From: Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
Negamam saree is weaved from Kora Silk, Silk Cotton, or Pure Cotton. The sarees typically have narrow borders and intricate pallus adorned with traditional motifs like peacocks, parrots, paisleys, elephants, and swans, which are often repeated and mirrored across the fabric.
From: Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh
A small part of our very precious past lies in the very quaint village of Ponduru. A mere 30km from Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh, this place is home to Ponduru Cotton, a variety favored by no other than the Mahatma himself.
The uniqueness of Ponduru Cotton lies in the fiber - produced mainly from short staple hill variety cotton that is so pest resistant, it allows for chemical free farming!
Kanchipuram Cotton Sarees
From: Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
Specially Designed for women to wear in the traditional ceremonies, weddings and other festivities. Legend has it that Kanchipuram weavers are descendants of Sage Markanda, who was considered to be the master weaver for the Gods themselves.
From: Salem, Tamil Nadu
The most discernible weave of Salem is the Salem cotton weave with the butta design of the pallu and border giving it a distinctive appearance. The weave count is responsible for the strength and softness.
Kovai Kora Cotton Saree
From: Kovai (Coimbatore), Tamil Nadu
A unique blend of cotton yarn of the highest quality and traditional silk is woven on traditional handlooms to produce the famed Kovai Kora sarees. Coarse in appearance but soft to the touch, this trait has become the keystone behind the Kovai Kora weave and this softness is due to the usage of Kora. It takes about three days for the weavers to produce each exquisite Kovai Kora sari.
From: Burdwan, West Bengal
Jamdani weave of West Bengal is one of the finest varieties of muslin handwoven from cotton. The name Jamdani is of Persian origin and comes from the word “jam” meaning flower and “dani” meaning vase. The name is suggestive of the beautiful floral motifs on these sarees.
From: Gandhigram, Tamil Nadu
Gandhigram Handloom not only keeps the nation’s heritage alive but also provides livelihood to nearly two thousand people. Gandhigram Handloom is unique because of the geometric checks and stripes woven in the fabric, in addition to plain textures. Use of natural dyes is also endearing to the patrons.
India has more than 136 unique weaves mostly in the form of sarees. Traditionally woven in cotton and silk, the sarees represent the backbone of Indian Handloom sector rapidly being replaced by machines and synthetic fibres in their quest for survival.
These are the last generation of skilled weavers engaged in handspun /handloom sector with the younger generation having moved on to newer industries.
The techniques of cultivating organic cotton, the cotton preparatory process for weaving, the intricacy of weaving styles, use of natural dyes in dyeing fabric and printing techniques are all inspired culturally and regionally and is an art form which needs to be preserved so that the knowledge is not lost. Traditionally, these sustainable methods have created their own ecosystems for the empowerment of local communities.
Global Consumption of synthetic fibres clothing is a huge concern today impacting not only the environment but also the health of populations.
Save the Weave is a movement, initiated by Isha Foundation, which will attempt to bring awareness globally and in India about the need to shift to natural fibres. It will advocate peaceful co-existence with nature by promoting use of natural fibres in all textile forms.
The movement will create a platform for connecting resources in design and natural dye interventions, market access, organic cotton farming and skill development. Designers Vaishali, Suket Dhir, Anu Vardhan, Dhivyam and others will be collaborating to create Contemporary Fashion Clothing to support the Save the Weave Movement.