STORY OF KASAVU SAREE (TRADITIONAL KERALA SAREES)
It all began in the beautiful land of Kerala under the kingdom of the His Highness Maharaja Balaramavarma and his chief minister Ummini Thampi who brought about the revolution of handloom industry. The chief minister invited the weavers from the nagercoil region of Tamil Nadu called â€˜Shaaliyarsâ€™ and gave them a place of pride. The Shaaliyars successfully made an industry with the available cotton market and hand-wove elegant garment for the royal families of Travancore. Soon the weavers and the hand woven sarees and mundus became popular among the Dutch and the portuguese who exported them in shiploads. Soon the handloom industry was spread to different areas like that of the Chendamangalam in Ernakulam district and Koothampalli in Thrissur district.
The invade of Vasco da gama, unaware of the success of the handwoven industry in the future bartered gold in return of the spices. The amount of gold dumped on the shores of kerala was cleverly utilised by the upper class to be woven on the Mundu and the Neriyadu which is today popularly known as Kasavu. The kerala kasavu originally known as the Mundum Neriyathum has its trace of origin from the buddhist era where it was segregated as Antariya and Uttariya while the style of the cloth is known to be adopted from the Graeco-Roman which was known as Palmyrene.
The process of making the fabric undergoes a profusion of hard work, each loom machine is separated by wooden shafts with the end wheel connected by hundred of fragile threads to be woven into the fabric.The gold zari to be added to the fabric is soaked in water to soften the threads and to prevent it from getting dirty. A regular weaving of kasavu takes fifteen hours of time invested for five to six days. The weavers with their passionate dedication and for the means of livelihood are able to produce hundred sets of kasavu sarees in a week.
Today, the kerala kasavu saree have become the tradition and trademark highly practised in Kerala worn specially during the auspicious occassions. The golden borders i.e the kasavu has been replaced by different kinds and colors of Zari and the designs which represent the tradition and culture has been transformed in a reshmi style to enhance the appeal of the sari. The designs woven on the kasavu saree revealed the cultural and traditional aspect of women of kerala.
In this world of globalisation and fashion the whole spate of fashion designer are bombarding the market revolutionising the kerala Kasavu. This the era which has brought back the old textiles blending itself perfectly with the new trend flaunting itself perfect.
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