Mangalgiri, a small village in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, is an abode to around 80,000 people. Nearly 5000 of them are into the handicraft weaving of a special variety of saree, called the Mangalgiri Saree. Mangal which means auspicious and giri which means hill, Mangalgiri symbolizes an auspicious hill. The legend has it that the pilgrims had to purchase a saree from the local weavers after offering obeisance to the Lord Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy at the ancient temple of Mangalgiri. Today, almost half the population of Mangalgiri thrives on its traditional handloom industry.
The Mangalgiri sarees are woven in cotton along with Zari (the Nizam border) or golden coloured patterns that occur in small checks. With intricate tribal designs and the typical golden embroidered striped design pallu (edge), Mangalgiri sarees come in a host of bold colours that make it look elegant and gorgeous. There are no weave designs on the body of the fabric and there are no gaps towards the edges of the fabric. Their uniqueness lies in the durability as the fabric is woven only on pit loom and has been witnessing a tremendous increase in demand of late. Attempts are being made to modernize and extend the offering from sarees to cotton kurtas, dupattas and stoles to mix up with the Indo-Western couture.
The process of producing Mangalgiri sarees involves:
- Procuring raw materials i.e. pure cotton yarn, silver and gold zari, synthetic and
natural dyes and other chemicals
- Cotton purification through boiling of hank cotton, soaking it overnight, rinsing it and making it ready for the dying process
- Dyeing using Vat and Napthol dyes to give colour to the fabric and removing the excess dyes thereafter
- Drying of the yarn which also adds light sensitive colours in shades
Mangalgiri is best suited for hot climate as it is pure cotton and very light weight. It is finding it’s place in the world of fashion with various designers making modern yet contempory designs using mangalgiri fabric.
You will find a wide range of Mangalgiri sarees and dress materials on www.weavesmart.com.
About Weavesmart.com: Weavesmart is an online handloom store founded in 2015. The company displays and sells products of weavers from different parts of the country to retail customers. Currently, Weavesmart sources products directly from various weaver hubs located in the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.
To know more about us, visit http://www.weavesmart.com
About the writer: Kushagra Gupta: I am a hobbyist writer, a former Software Engineer at Bosch, India and currently an MBA student at International Management Institute, New Delhi. I was also associated with the not-for-profit Mentor Together for over two years before embarking on my MBA journey. I love dancing, reading and performing theatre acts. Through my blogs I hope to contribute to a truly-Indian initiative by weavesmart.com to empower the Indian Weavers fraternity and I believe in the vision of its founders. Happy Reading!