Chronicles of Ajrarkpur

The Forgotten fabric 

weavers image

Our travel to Ilkal to meet weavers, understand how Ilkal sarees are woven, and a little bit of sightseeing was a delightful experience!!

Wonderful home cooked food served lovingly by the weaver’s family, some nice conversations, followed by a frenzied grabbing of sarees like we have never seen them before! We also picked quite a few sarees, pictures of which we will post soon on our FB & Insta handles. Most weavers are old, more than 45-50. They have difficulty with their sight, nutrition is a problem, their children either are not in the profession or are working in powerloom places. They don’t understand marketing, customer service, and other fancy city slicker terminologies. Simple people who are hardworking and looking forward to make a basic livelihood!

Working in pit looms, moving their hands and legs several times, a simple saree takes 3-4 days to weave. Weaving Ilkals starts with the pallu, then the body and finishes off with the blouse length! Talking to them made us feel proud of our weavers and yet be sad all at once!

Lesser known Weave


Plant based fibers



A couple of months back I received an email into my ithyadee email account. A very professionally written one, introducing themselves as CEO Insights, telling me that I have been shortlisted as one of the upcoming women entrepreneurs and they want to highlight and feature me, as the founder – for being an inspiring and influencing professional. I was excited and responded asking for details. After all who would not like to make use of the opportunity! And then I get this shocker that I need to pay 25K INR for this to happen! Still recovering, I politely refused saying I don’t believe in paid promotions and I want my work to speak for itself. I also reminded them that this was in direct contradiction to the mail which said that the work I am doing is really exceptional. The lady didn’t let up, and instead gave me a lot of jazz on the “freebies” I would receive once I sign up. A print-ready hi-res 2 pager developed by her editorial team, in digital/print, Certificate of Honour…… Really! I stopped reading after this, told her another firm No and blocked her for extra effect! Is this what it means, paying to buy publicity, awards, recognition. When did #values #integrity #trust fly out of the window? How do these people sleep? #ceo #entrepreneurs

If you are a 60’s child or even a 70’s or 80’s child of India, you probably don’t have too many photographs of you from your younger days! Getting photographed was an event – much like Deepavali or Pongal! One had to get dressed and get to the studio and then have limited photos clicked as each click costed us some money! With the advent of technology and mobile phones that do a multitude of things other than just calls, taking photographs at the drop of a hat – literally became the norm! This picture of me with my camera is from my visit to one of the schools, under the banner of #100happyschools funded by the #rotaryclub of Bangalore. Circa 2016. I never realized that kids still don’t have the luxury of clicking their pictures and this is their reaction when I showed them their pictures! And of course, for many years now, #thesaree is my default clothing! Candid Click : Courtesy – Akshar VS

We received an email into our inbox today. It had two resumes attached to it and while we were still reviewing it, we got a call from one of our weavers in #kanchipuram. A request that he has sent his brother’s and cousin’s resume asking us to help them find a placement in an IT company in Bangalore! Here is what our founder has to share, ”While I was very happy that both were engineers with excellent academic marks, it disturbed me that they want to veer away completely from their family tradition of weaving. When I expressed my concern, the answer I got left me stumped! Weaving is pointless as it doesn’t generate enough income for us to sustain and make ends meet. While our heart is in weaving, with more and more people taking to Western wear or wash and wear Indian clothes, how can we survive? With power looms churning out easy clothing how can we sustain? We have aspirations too and we dream of not ultra luxury, just a little more than the basic for sustenance and prosperity. Is that not our right too?? For once I was at a loss of words and it got me thinking are we wearing enough handlooms to support and sustain India’s second largest occupation? Are we making conscious and sustainable choices for gifting and personal purchase? Are we buying closer to the source to ensure that our proceeds reach the weavers directly?? Are we doing enough??” THINK!!

Quick Tips on Identifying Handwoven sarees.

Feeling loved and hugged in my mom’s #Kancheevaram saree in #honey and #maroon. Handwoven silk sarees traditionally use the korvai technique to painstakingly fuse the #pallu to the main saree. Very evident when you check the reverse of the saree. The silken tuft on the reverse is a dead giveaway for the #Korvai technique.

*Check for unevenness in the selvedge. A selvedge is the end/the width wise end of the saree or what we call the warp (height). The edges will be uneven as the saree is rolled manually and stretched over the frame of the loom as it increases in length while weaving.
*Check for irregular pin pricks along the selvedge as tiny nails are sometimes used to hold the saree to the frame of the loom.
*Close you eyes and run your hand along on the saree (especially if it is pure silk) and feel for undulations, tiny knots and uneven texture. This will get better with practice 😊
*Look for imperfections in the motifs (especially in block prints, Baatik or paintings)
* Look for faults – a missed thread, a double thread, loosened weave, etc. This doesn’t mean the saree is not perfect. It’s perfectly imperfect like us!
* And the best way to enjoy the handwoven product is to embrace it with all its imperfections and faults and make it your own! After all we are not perfect too! for curated, handpicked handloom products.
#branding #designer #knowyoursaree #knowwhatyouwear #ithyadee


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