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National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 1

2 Thugil | Fashion Design Department, 2019

National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 3

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To the weavers... National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 5

Study and Survey of the craft and documentation by Himanshi Singh K Keerthi Vasan Nisha S Shone J Kallumkal Swetha P V Preethijavani Vaishnavi Jha Fashion Design 2017-2021, Chennai Copyright @ National Institute of Fashion Technology, Year 2019 All rights reserved : No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system or transmitted in any form by means of electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior permission from National Institute of Fashion Technology, except by a reviewer/reader who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a paper review/essay written for inclusion in a periodical, newspaper or broadcast. Faculty guide/ Mentor (s) : ______________________ 6 Thugil | Fashion Design Department, 2019

Declaration We hereby declare that this craft cluster document titled Thugil was carried out by us for assessment in the July of 2019, under the supervision of our esteemed institution, National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai The feedbacks, interpretation and research work put forth are based on our understanding of reading texts and interacting with artisans for first hand information. The books and websites referred for secondary information have been acknowledged at their respective place in the following texts We are submitting this document to the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 7

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Acknowledgement Through this document we take the opportunity to express our sincere gratitude and thankfulness to all who have helped us in making our research and documentation a very knowledgeable experience. Our research was supported by our college, the National Institute Of Fashion Technology, Chennai and we sincerely thank the fraternity at the institution for giving us students a chance to travel to a place of such cultural significance. Through this exposure we were able to document the art directly from its origin. We express our heartfelt gratitude to Ms.Seetha, our mentor for her constant concern and guidance. We would also like to thank Mr.Gopal, immensely, for accompanying us throughout our research and helping us gather information in every minute way possible We extend our greatest regard and appreciation to the hundreds of weavers of Thirubuvanam, for their warmth, kindness and willingness to share their traditional art with us. Finally, we would like to thank our parents and friends, for being with us every step of the way and for believing in our faith of making this project come to life! National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 9

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Preface Thugil, a tamil word, translated into the English language literally means ‘fine cloth’ or ‘rich attire’! Through the documentation, we intend to take you along on a journey of discovery of art and soul in a small town in the Southern part of India. In the heritage district of Thanjavur, tucked under the grandeur of its Dravidian temples and the aroma of freshly fried Vadai , lies the town of Thirubuvanam, where hundreds of weaver families have been crafting authentic, intricate silk sarees. Our team travelled to this prolific town in the July of 2019, to interact with the designers and artisans to learn what goes behind making one of the finest textiles of the country from scratch! We have studied the demographics, psychographics, socio-economic situation, skills and achievements of the said people and had the wonderful opportunity to learn the weaving process thoroughly. Through this document, we intend to share our journey and knowledge of what it was like, looking for art and tradition in the verdure of the dusty lanes of Thirubuvanam! National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 11

14 India 20 Roots of colour and culture Tamil Nadu A land of glorious history and thriving presence 24 Thanjavur Discovering tradition in the art capital of South 28 Kumbakonam 34 Finding the finest weave, coffee and people Thirubhuvanam The soul of fine weaving tradition 38 Weaving 46 The creation of saree Sarees Six yards of pure grace 50 Scouring The purification process 12 Thugil | Fashion Design Department, 2019

54 Dyeing Contents 58 64 Where the colourful magic happens 70 Reeds and Shaft 80 Making of the twin equipment 86 94 Sizing 114 The heart of weaving Designing Transcription of ideas to fabric Finishing The final step Thico Silks Liberater of the handloom weavers Artisans The hands behind the craft Annexure Miscellaneous items National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 13

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“India: Roots of Colour and Culture ” National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 15

The Crafts Crafts have been interwoven with Indian culture from a long time. India is known for its unique, rich and vibrant variety of crafts : metal works, jewellery, stone carving, bamboo crafts and weaving. In north and central India, the art of wood works, carpet making, pottery and metal works are practised. People from south Indian sea shores excel in shell handicrafts and weaving. Wooden handicrafts are made in Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh. The eastern states produce exquisite bamboo products. Metal works are prevalent in Kerala, Jharkhand and Rajasthan. Weaving and embroidery forms an important part of the craft industry and is done almost around the country. 16 Thugil | Fashion Design Department, 2019

