POCHAMPALLY IKAT is renowned for chevrons, diamonds, squares and geometrical flowers and leaves which are popular motifs created either in a single colour or two colours or even a bright medley of rich hues.
Ikat sarees became popular in the 1800s when traders across the silk route often associated the designs with power and affluence. Most artisans who excel in creating this form of saree live in Pochampally, which is a cluster of 80 villages in Telangana. These villages are equipped with traditional looms whose structural designs are from centuries ago. With over 10,000 families that participate in the weaving process, this area is now known as Silk City. The secrets to the trade are handed down from generation to generation.
Ikats are normally of two types –single Ikat, where only the warp is tie-dyed and interwoven with the weft, which is either uncoloured or has only one basic colour; and double Ikats where both, warp and weft are tie-dyed and positioned in such a way that they work together to create the specific design with that signature bleed. Pochampally Ikat uses double ikat technique to create elegant geometric patterns that we have come to love. This fabric received the coveted Geographical Indication (GI) status in 2005.
What sets pochampally apart from other fabrics is the fact that the warps and weft threads are coloured or dyed first and then added to the loom to create the pattern on the fabric. In India, Ikat is carried out with the help of Batik and wax. This fabric is woven both from silk and cotton yarn, each fibre adding its own beauty to the weave of the textile.
Pochampally silk is an exceptionally fine cloth with an elegant drape, fluid fall and rich lustre. Weaving families involved in creation of this textile, handle various aspects of the process from spinning to dyeing to marking to knotting and weaving. Hence, this craft provides employment to a whole family who has received the knowledge of this exceptional craft from their forefathers.