My previous article was on Pearls and in that I made a brief mention of Pochampally Sarees. This brief mention has given me a lead to write on Pochampally Sarees today. Apart from Pochampally Sarees there are many beautiful varieties of Andhra Pradesh made Silk and Cotton Sarees from Gadwal, Venkatgiri, Dharmavaram, Narayanpet, Madhavaram, Guntur, Mangalagiri, Uppada, Kothakota and so on. I choose to mention and write on Pochampally Sarees because there are four exclusive Pochampally Saree shops around our house on Prenderghast Road. And the rush I see regularly at these shops gives a strong impression that Pochampally Sarees are very popular. Another observation is that most of the customers are tourists, which speaks of a wider popularity of these Sarees.
Pochampally town is about 48 Kms. from our house. At Bibinagar we have to turn right and travel 13 Kms. to reach Pochampally. Bibinagar is on NH 202 which leads to Yadagiri Gutta and Warangal. Almost the entire town and all members of each family are engaged in the business of making these beautiful Sarees. These are Handloom Sarees meaning they are made by hand; using country made wooden looms. Every section of the Saree is woven by hand by the craftsmen and checked every instant to ensure good design and good quality. The design is characterized by bold geometrical motifs in bright red black and white colors offset by wide single colored borders. Pochampally weave is known as Ikkat or Tie and Dye weave. The art lies in the transfer of design and color onto the Warp and Weft threads first and then weaved together. The colors are mostly from natural sources and their blends. However of late artificial colors are also being used. Handloom Sarees are always considered to be stronger and durable compared to Powerloom clothing. For several years they were making only cotton Sarees but for the last forty years they are also making Silk Sarees and with Sico meaning a mix of Silk and Cotton. Nowadays we also get Pochampally Cotton and Silk Salwars and Bed-spreads.
Another forty villages around Pochampally and Hyderabad have taken to this style of Handloom textile business. They are very attractive fabrics. I strongly recommend them as lovely; surprise gifts, at least once.