Ilkal Sarees

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Read about Aihole sarees and was keen to how they were made. While driving down from Aihole to Hampi the driver stopped at a village, asked a old man sitting under a tree if sarees were available there. He said yes and directed us to his house which is what u see. U see 2 powerlooms, one right in front of pic and other at end. Mother and son work independently.

The powerloom is in their living area with the bedroom and kitchen behind. There was another powerloom in a adjoining room - seemed like a jont family. Here u see the young man making a saree. The raw material is supplied by a Co-operative. It takes two days to weave one saree for which labor charges are Rs 250-300/ per saree.

U see the mother at work. Sarees are made of cotton and silk. It is quite a biggish village named Sulebhavi. Reasonably clean. Village roads were made in concrete.

This is a pic of the loom top to bottom. Do not understand how it works - wish someone can mail me process. The saree weaving is done by those belonging to a certain varna. The boy was smart and could pass off as any big town boy on dressing up.

This is the final product. They welcomed me into the house and allowed me to click pictures. Offerred me tea. Importantly I got an understanding of how they lived. Between mother/son they make Rs 600/ in two days. Living room area was weaving, then bedroom and kitchen with a open area behind. All of them looked happy and smilng. There was a TV and radio in the room.

I went into the neighboring house and saw lady with one powerloom. Host told me that virtually every house has one powerloom. Clearly wages play an important part of the village economy.

Weavers give fully made sarees to this cooperative who in turn supply larger shops. I visited the co-operative office. Had a shop from where u could buy sarees. Also has a dyeing unit, office, accountants, pictures of all those who had contributed to the making of the co-operative.

They store the sarees in huge cupboards after packing them well. All in all a very interesting experience even though I do not understand much about handlooms - textiles.