The Mysore Silk Saree was introduced initially as a fabric for the Royal family. Later it became a grand fabric for the public at large, to be worn on special occasions. The passage of time has neither dimmed its grandeur nor diminished its appeal.
Mysore, Karnataka is the home of the Mysore Silk Sarees; elegant showpieces of grandeur worthy of their creation. Despite its long innings in the Indian market it has neither lost its appeal nor has the demand ceased.
The distinguishing feature of this saree is the usage of pure silk and 100% pure gold zari (a golden coloured thread containing 65% of silver and 0.65% of gold)
The Mysore silk saree is famous for the purity of its silk and a very painstaking process in its making, which ensures that every aspect of the sari is perfect. It has place of pride for its sheen, the purity of the zari used, its softness and its non-crushable quality. The sari rarely fades owing to the purity of the gold and silver used. Despite being a costly and delicate fabric, it does not require excessive care for its maintenance.
Once exclusively created for the Royal Wodeyar family of Mysore, the Mysore Silks are today under the direct control of the Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation (KSIC) in all aspects of theri creation. Geographical Indication Certification was received in 2009, making Mysore Silk a geographical indication, which provides legal status and rights as a place-named product.
Kasuti is a traditional form of embroidery practiced in Karnataka, India. Kasuti work is very intricate and sometimes involves putting a large number of stitches by hand on traditional silk sarees like Ilkal and Kanjeevaram. The Karnataka Handicrafts Development Corporation (KHDC) has Intellectual Property rights on Kasuti.
The name Kasuti is derived from the words Kai (meaning hand) and Suti (meaning cotton), indicating an activity that is done using cotton and hands. Dating back to the chalukya period, it is an intricate art form that was practised by women courtiers.
Kasuti work involves embroidering intricate patterns like chariot, lamps and conch shells on the fabrics. The work is laborious and involves counting of each thread on the cloth. The patterns are stitched without using knots to ensure that both sides of the cloth look alike.
Locally available materials are used for Kasuti. The item that is to be decorated is first marked with charcoal, pencil or carbon paper and then suitable colored thread and needles are selected. The patterns are stitched with different varieties of stitches to obtain the desired pattern.
A recent trend introduced is the use of netted cloth to make the job easy, especially for less-skilled women to do the embroidery. Women require a month to lay Kasuti on a sari
Whatever be the adornments on the silk fabric, the Mysore Silk Saree till today, retains its quality and reputation as the purest of traditional silk sarees in the country.
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