Tuesday, March 23, 2010

survival of Ilkal in the new economy

Ilkal a small town famous for its ethenic sarres is in the northern district of Bijapur inKarnataka.Buthe the sound of the loom may belong to past as more and maore weavers leave this art to join more profitabel occupation. These Sarees are unique for their 4-6 inch broad reddish maroon borders with traditional ,distict designs.It is the families of dyers and weavers who togethe produce the Ilkal Sarees-a deep blue-black indigo body with red borders.It is woven in cotton or silk or a combinatiuon of both. The cotton ,before the advent of chemicl colores, was indigo dyed and the red border dyed with cilors derived from flowers.
Aweavers living room includ ea handloom Pit where the weaver works on loom at the same time entertaing guest and coustomer.The bed room is a storeroom for yarn and also doubles as the domain of women folk of the house.It takes around a week to complete a Saree.It is a tiresome work ."The wholesaler gives us the required raw materials, mainly yarn, and we weave the Saree on piecemeal basis",a weaver elaborates."We are then sure the saree is sold and we are not stuck with dead stock.This is how the system mostly works now."he added.
Traditionally Ilkal Sarees were made using natural indigo dyes then,in the 1970s the synthetic German indigo replaced this wet dyeing process.Today,this has given way to naphtha based dyes.the famed and centuries old  indigo dyeing is now on the verge of extension as the new generation steps into more profitable avenues the skyline of Ilkal is fast changing too."The most profitable business in the area is now Granite,"states a weaver.With this stone being available in plenty here ,a number of granite selling agencies and chimneys of Granite processing units are proliferating all over. As more and more of town's younger citizen step into new ventures like that of selling stones ,the loom may become a mere memory.

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