What marks a special event? What do you remember about the last wedding you attended?
The attires, the color, and the authentic feel they offer are all the memories that these events leave behind. Have you ever wondered what it takes to create this work of art?
How the journey begins
It all starts with the silkworms. It is a long way before it can drape around you as the magnificent work of arts called Sarees.
The silk threads produced are processed and sent to different locations of the world where they are put together forming textiles. In Southern India, one such place in the state Tamil Nadu is from the district of Kancheepuram called the Silk City named ARNI. Here, the people solely rely on what is called “THARI” in the local slang for semi power loom machines. The people dedicate themselves to providing happiness and rejoice through the tiny threads. It is, however, a long process that may not require much concentration but certainly requires some effort. The pattern to be put on the textile is first decided upon after which pre-casted molds are made making sure that there is no room for mistakes as the tiniest of mistakes can look the most embarrassing on the big picture.
The attire comes into the picture
The Silk Sarees grace special occasions, it’s more a part of the culture and the traditional values these uphold than just about beauty and elegance.
Different varieties of silk sarees portray authenticity varying in qualities such as thickness, texture, color, patterns, and many more. It takes a weaver a minimum of 5 days with the power loom to complete a single standard-sized silk saree. The new rising trend of picture prints on the saree itself with threads is made possible only by the power loom. The newer generation is modifying many aspects of the saree making it more modern, fashionable, and trendy. Many concepts like the fusion and designer sarees have given them the independence to put in their creativity making the best out of what they wear.
The Saree business is however not very profitable so these weavers go through some real hardships and are not let to grow and prosper by big merchants. There are some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and cooperative societies set up for the protection and welfare of these weavers providing them with the help and aid in terms of principal amount and making it a keynote that they prosper.
What can we do on our part?
Try staying low-key on clothing and choose wisely, rather than preferring synthetic clothing – look for eco-friendly alternatives such as silk. The authenticity that the silk clothing can offer is undoubtedly supreme but not everybody is aware of these clothing. If big clothing franchises could invest small amounts of principal followed by a large amount of trust, these silk weavers will get the chance to grow and learn.
Using the power loom or the THARI(local slang) isn’t difficult to use. Being a family thing is being passed on through generations. The tradition is now a family practice. Some families have the reputation of being better in doing what they do than the others. This is also a factor for the hike in the price of the saree itself.
The Final Touches
Embroidery work also plays a significant role, the pattern, thickness, design are all deciding factors of the price and significance of the silk saree. Also, stonework is significantly being used as it gives the saree- the luster and shine.
The power looms used in the production of silk sarees require a dedicated room. The power loom and its components are placed, the silk weaver has a dedicated spot in the center of the machinery. He sits with his lower body below ground level for easy operation. He performs a set of predefined actions simultaneously or in series. As a result, individual threads which is technically called weaving but here, it’s very quick and comparatively easier.
“Change is inevitable”, there could be a quick transformation anytime sooner and the custom, tradition, or even the whole concept of the attire called saree might get outdated. We need to make it a point that we are not going to let the custom die at the cost of our carelessness.
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