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The Textiles The varied geographical and climatic conditions make a huge range of plant fibres and natural dyes available for cultivators, weavers, dyers, printers and embroiderers on the subcontinent. The local resources helped develop specialties based on regions : the golden silks of Assam, the fine cottons of Bengal, or the red dyes of south- east India. India is the second largest producer of silk in the world and has the distinction of manufacturing four varieties: Mulberry, Eria, Tassar and Muga silks.Tamil Nadu is the fifth largest producer of raw silk in the country. National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 19

“ A land of glorious history and a thriving presence ” 20 Thugil | Fashion Design Department, 2019

Tamil Nadu National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 21

Language People The ancient, classical Tamil is the official People of Tamil Nadu are said to be language in Tamil Nadu and people here very religious and observe rituals and attach a lot of respect and regard to sacred performances on festivals that their language. It is thought to have been are celebrated with pomp and grander born before 500 BC, as Tamil-Brahmin throughout the year. While a majority inscriptions from 500 BC have been found of Tamils are Hindus, Christians form on Adichanallur, an archaeological site in a substantial part of the population and Tamil Nadu. It’s not the oldest language Muslims live in harmony and have their in the world, but it is the oldest living own places of worship and festivals to language that’s still being used today. celebrate. 22 Thugil | Fashion Design Department, 2019

Culture Cuisine The state of Tamil Nadu is known for its Tamil Nadu state is said to be one of the immensely rich art, heritage and culture. It finest places in India for offering a bagful is known as the ‘temple state of India”, as of culinary treasure for tourists to savour. it is filled with heritage rich huge temples The state offers a wide variety of mouth- with lofty gateways, intricate rock carvings, watering cuisines like Chettinadu Cuisine, beautiful silk weaving, bronze sculptures, Kongunadu Cuisine and Nanjil Nadu divine music and the most complex Cuisine. Food is usually served in a long, classical dance broad plantain leaf that has medicinal properties. National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 23

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Thanjavur “Discovering tradition in the art capital of the South ” National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 25

Thanjavur, popularly known as the ‘Art capital of South India’, is an important center of South Indian religion, art, and architecture. The city is also called the ‘rice bowl of Tamil Nadu’ because of its green fertile plains and is a main agricultural center. Thanjavur has a vibrant history, it rose to prominence during the reign of Cholas when it served as the capital of the empire and became a hub of learning and culture. The city also consists of a large share of the most spectacular ancient temples of Tamil Nadu. The Brihadeeswarar Temple, an architectural wonder, is the most famous tourist spots in Thanjavur. This 11th century Shiva temple built in tawny granite, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other tourist attractions include Saraswathi Mahal, Sangeetha Mahal, Schwartz Church and Raja Raja Museum. The Tamil-Maratha fusion cuisine of Thanjavur consists of a wide range of delicacies. It is believed that the south Indian sambar was first cooked in the Maratha royal kitchens of Thanjavur. Though the district is dominated by agriculture, the town is diverse in its own, having a homogenous mix of population of all religions. 26 Thugil | Fashion Design Department, 2019

Thanjavur is known as the rice bowl of South India. National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 27

Kumbakonam “Finding the finest weave, coffee and people ” 28 Thugil | Fashion Design Department, 2019

