14 August, 2018

Telia Rumal Saree

Clothes have memories attached to them no? Like this Telia Rumal saree will forever remind me of the happy times I spent with my most favourite person in the world. See the previous pictures here.
Sarees can easily get a new look with different blouse pairings to start with.

Ministry of Textiles is reviving the dying art of Ikat. The cotton Telia Rumal saree has been created using natural dyes. The name Telia derives from 'Tel' meaning 'Oil' and is given to this craft as a large quantity of oil is used to prepare the yarn for Ikat weaving. By clay and wax wrapping, the finished fabric is readied, on which a weaver can devise an exact pattern before it is dipped in selected dyes. Though originating from Chirala, it is no more practised there.

The celebrated sari flutters from the ruins of its heritage like the last flicker of hope. For Telia Rumal, the fast dying art of Ikat tradition, hope lies in the Integrated Handloom Cluster Development Programme sponsored by the Ministry of Textiles. Puttapaka, a village in Nalgonda where the art still thrives, is chosen as one among the clusters under this scheme. Thanks to the initiative, Telia Rumal saris, hitherto mere relics from the past, can hope to find a place in markets soon.

Cooling properties

The treatment, which involves soaking of the yarn in a concoction of castor ash and oil repeatedly for 15 days renders the cloth with cooling properties. The treatment is necessary for the yarn to receive natural dyes in the characteristic Ikat way.

'It was the most preferred technique for scarves during early years. These scarves had demand from as far as the Middle East. Later, we incorporated the technique into saris and bed-sheets too. Even now, the saris have great demand from the North,” says Gajam Yadagiri, youngest among the Gajam brothers from Puttapaka who still keep the designs alive. Their Murali Emporium near Dilsukhnagar is the only place in the city from where one can get the fakes of the Telia Rumal. Fakes, because the weavers have done away with the oil treatment due to the tedium involved. They now use chemical colours on ordinary cotton yarn. Yet, the saris are much coveted and worn even by celebrities such as Sonia Gandhi and Jaya Bachchan.

Telia Rumal can be easily distinguished from other Ikat works in the way one or two motifs are repeated several times in the design. Gajam brothers have begun to apply the same technique to silk saris too because silk yarn rarely snaps.

Even without oil treatment, a sari with intricate design needs at least a month to weave. With most of the weavers moving to the city for children’s education, there are very few left here to carry forward the tradition.

The art might find new roots if the three-year Cluster Development Programme to be implemented through Crafts Council of Andhra Pradesh succeeds in providing marketing facilities.

The coveted Telia Rumal Hand Woven Ikat Saree is a priceless treasure in your wardrobe. The community of weavers is known as the Puttapaka Padmashalis. Only a couple of weavers from the Padmashali community are currently practising this exquisite craft in the village of Puttapaka.

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