Mysore Sarees

From the land of silk and sandalwood, comes a fine textile fit for royalty. The Mysore silk saree is manufactured in Karnataka, which happens to be one of the largest mulberry silk producers in the country. It has come to become one of India’s fastest selling, and most demanded handloom products. The vibrant (in colour) yet subtle (in work) sarees with a smooth texture, minimalist design and rich feel make it an eternal favourite for weddings and traditional ceremonies. Here’s digging a little deeper into Mysore’s well-kept handloom secret.

Old Pattu Saree Buyers in Oragadam

The growth of Mysore silk sarees is credited to the reign of Tipu Sultan in 1785 AD. But what has kept the craze going is the quality of fabric, a mix of 100 per cent fine silk and pure gold zari (which is 65 per cent silver and 0.65 per cent pure gold) that comes together to create a perfectly stylish piece of South Indian culture for the discerning global fashionista.

Legend also has it that Maharaja Krishna Raj Wadiyar IV went to Britain to be a part of Queen Victoria’s jubilee celebrations and was taken in by the machine-made silk fabrics that the British royalties donned. He then went on to order 32 power looms from Switzerland and began what is now known as the first production of machine-made silk sarees in India.

This is followed by various steps like soaking, twisting, wefting and winding. Once the winding is done, the yarn is ready to be weaved. The weaving process involves two types of looms – the Dobby loom and the Jacquard loom. It takes about four hours to make one saree after which the next step – degumming – begins. Degumming helps to smoothen the fabric. The saree is then sent to dye and wash.

The semi-dry sarees are steam ironed on a massive machine, and the saree is then cut to the desired length. Each saree measures about 5.5 meters and the pallu is made with an exquisite design and has a blouse-piece material attached to it.

At this stage, the saree also gets a unique identification code that allows you to always be sure of authenticity.

Special features
The most distinct feature of the saree is the use of genuine silk and pure gold zari which gives it a natural sheen and rich texture. Since the sarees are exclusively manufactured and produced, each piece has a distinct mark, that lets you be sure of the authenticity and long-lasting fabric.

The quality of silk also ensures that the saree is self-maintained, so don’t be surprised if you pull out an old piece from your mom’s closet and find it to be as good as new. Also, the plain one-toned colour sets the saree apart from the rest of the products in the market. You’ll know that it is an authentic Mysore silk saree owing to its simple design and lustre that can be spotted from a mile away.