National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 29

Kumbakonam is the temple city of South India situated in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. This small town is located amidst the two rivers, Cauvery & Arasalar. This small town is filled with many architectural wonders and fascinating temples.The city is very well known for its magnificent Mahamaham festival, which is celebrated once in every 12 years. Also referred to as “Cambridge of South India”, the town is an important educational centre with prestigious institutions like Government Arts College where the great mathematician Ramanujan studied. Kumbakonam is home to some exquisite arts and crafts like silk sarees, metal sculptures and brass vessels. The town also comprises of many small scale, major ones being Silk, Scented & Shredded Supari, Chewing Tobacco, Brass & Stainless Steel Wares, Icon & Pith ware, Cosmetics etc. The Folk Tale Brahma, the creator after the Prilaya Era, to continue with his work of creation wanted to have a Peetam. Lord Shiva asked him to make a pot made of “Amirhtam” and sand. The pot had a Peetam in it, with the vedas around it on four sides. A coconut was kept over the pot and garlands of Poonul (Sacred Thread ) and Tharpai were decorated and Brahma worshipped it. During a flood, the pot floated and moved towards south from Kailash. Lord Shiva in the disguise of a hunter, broke the pot with an arrow and the amirtham spilled as “AMIRTHA THEERTHAM”. Mixing the amirtham of the Kumbha with sand Lord Shiva emerged as LINGAM. The sacred place where he gave darshan as “KUMBESWARAN” is now called as KUMBAKONAM. 30 Thugil | Fashion Design Department, 2019

Route map to Kumbakonam from Chennai National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 31

ECONOMY HANDICRAFT Kumbakonam is a major commercial center for Handicrafts include eco-friendly products made from Thanjavur district. It is a chief producer for rice, Palmyra fibre such as wall hangings, brooms, mats and betel leaves and nuts. The town is also an important baskets. Ancient palm leaf baskets are also manufactured manufacturer of fertilizers. Major products produced here. Kumbakonam is also known for its high-quality here are brass, bronze, copper and pewter vessels, silk metal and bronze wares. Bronze sculptures of deities and cotton fabrics, sugar, indigo and pottery.. Silk- made here are extremely elaborate and detailed. The art weaving plays an important part in the economy with of silk weaving has been practiced here from several more than 5,000 families practicing it. Thirubuvanam centuries, many weavers originally hail from Saurashtra Silk Sarees made here are one of the most finest Silk in Gujarat.The silk sarees are made from high quality, sarees . Tourism also plays a significant role in the town’s sheen lature silk. economy. LOCAL FESTIVALS CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE Pongal, Karthigai Deepam, Natyanjali Dance Festival MUSIC AND DANCE FORMS and Thaipusam are some of the most important festivals Kumbakonam is a centre for Carnatic music. Ancient celebrated here. But the most prominent and famous Sangam books like Pathupattu and Ettuthokai have festival is the Mahamaham festival which is celebrated references of folk and traditional songs. These ancient once every 12 years between February-March. It is songs were used in the composition sung by the Saiva celebrated at the local Mahamaham tank where the local saints. Some popular folk songs include Urumi Melam devotees take a bath to wash off their sins. About one and Pulaya. Traditional dances and music are performed million pilgrims come to Kumbakonam for the festival. regularly during temple festivals. Folk dance forms like The festival was earlier celebrated in 2016 and the next Kali Attam, Devaraattam, Karagaattam, Thappattai, one will take place in 2028. Peacock Dance and Dummy Horse Dance represent artistic value of the town. 32 Thugil | Fashion Design Department, 2019

RELIGIOUS LIFE AND WORSHIP LOCAL WAY OF DRESSING People primarily pray to the Hindu Gods, the Village Women like to dress up in elegant silk sarees, salwar suits Gods and the devils. Brahmans and other upper castes are also a popular choice for the younger generation. worship arasu and margosa trees, which are usually Men wear lungi, shirt and angavastra. However, young planted together signifying marriage. Cobras are men prefer modern shirts and trousers. considered sacred by other castes and killing one is LOCAL CUISINE believed to be a sin. Cattle are worshipped when the One can find authentic and mouth watering tamil food at ploughing begins, the earth is worshipped when the Kumbakonam. Staple diet usually consists of vegetarian seed is sown and the water of the first floods of the food. The famous Kumbakonam degree kaapi gets its year is worshipped too. name from the town. Most common dishes are Idly SUPERSTITION with kadabba, Rava dosa, rice upma, and curd rice. The Thelocalsfollowandbelieveinanumberof superstitions. local thali called sappadu is delightful which consists of It is a good omen to hear a bell ring, a cannon sound, rice, poori, vegetable curry, sambhar, rasam, chutney, the braying of an ass, the cry of a Brahmani kite, or payasam and papad. on first leaving the house, to catch sight of a married woman, a corpse, flowers, water or a toddy pot. National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 33 Bad omens are to hear sneezing, or to be questioned as to any business on which one is going, or directly after leaving the house, to catch sight of either one Brahman, two Sudras, a widow, oil, a snake, a huntsman, a sanyasi or a number of other things. Dreams are considered significant too, a dream of a temple car in motion indicates death of some near relative and that dreams of good or ill generally foretell the reverse.

