The pleasure of double weaving | Herald of the Deccan

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By now we are all quite familiar with the exceptional Ikat that Pochampally weavers magically weave into sarees and cotton and silk materials. The weavers of the village of Pochampally (about 40 km from Hyderabad, in the Yadadri Bhongir district of Telangana) who create fabrics with intricate geometric patterns, textures and hues, have not only successfully resisted the invasions of the looms. weave, but also managed to get the The village of Pochampally is ranked the best tourist village in the world by the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

But what is ikat? In the Indonesian language, it means ‘to bind’. It is a dyeing technique originating in Indonesia to shape textiles. He uses a “resistant dye” on the threads, before dyeing and weaving the fabric. This traditional method of dyeing textiles uses a resistance technique that helps prevent the dye from reaching the fabric, creating a pattern.

“A single Pochampally sari requires silk threads about 15 kilometers long! The hallmark of Ikat textiles is to bring an apparent vagueness to the design; this requires a highly skilled workforce who must have a precise arrangement of the dyed yarns for the patterns to emerge perfectly. Textile collectors keep an eye on the blur; the more it makes it classier and more expensive, ”Mallesham said in his TEDx talk. He was credited with inventing the Laxmi Asu machine to mechanize and process the yarn involved in Pochampally weaving, a major technological revolution for Pochampally weavers.

Many skilled Pochampally weavers boast of the “Double Ikat” created by the resistant dyeing of both the warp and weft before weaving. “When our warp and weft overlap to create common identical patterns, we call it double-ikat,” says second-generation weaver Boga Balaiah who took the art of pochampally-ikat to another level.

But how can weavers cope with soaring commodity prices, cheap replicas and competing electric looms? “We’re in touch with half a dozen weavers, and as part of the traditional Pochampally, we personalize the designs so that as an arts revival boutique, we can give the customer something inspiring and help the customer. weaver to adopt innovative designs. . It helps the weaving become relevant to the current generation, ”says Bharathy Harish of Madhurya Creations as she extends a deep red and yellow Pochampally to explain the imaginative piece. “The two-legged elephant interspersed with birds, animals and flowers is a double Ikat creation surrounded by diverse flora and fauna highlighted in the geometric identity of Pochampally. It took a family of weavers three months to tell a story in such rich and intricate detail, ”Bharathy adds.

Influences from Southeast Asia

Ikat is special because of its influences from Southeast Asia. “The intensive labor involved in the production of the weaves has survived in Gujarat, Odisha and the Andhra-Telangana regions. While Patan Patola (Gujarat) brings in nearly a dozen flora and fauna motifs, including the Nari Kunj, Pochampally has mostly stuck to his geometric versions, although he has had fleeting romances with other design ideas of nature, thus diversifying its plateau. The Cambodian interpretations that have evolved have curiously now Ikat with a Jacquard blend, ”explains Padmaja Sakhamuri, committee member of the Karnataka Trades Council, and manager, Vastrabharana.

Pochampally Ikat (caught in a range of Rs 6,000 to Rs 80,000) is characterized by its bold and colorful patterns in cotton and silk. “One of Pochampally’s most famous double Ikat models is the Telia Rumal, which was originally used for scarves,” says Siva Devireddy, founder of GoCoop, a nationally award-winning online initiative to support weavers. GoCoop works with nearly 400 cooperatives, weaving entrepreneurs and craft organizations across India through its online marketplace and offline exhibitions. The Global Tourism Recognition Label is another milestone in their quest to see their weaving gain global recognition.

Pochampally even inspired director Shyam Benegal to make a film about the life and times of Indian weavers in his 1987 film. Susman; he chose to portray the angst and struggle of the Ikat weavers when the looms began mass production. “The richness of our weaving means that women politicians in our country prefer to wear our saris. In 2003, Air India had ordered Pochampally sarees for its cabin crew for a few years and the Telangana government also presented a hand-woven silk saree to Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, ”said Bharata Vasudev of the Pochampally Handloom Weaver’s Co-op Society.

Chronicles of the loom is a monthly series about the various Indian looms, their defining elements and the history hidden in their folds.

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