Mysore silk sarees originate from the state of Karnataka which happens to be one of the largest mulberry silk producers in the country. The growth of this silk was brought about during the reign of Tipu Sultan in 1785 AD. It is a max of fine silk and pure gold zari. These fabrics were the first known production of machine-made silk sarees in India.
Raw materials used in making the saree are obtained from a single cacoon. Processes like soaking, twisting, wafting and winding are followed once the density of the silk is assessed. The weaving process involves two types of looms; Dob by loom and the Jacquard loom. It takes 4 hours to make one saree. The next step, degumming, which helps to smoothen the fabric. The saree is then sent to be dyed and wash. Once semi-dried these sarees are steam ironed and then the saree is cut to the desired length. Each saree is measured at about 5.5metres. During this stage, the saree is also stamped with a unique identification code that allows you to always be sure of its authenticity.
The natural sheen and rich texture of the genuine silk and pure gold zari gives these sarees their distinct features. The plain one-toned color sets the saree apart from the rest of the products in the Indian market. It’s luster and simple design can be spotted from miles away. Motifs like mango buttis and floral borders are being used nowadays. Kasuti embroidery and Bandhani designs are also seen on the sarees.
Original Mysore silk sarees can cost anywhere between Rs. 3,000 and Rs. 7,000. However, the more expensive ones can go up to Rs. 2,00,000. These sarees are also now manufactured in keeping with some of the style of the buyers. For this purpose, Karnataka government employes NIFT graduates to innovate and design these sarees based on the trends. The best way to maintain these sarees is to dry clean them and store them in special plastic saree bags. Detergent must be avoided at all costs during the first three washes.