Thirubhuvanam “The soul of fine weaving tradition ” 34 Thugil | Fashion Design Department, 2019

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Thirubuvanam is an ancient temple town associated with the making of aesthetic silk sarees, traditionally weighing around 450-1250 gm. The silk weighs around 400 gm and the rest of the weight is constituted by the Zari, Conventionally these silk sarees would measure about 18ft. in length and 4ft in breadth with one sided border only. In practice, it takes almost 15 days to complete the creation of a saree, with finesse. These sarees are elaborately hand-woven and contain intricate brocades and motifs which are well-received. Silk is stronger than most natural fibers, and is comparable in strength to synthetic fibers such as nylon and polyester. Garments made form silk are light, but warm and absorbent. They have excellent draping qualities and have a natural resistance to creasing and wrinkling. Notably, this is the only society with an ISO Mark, which speaks volumes about the quality of the goods. Thirubuvanam Silk Saree are traditional wedding saree of pure silk and gold electro plated silver zari thread, medium weight with motifs, body and border woven in the same single warp. Thirubuvanam Silk Saree are made from the commonly domesticated silk worm of the Genus Bombyx which feeds on the leaves of the mulberry tree hence also called mulberry silk. The speciality of the Thirubuvanam silk saree is that using filature silk for both warp and weft resulting in high Quality, Shining, Uniformity and luster. The Society is using best skein of yarn and Gold-electro plated Silver Zari. The silk dyed in the society owned dye house with ETP and ZLD facility itself and given to the weavers as per the design. The common designs of motifs used in Thirubuvanam are natural and floral like that Mango, Kalasam, Temple, Ruthratcham, Diamond, Neli and Kodi visiri. Border: Another speciality ‘korvai’ means solid or contrast borders with series of delicately woven in zari. The three bells denoting the chalangai or anklet could well be followed by the chequered pattern of the peacock’s eye, the arm jewel – vanki, bunches of grapes, creepers and mangoes….. All in one saree and the touch of surprise – ‘meena’ work or coloured thread in between the zari. Colours: Revel in the plains the endless brightness of parrot green, the depth of coffee brown, the shimmer of golden yellow…… chose your moods. Or be surprised by the double coloured the blue – green mayilkazhuthu (peacock’s neck), the red-orange of a lion, the violet-green of a new-born mango leaf… GI Journal No. 111 8 November 09, 2018 Pallus: Elaborate end pieces woven separately and then skillfully woven together with the main body, without any signs of a joint… the wonder of pitni work. The Product includes the following a) Seer Mundhi Pure Silk Saree (Regular and Long) b) Attached Border (Korvai) Seer Mundhi Silk Saree c) Silk extra warp Design Silk Saree d) Plain Silk Saree e) Tissue Silk Saree f) Jangala Silk Saree g) Korvai Pattu Pavadai (Skirt) h) Ponnadai (Silk Shawls) i) Plain piece. 36 Thugil | Fashion Design Department, 2019

Handloom Mark: This provides a collective identity to the handloom products and is used not only for popularizing the handloom products but also serves as a guarantee for the buyers that the product being purchased is genuinely hand woven. The handloom mark is the hallmark of powerful creative work that defines the product with clarity, distinguishing it from the competitors and also connecting with customers. Silk Mark: It is a certification of mark in India for silk textiles. The mark certifies that the piece of textile which bears the mark is made of pure, natural silk. The certification is managed by the “Silk Mark Organization of India”, a society set up by the state controlled Central silk board of India. National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 37

