One of the most amazing things about Indian culture is the sheer range and variety it displays. India is a vast country and every region has its own unique culture, heritage and rich traditions and rituals. This extends to the arts, crafts and handicrafts industry as well, which has existed in some form or the other for many centuries almost everywhere in the Indian sub-continent.
Many sections of Indian society have a specific garment of ancient origins that is their pride and joy and that is worn by them to this day; many such traditional garments have even become popular and well loved across the world. A great example of this would be the
Many sections of Indian society have a specific garment of ancient origins that is their pride and joy and that is worn by them to this day; many such traditional garments have even become popular and well loved across the world. A great example of this would be the Kasavu saree, worn in Kerala by Malyali people.
The Kerala Kasavu saree has a very special and important heritage in south India and is considered one of the most ancient garments not just in India but across the world. It is directly descended or evolved from the mundum neriyathum, the oldest sari type which was worn many thousands of years ago. The Kasavu saree designs
The Kasavu saree designs shares many common points with this ancient saree; at the same time, they are today considered a distinct, if related, type of clothing. They have a very unique look as they are almost always white in color (sometimes, they may be in related hues such as beige, tan, cream or off-white), with large, luxurious looking golden borders. Traditionally, they are made using very fine, woven materials, most often a woven cotton or cotton silk blended textile. Pure silk is also used nowadays, especially to make the finer, trendier looking designer Kasavu sarees, but cotton is still considered the most traditional and appropriate material.
The fabric used is, in fact, one of the main distinguishing characteristics of this saree. Kerala is one of the most prominent centers of textile and weaving in the country and is known to produce some of the finest woven cotton textiles. The superiority of the cotton used to make Kasavu sarees is evident in its soft texture, fine look, and elegant drape.
Distinct Appeal Of Kasavu
Kerala Kasavu saree designs are known for their artistic and visually appealing look. The contrast of the bright gold borders against the creamy white body of the saree creates a unique synchronicity that is further emphasized by the use of gold thread to create exquisite, detailed designs on the pallu. These can range from beautiful, artistic motifs of flowers and leaves, to simple lines, shapes or checks designs. Temple or mythology inspired motifs are also common features in Kerala Kasavu sarees. A designer Kerala Kasavu saree might have more innovative, modern designs to suit the tastes of women today.
Traditionally, all the pieces in a Kerala Kasavu sarees’ collection would be hand woven, hand embroidered and/or hand printed using the traditional techniques known to skilled artisans in Kerala. This hand crafting process takes several days, though the end result is well worth the efforts.
Till today, hand woven Kerala Kasavu sarees are considered the most beautiful and coveted of the lot; however, machine woven and printed sarees are also available and highly in demand because they are much more affordable. Women tend to go with traditional, handloom Kerala Kasavu sarees for special occasions, wedding ceremonies and so on, while the more affordable printed or machine woven ones are kept for less formal occasions.
Wardrobe’s Prized Possession
Kasavu sarees are passed down from one generation to the next and are considered both auspicious and traditional in Malyali culture. They are the one and only preferred sari for special occasions such as religious ceremonies, weddings, parties and festivals. A Kerala Kasavu saree is also the traditional bridal attire of Malyali women and the bridal versions tend to be more intricately decorated.
Though simple in their look and feel, Kasavu sarees are nevertheless quite alluring and are considered one of the most beautiful sarees in the world. Today, they are highly in demand even in other cultures for special occasions and festivals and have even been prominently featured on red carpets and in Bollywood movies.
When wearing this type of saree, it is important to get the styling just right. Traditionally, Kerala Kasavu sarees are always worn with half sleeve, u-neck gold blouses, which really bring out the beauty of the pristine white fabric and gold border and pallu designs.
Nowadays, women can experiment a bit by choosing to pair up full sleeve blouses with Kasavu sarees, or blouses with gold printed designs or embellishments; it is advisable not to go with wildly daring or overly loud designs in the blouse as this might end up ruining the balance of the saree. In terms of jewelry, it is best to stick with the traditional, south Indian golden necklace sets with gold bangles, gold