Saturday, August 29, 2009

Irkal Sarees

Irkal Sarees

Ilkal saree (Kannada: ಇಳಕಲ್ ಸೀರೆ) is a traditional form of saree which is a common feminine wear in India. Ilkal saree takes its name from the town of Ilkal in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka state, India.


Ilkal was an ancient weaving centre where the weaving seems to have started in the 8th century AD. The growth of these sarees is attributed to the patronage provided by the local chieftains in and around the town of Bellary. The availability of local raw materials helped in the growth of this saree. About 20000 people in the town of Ilkal are engaged in saree-weaving.

The distinctive feature of Ilkal sarees is the use of a form of embroidery called as Kasuti. The designs used in Kasuti reflect traditional patters like palanquins, elephants and lotuses which are embroidered onto Ilkal sarees. These sarees are usually 9 yards in length and the pallu of the Ilkal saree (the part worn over the shoulder) carries designs of temple towers.This pallu is usually made of red silk with white patterns. The end region of the pallu is made up of patterns of different shapes like hanige (comb), koti kammli (fort ramparts), toputenne (jowar) and rampa (mountain range). The border of the sari is very broad (4 to 6 inches) and red or maroon in colour and is made of different designs with ochre patterns. The saree is either made of cotton, or a mixture of cotton and silk or in pure silk. The colors traditionally used are pomegranate red, brilliant peacock green and parrot green. The sarees that are made for bridal wear are made of a particular colour called Giri Kumukum which is associated with the sindhoor worn by the wives of the priests in this region.

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