Weaving Weaving is a method of textile production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth.The lengthwise or longitudinal warp yarns are held stationary in tension on a frame loom while the transverse weft is drawn through and inserted over-and-under the warp. The way the warp and weft threads interlace with each other is called the weave. The majority of woven products are created with one of three basic weaves: plain weave, satin weave, or twill.Woven cloth can be in one colour or a simple pattern, or can be woven in decorative or artistic design. Indian Weaving Industry has conventionally been one of the most promising sectors of huge employment. In fact, after Each part of India has its own weaving tradition, but Gujarat agriculture, the Weaving Industry is largest provider of work was the main centre of innovation for more than 500 years. As force. There is abundance in the raw materials; the continuous Gujarati weavers migrated, weaving techniques and technologies supply of readily available work force is the contributing factors spread all over South Asia. behind the success of the weaving industry of India. The Indian Weaving Industry has been a self-depending mechanism that includes training the young weavers, abundance of resources and capacities along with helping the industry not to be dependent on the Government. In addition, weaving is eco- friendly, and is aimed at the cutting back on the environmental impact. The Indian Weavers are its biggest asset and it is a marvel that an ancient art such as weaving still exist in our country, but the carriers of this tradition are the least respected lot in this nation. Weaving is a skill that is done with utter brilliance which is usually passed on from generation to generation. 38 Thugil | Fashion Design Department, 2019

National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 39

Indian Handlooms Handlooms are fundamentally different from power looms. Motion Pit looms : of the handloom is operated by skilful human hands, without using any source of energy like electricity, water, air or sun to drive the i)Throw shuttle Pit looms : motion of the loom. The throw shuttle is a loom in which the shuttle is thrown across the shed by hand.Until the invention of the fly-shuttle slay in England in Handloom weaving involves three Primary Motions i.e. Shedding, the 18th century, the throw-shuttle pit loom was the most commonly Picking and Beating. used loom. Shedding: separates warp threads, according to pattern to allow for ii)Fly shuttle Pit looms : weft insertions or picking prior to beating. The flying shuttle was one of the key developments in the Picking:The operation wherein after the shed has been formed, the industrialization of weaving during the early Industrial Revolution. It length of weft is inserted through the shed. allowed a single weaver to weave much wider fabrics, and it could be mechanized, allowing for automatic machine looms. Beating:As soon as a weft yarn is inserted, the reed pushes or beats up the weft to the fell of the cloth. All the three motions are carried out by the weaver manually for weaving of the fabric by interlacement of warp and weft. Based on their structure and technique of working, the handlooms are classified into four main groups namely primitive looms, pit looms, frame looms, and semi-automatic looms. Primitive Looms: These are the looms where the weft is threaded by hand for interlacing through the warp ends. These also include vertical looms. 40 Thugil | Fashion Design Department, 2019

Frame looms: Semi-Automatic looms: The loom is made of rods and panels fastened at the right angles There are two types of semi-automatic looms, namely, sley to construct a form similar to a box . This structure makes it motion type and treadle type. The sley motion type is the one more handy and manageable. in which all primary and other motions are effected by the movement of the sley except for picking which is done separately by hand. In the treadle type, all primary and other motions are effected by treading. National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 41

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Parts of a Loom 1. The Warp Beam- This is the roller on which the warp ends are bound for weaving. It is also known as warp roll. 2. Shaft Or Harness- It is the frame of the loom that holds the warp threads. These shafts can be moved up or down by treadles to allow the weft to cross through and create the desired pattern. The more the number of harnesses, the more patterns you can create. The number of harnesses can range anywhere between 2 and 16. A 4-harness loom, for example, has 4 shafts that hold heddlesthrough which the warp passes. The 4-harness weaves may either be plain weaves or twills. 3. Heddles- They are made of wire or cord. These hang from the shaft of a loom and have an eye in the centre. The warp is threaded through the eye of the heddle and there are as many heddles as there are warp threads. Heddles are crucial to the weaving process because it is these heddles that are raised all over when the shaft is moved, causing the warp to be moved for interlacing with the weft to create the pattern. The distribu- tion of the heddles is determined by the pattern to be woven. 4. Shuttle- This is the tool that holds the yarn and carries it across the warps to create the weave. These wooden structures have notches at the ends to hold the weft yarns. 5. Reed- The reed is a comb-like frame with vertical slits that secures the weft in place as it is woven in. It helps to keep the warp entangled and guides the shuttle across the loom. 6. Take Up Roll- This refers to the roll where the fabric is rolled up and collected. National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 43

