowkra” patterns which look like waves with diffused edges or diamonds inside a square and the likes of it.

 Making of Pochampally Ikkat involves a tie-and-dye method where the yarns are dyed in elegant design patterns and then woven into the cloth. Widely, the cloth used is either cotton or silk. 

 Now, there’s more to the picture when it comes to Pochampally Sarees, so in this blogpost we are going to look at the history, weaving techniques, motifs and latest trends in Pochampally ikkat sarees. 

 Without further ado, let’s get right into it:

Pochampally Sarees: History and Origin

The art of making Pochampally saree or Pochampally Ikat goes back to the 1950's in the town of Bhoodan Pochampally, Telangana. 

At the time, the village head of Pochampally was determined to create weaves of cotton along with silk to boost labor profits. The traditional Pochampally Ikat weaving technique was brought to the town from Chirala, where they called the art as ‘Chit-ku’. Many weavers then learned and inherited the secrets of this art. 

Soon the wave spread across different mandals of Pochampally and the town became popular and capable enough to compete with other silk manufacturers across India. The weaving technique was very well-received in the industry due to the unique and classic nature of the fabric produced. 

By the year 1999, the Pochampally Ikat weaving techniques were spread across 10,000 families of artisans in 100 villages. Thus, this made the whole process of ikat making easier and cost-effective. Just after that, the machines were introduced in 2000 to make the weaving technique more precise and fast.

And, that’s how it all started back in the 20th century, leading to its evergreen influence on the tie and dye patola industry of India.

Evolution of Pochampally Ikat

Popularly referred to as ‘Silk City of India’, this town has given exceptional silk textile to the industry, posing tough competition to other Ikat weavings in India. With increasing demands, these Pochampally sarees soon flaunted silk Ikats wherein silk was brought from Bangalore and zari from Surat. Most sarees boast mesmeric geometric patterns on them handcrafted by expert artisans through the Ikat dyeing method. 

These skilled artisans have decades of expertise in creating intricate designs and color combinations to create perfect masterpieces. Some Pochampally sarees can even take up to 100 days to make until it's crafted to precision.

Today, the Pochampally Ikat weaving is preeminently evolving across the entire Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district. The art of weaving Pochampally sarees is quite contemporary, and doesn't really have solid native roots like other Ikat productions may have.

In 2010, the Indian government distributed the belt into two respective clusters or main weaving centers viz. Pochampally 1 and Pochampally 2. By the same token, efforts are being made by the government as well as various handloom organizations to revive this dying weaving art.

Art of Ikat weaving

Pochampally Ikkat Silk Sarees provide phenomenal comfort with a hint of elegance and grandeur that’s customarily expected from silk fabric. 

The weaves of Pochampally are primarily recognized as ‘Ikat’, ‘Ikkat’ and sometimes ‘tie and dye’ weaves. 

Ikat literally means tie. This resist dyeing method refers to the technique of creating the resist by binding bundles or single yarns. Then a tight wrapping is applied on the yarns in a geometric pattern and then these yarns are dyed.

Artisans may alter the bindings to create attractive new patterns and dye them again to make breathtaking color hues. This procedure is repeated multiple times until the desired patterns and multi-colors are produced. Once dyeing finishes, the bindings are finally removed and the yarns are free to be woven into the cloth now.

Pochampally and Patola saree both share similar tie-and-dye technique, but they also share an interesting tale of migration. The Salvis migrated from South India to Patan to weave silk Patola Sarees for the King. On the other hand, two brothers belonging to the traditional weaving community, named Venkiah and Malliah migrated from Chirala to Pochampally.

Pochampally Pattu Sarees or Ikkat Pattu Sarees are all about silk, as the name “pattu” itself is a traditional name of silk in Telugu and Tamil languages of South India.

Initially, Pochampally or Ikkat Sarees were only woven in coarse cotton fabrics, but later silk became a popular choice of fabric after all. In fact, the Bhoodan Pochampally town had the title of being a ‘silk mine’ of India up its sleeve back in the 18th century.

Pochampally silk sarees are lightweight and extremely comfortable to wear, making them perfect for summers! The classic and rich look of silk makes it an ideal choice for weddings and festivals.

Mandakini Store: Buy Pochampally Silk Saree Online

Here at Mandakini, you will find most quintessential Pochampally Ikkat Silk Sarees in Yellow-Blue, classic Black-Red combination, elegant Ivory Pochampally with a hint of red or purple and Rani pink Pochampallys with beautiful dull gold border.

Our collection has most traditional forms of Pochampally Ikkat patterns, but you will also see a plethora of modern Pochampally silk sarees inspired from the Patola sarees of Patan, Gujarat. These sarees have modern motifs on them boasting a mix of dancing girls, flowers, leaves, elephants, parrots and deers infused within geometrical grids.

Authentic Pochampally Ikkats

Pochampally Ikat is a registered textile, which belongs to local businesses, Pochampally Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society and the Pochampally Handloom Tie and Dye Silk Sarees Manufacturers Associations. 

The fabric was honored with a coveted GI (Geographical Indication) tag in the year 2005 and that’s exactly how it is marketed to the common public through these organizations. GI Tag differentiates Pochampally Sarees from other Ikat products in the market and also promotes exports, builds national identity and prevents duplicate productions.

Pochampally Ikat has also marked its place as “iconic saree weaving clusters of India” in UNESCO’s tentative list of world heritage.

Even the flight attendants of the Air India airplanes (official Indian Government airlines) are seen flaunting mesmeric Pochampally Silk sarees as their on-duty uniform.

Wrap Up

With this we wrap up our comprehensive blogpost on Pochampally Sarees. Hope you’ve got some invaluable insights on the historical significance, Ikat weaving techniques and influence of Pochampally Ikats on the market.

 Originally Published - https://www.mandakini.online/blogs/interweaving-traditions/pochampally-sarees-history-influence-and-making


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