PM Modi gifts Ikat saree to Brigitte Macron, highlighting Telangana's textile heritage

Narendra Modi gifted a Pochampally Ikat saree to the First Lady of France, Brigitte Macron, drawing worldwide attention to Ikat weavers of Telangana

PM Modi gifts Ikat saree to Brigitte Macron, highlighting Telanganas textile heritage

HYDERABAD: Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted a Pochampally Ikat saree in a sandalwood box to the First Lady of France, Brigitte Macron, during his visit to that nation, drawing worldwide attention to one of the finest products of the Ikat weavers of Telangana.

The saree that Prime Minister gifted was a bright pure silk saree with inimitable intricate diamond-shaped patterns, a trademark of Pochampally sarees.

The specialty of the Ikat saree is that it is made using the resist dying technique, in which the yarn is tied and dyed before it is woven into a final product. As a result, Ikat sarees have similar patterns on either side of the saree as the yarn itself is dyed.

The word Ikat meaning ‘to bind’ is a technique that came from Indonesia to India centuries ago because of the Indian subcontinent’s trade ties with other Asian nations. However, Telugu States, Gujarat and Odisha nurtured the technique for decades and evolved their own style and patterns which are distinct.

Unlike machine-made sarees, it will take two weavers and a week to complete an Ikat saree making them one of the most desired handmade pure silk saree in the world.

The process of making Ikat sarees is meticulous and prolonged. First, the yarn is bunched into thick ropes and dyed as per the predetermined pattern. After some time the yarn is laid flat exposing the pattern for final corrections. The fabric can be dyed again or treated if required. Finally, it will be cut, packaged, and transported for sale.

Telangana is also endowed with long-staple cotton which is suitable for Ikat sarees, with an annual production of about 60 lakh bales. The quality of the Telangana cotton is highly regarded. Particularly, the second picking of the crop from the State is considered to be the best in the country. However, processing and value addition to cotton is largely limited to ginning and pressing.

Roughly 10 lakh bales are utilised by the 35 spinning mills with a capacity of 9.3 lakh spindles located within the State. To encourage different varieties of handloom and powerloom textiles in the State, the Telangana Government had come up with a Textiles and Apparel Policy (T-TAP) in 2017.

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