Gadwal Sarees – the Ingenious Weaves of Telangana

by Shatika, December 7, 2017

A small town with a long history of handlooms, Gadwal in Telangana is known for its rich Gadwal sarees in silk, silk cotton and pure cottonfabric.

Having strong links with the Kornad saris of south India, which Kanchipuram is most well-known for, Gadwal weave shares similar techniques and designs including the interlocked weft technique used for the borders.

Gadwal sarees, like many southern weaves usually carry a temple design locally known as a reku. While pure cotton sarees make for comfortable daily wear, local women prefer Gadwal silk saris for religious and festive occasions.

The relatively new variant of Gadwal called the Gadwal sico sari is a cotton sari with a silk border and silk pallu. This silk border and pallu is attached to the cotton body by hand,making it unique. This technique is called kuttu.

The Gadwal sarees have received GI certification for their unique kuttu technique.There are two types of kuttus in the Gadwal sari: the horizontal kuttu, for the borders and the vertical kuttu for the pallu.

This is achieved by using three shuttles. Two weavers sit together to weave the kuttu saree with both borders requiring a shuttle each, and one shuttle is used for the body.

Since the three shuttle technique allows using different fibres in the border and body, it gives immense scope to experiment with the fabric. The future of Gadwal handlooms looks bright with renowned designers collaborating weaves like ikat cotton with kuttu silk border and pallu!

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