There are certain aspects of our culture and traditions that remain strong and thrive to this day. The choice and style of attire among Indian women, especially those in the South have always attracted the attention of rest of the world and fashionistas alike. No matter, the advent of stylish modern wear, traditional sarees have a great appeal of their own. Over the years, sarees too have gone modern, whilst retaining the traditional charm.
The state of Andhra Pradesh is widely known for several handloom clusters and centers which produce sarees of highest quality, look and appeal. One such exquisite variety is created by the weaving community of Uppada, a small town located close to Kakinada city inCoastal Andhra Pradesh. The pattern of designs created on these sarees is termed the ‘Jamdani’ style. The name Jamdani is derived from a Persian terminology, in which the word Jam means flower while Dani means Vase.
The Jamdani style of weaving is believed to be around three hundred years old and originated in the neighboring country of Bangladesh, from where weavers migrated and eventually settled in Uppada. The main highlight of Uppada Jamdani sarees, is that these are known for their light weight. Since comfort is a very important consideration for women, these light weight sarees are quite popular among women.
The weaving of each Uppada Jamdani saree takes nearly 10 to 60 days, for which at least 2-3 weavers spend about 10 hours each day. Weavers make use of pure lace and silver zari which is often dipped in melted gold. The silk sarees of Uppada are known for their soft texture, strength and light weight. Each saree is created painstakingly because even a slight alteration in the pattern may affect the design on the entire saree. Hence, the weavers of Uppada are in great demand due to their mastery over this exclusive weaving art. Each design is crafted with fine skill and the patterns are first created in the form of a blueprint on paper and the designs are replicated with great precision. The knots, border and other aspects of the sarees are all handled with great care, so that the final saree, meets the desired outcome.
Uppada sarees have earned a unique identity of their own, and the weavers here get bulk orders usually during the wedding seasons. To this day, households in Telugu states consider Uppada pattu sarees a natural choice during important occasions. The rich-looking sarees of Uppada town in Andhra Pradesh have also become a preferred choice for the modern women of this era, especially for occasions like weddings, formal gatherings, religious festivals etc., due to its classic and rich look. Uppada sarees have therefore become a popular choice for those who prefer a blend of modernity with tradition, in the attire they wear.