23 4 / 2012

We visited the village of Pochampalli, near Hyderabad, India, which is famous for yarn tie-dying and hand weaving. Although the old world techniques are still in practice after five hundred years, the number of skilled craftspeople is dropping drastically due to mass production by the mills.  Many families are struggling as the 5th and 6th generation trained in this skill with nothing else to fall back on.

The following photos illustrate the process from silk strand to finished garment…

The weaver sits in a hollowed out area in the concrete at waist-height.

The patterns for a silk saree are hand drawn on graph paper before yarns can be tied off and dyed.

The tie-dye process…

Tie-dye finished and left to dry.

Several looms prepared and ready for weaving silk sarees.

This is the yarn-dye “laboratory”, outside of the work space.

A block away at the shop, viewing the handwoven silk sarees and cotton scarves. I selected my saree fabric! (Stay tuned!)

To support the families of this trade and help sustain this dying art, verify that you are buying product from a source that supports hand-woven, fairly traded goods.  You will also own a piece of a centuries-old Indian tradition.