Jacquard is a style of figure weaving that can be used to create elaborate designs and detailed motifs. This is done on a Jacquard loom, a device invented in Lyons, France by Joseph-Marie Charles Jacquardin the early 1800s. Before that time, figure weaves could only be made by more labor-intensive techniques such as tapestry, adding extra yarns to the surface of another weaving by hand (supplementary weft), us- ing different sizes of yarns to make parts of the pattern stand out (dobby weaving), or by using a draw loom. Functioning : The jacquard loom is controlled by a \"chain of cards\"; a number of punched cards laced to- gether into a continuous sequence. Multiple rows of holes were punched on each card, with one complete card corresponding to one row of the design. This mechanism is probably one of the most important weaving inventions as Jacquard shed- ding made possible the automatic production of unlimited varieties of pattern weaving. The term \"Jacquard\" is not specific or limited to any particular loom, but rather refers to the added control mechanism that automates the patterning. 44 Thugil | Fashion Design Department, 2019

Mechanical Jacquard: Originally the Jacquard machines were mechanical, and the fabric design was stored in a series of punched cards which were joined to form a continuous chain. The Jacquards often were small and only independently controlled a relatively few warp ends. This required a number of repeats across the loom width. Larger ca- pacity machines, or the use of multiple machines, allowed greater control, with fewer repeats, and hence larger designs could be woven across the loom width. Electronic jacquard Modern technology has allowed Jacquard machine capacity to increase significantly, and single end warp control can extend to more than 10,000 warp ends. This avoids the need for repeats and symmetrical designs and allows almost infinite versatility. The computer-controlled machines significantly reduce the down time associated with changing punched paper designs, thus al- lowing smaller batch sizes. Instead of punching cards, there is a control box connected to jacquard, which has an SD card which contains all designs in Bitmap format. If any alterations need to be done to the designs, it is easier this way. However, electronic Jacquards are costly and may not be required in a factory weaving large batch sizes, and smaller designs. National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 45

“ The saree is a powerful garment and symbol. It is tied to the livelihood of a lot of people. Also the kind of sari and the way it is draped tells a lot about the person wearing it,” The saree is one of the world’s oldest and perhaps the only surviving unstitched garment from the past. It is a piece of cloth between 5 and 9 meters and is draped traditionally by all Indian women. The saree is said to be one of the most graceful garments as it elegantly covers the woman’s entire body and also shows genuine curves in the most dignified way. History and Significance of the saree: The history of Indian sarees dates back to the ancient times as it has been mentioned in the scared Indian epics like the Mahabharat and the Ramayana. The presence of similar drapes has also been traced to the ancient civilizations like the Indus Valley civilization which flourished during 2800–1800 BC around the western part of the Indian subcontinent.This ancient garment had a striking resemblance to the saree in that it was a cloth draped around the body but the fabric and silhouette were quite different from what is seen at present. Though western lifestyle and dresses have now made deep inroads into Indian culture, the popularity of saree is still a well established fact. Traditionally, women in India drape the saree and then adorn themselves with beautiful ornaments, a shimmering bindi and flowers in their hair. Even the Goddesses in Indian religions are adorned with sarees and sarees are even considered as a sacrificial offering to many Goddesses. There is no substitute of saree during important ceremonies. When it comes to the most famous bridal wear in India, the saree is the incontestable outfit. Over the millennia, it has not only become a sensuous, glamorous all-time-wear for women, but also the ‘canvas’ for weavers and printers to create artistic weaves, prints and embellishments! 46 Thugil | Fashion Design Department, 2019

