Traditional Sarees of South India


South Indian sarees depict the diverse cultures of Malayalee, Tamil and Sinhalese societies. Beautifully designed, decorated, stitched and handcrafted sarees are a lifeline of women in South India. There are many saree manufacturing hubs in South India that produce a wide range of sarees and supply them in different parts of India and the rest of the world. South India has already gained fame as the main saree weavings region in the country. Both rural and urban areas of South India are involved in manufacturing recommendable saris made of polyester, silk, rayon and cotton. As sarees can be found in various fabrics, buyers have enough options to pick the best one depending on their specific needs. The demand of South Indian sarees is very high.

During festive seasons in India women adorn themselves in colorful sarees. Nicely coloured and ornamented sarees simply look amazing. Cooperatives of handloom in Tamil Nadu are involved in selling quality sarees all over India. That’s why traditional designs from all regions of South India have been integrated into other parts of the country. Although the combination of various materials and patterns has made it difficult to judge the real origin of saree manufacturing, a few saris contain their singular styles that distinguish them from others.

Mulberry silk is mainly manufactured in Karnataka. The hub of mulberry silk produces around sixty percent of this fabric’s entire production. Sericulture is the main practice of the districts of southern India like Mandya, Bangalore, Tumkar, Kolar and Mysore. Tamil Nadu produces more than 10 per cent of the total production of raw silk. Most of the Tamil weavers belong to Saliyar (Saliyar) or Devanga castes. Both men and women are involved in weaving profession. Some of the communities that are involved in weaving include Neekaara, Lingayat (Jaada) and Saaliya. They produce exclusive weaving designs for sarees.

South Indian sarees have two types of traditional designs distinguishing by their particular borders. South Indian sarees have wide borders of counterpointing colours. Different types of dyeing and weaving techniques are applied to crease these saris. Narrow borders are the specialty of such sarees. Border is also a point of attraction in sarees, which is designed extensively in South Indian sarees.

Types of South Indian Sarees:
  • Pochampally Sarees
  • Chettinad Sarees
  • Mysore Silk Sarees
  • Gadwal Sarees
  • Konrad Sarees
  • Kanjeevaram Sarees
Konrad saree is also known as temple saree which is highly demanded saree in Tamil Nadu. All the above mentioned sarees have wide borders. For special occasions like wedding and parties the weavers ensure to include particular motifs like fecundity, symbolizing water, elephants, fertility and peacocks. These sarees are available in various colours. Konrad sarees are known for their both traditional and modern designs. Women love to wear konrad saris in different social gatherings.

Chettinad saree is another widely worn South India outfit. Chettinad saree is named after a less known town of Tamil Nadu. Silk and cotton fabrics are used to create Chettinad sarees. Gadwal sarees are also worn in various parts of the country. Women prefer to wear Gadwal saris to feel comfortable and move around freely. Weavers of Gadwal sarees are basically originated from Varanasi.

Kanjeevaram silk saree is one of the most worn sarees in Tamil Nadu and other states of South India. Traditional style and high quality material are two major factors that make these sarees very popular in regions of South India. Women are crazy about Kanjeevaram silk sarees and their latest designs. From time to time, weavers come up with innovative designs of Kanjeevaram silk sarees that create curiosity in the heart of wearers.

South India is also a center of attractions for producing Mysore silk sarees. These sarees are not only in demand in India but all over the world as well. The mixture of traditional and modern look of Mysore silk saree makes it more widely worn by women. These sarees also have zari borders to give them an added advantage. Pallu is added at the corner of the sari.

Weavers who design Pochampalli sarees get the fabrics and other important materials from the co-operative societies of Pochampalli itself. They invent unique techniques to increase the beautiful of these sarees. These saris include various designs of flower, elephant, diamond and parrot motifs.

Modifications are also done by weavers and fashion designers to make these sarees look more attractive. Communities of South India also participate in the weaving and designing process. All such efforts are helpful in making sarees of South India popular throughout the world.