Parts of a Saree Pallu: The end piece of the sari. Also called a pallu or palav. It is usually more densely ornamented than the field in matching or contrasting color. Border:The sari usually has borders along the top and bottom lengths of the cloth. The borders are a main design element when wearing the sari and come in an astounding variety of patterns and motifs. Kunjam Or Tassels: A tuft of loosely hanging threads knotted at one end of the sari is called as kunjam. Bhutta:Areas of threadwork ornament suspended on a plain ground, usually put in a regular order and often times becoming more dense towards the end piece. Zari: Gold plated silver wire wrapped around a polyester core. The expensive part of the sari. Many old sarees are burned to extract the gold from the ashes. Blouse Piece: Traditionally the sari is worn with a matching or contrasting blouse called a choli. Many sarees come with an extra length of cloth used to stitch the skin tight cropped top. National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 47

The Thirubhuvanam Saree There are several attributes and features that set the thirubuvanam silk saree apart from the rest. Apart from being an essential to any connoisseurs collection these features speak of the novelty, the thirubuvanam silk saree has its own unique features. 1. Thirubhuvanam silk saree traditional wedding saree ,medium weight with motifs ,body and border woven in the same single warp.first of all it is very smooth and it spreads over the body of the wearer elegantly. this uniqueness is due to the 2 ply warp weaving style on the other hand kanchipuram variety of sarees may feel little rough and look stiff because they are woven with 3 ply warp. 2. Moreover the pallu of thirubhuvanam silk saree is woven continuously on the loom and the pallu simply runs on from the body of the saree, with a difference of main body woven together with pallu which is dyed by tie and dye technique the attachment of weaving have no sign unevenness by splitting the warp yarns partly and adjust the tension and woven again provides the suffient strength for its durability , this process of weaving technique is locally called porai ilupu which distinguish the thirubhuvanam silk saree from pitni work of kanchipuram silk sarees or any other woven saree where as in kanchipuram variety the pallu is addedv to the body separately so that some time one can see the difference in the texture between the body of the saree and the pallu. In this type the threads are not uniform in strength thus the thico society silk sarees is rare combination of smoothness and strength. 3. Another speciality of thirubhuvanam silk saree is that they use filature silk for both warp and weft resulting in high quality , uniform and high lusture saree. The society uses best skilled yarn and pure zari .the society caters to both contemporary and traditional taste and is a hub for sarees especially during the bridal seasons. 4. Thirubhuvanam silk saree is known for more than 150 years in thirubhuvanam saree there are 2 kinds of warp used one is zari warp –gold plated silver threaded silk real zari plied (24-2000 threads) length according to the variety , another is silk warp of filature organzine twisted warp of 2*2 or 2*1 or 4*1 ply with 5200 threads of 40 yards with 18-20 twist per inch . generally 2*2 ply is used for body and border 2 ply 3 folded as weft and 3 ply is used for the either side which is unique. 48 Thugil | Fashion Design Department, 2019

5. Thirubhuvanam silk saree once again different from other by folding named as visiri madippu (folding of traditional hand held palm fan) like folding of angavasthiram . 6. Thirubhuvanam silk saree is having the uniform pick density all over the saree. 7. In the weaving of the thirubhuvanam silk saree the floating of thread in the back side of the designs of extra warp and extra weft saree is much minimized. 8. In thirubhuvanam silk saree there is no process of sizing after the weaving for its stiffness like other silk saree . the weaving of thirubhuvanam silk saree by the frequent change of shedding of warp yarns and picking and maintaining the tension of warp yarns naturally gives sufficient cover and stiffness. 9. The thirubhuvanam silk saree of having the better drapability is due the manufacturing as per the conventional wisdom and the handloom weaving methodology established over the years in the industry . 10. Most of the designs of thirubhuvanam silk saree are based on the age of tradition of thirubhuvanam area . National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 49

Scouring 50 Thugil | Fashion Design Department, 2019

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