My first “Ilkal”

The following post about the Ilkal saris by Mr. Venkatesh Narasimhan on the W3 group on April 12th, got me interested in Ilkal saris. Then Devika reached out as she supports a cluster of Ilkal weavers to preserve the technique and I finally managed to buy an Ilkal :). Wore this sari today and coincidentally (managed to some extent) met Mr. Narasimhan at the Cooptex Egmore office. We spoke about ShikshaDaan and how we can support some of the children from the weavers’ families for their higher studies. Also met my best friends at Cooptex – Mr. Ravi and Mr. Kumaresan who have helped me and many others to buy some stunning Sarees online. 

Devika, thanks a ton for making sure I got my hands on this Ilkal – it’s so beautiful. The blouse is a Khunn and the neckpiece is made of tiger eye stones from Desh Maheshwari, Noida. The crumpled look is because I have been wearing it the whole day and it’s super sweaty in dear old Chennai 🙂

The special Ilkal Pallu. 


Mr. Venkatesh Narasimhan’s post on the Ilkal saris – 

Rasipuram Weavers on an Exposure Visit to Ilkal

Weavers from Rasipuram were taken on an Exposure Visit to Ilkal in Bagalkot District of Karnataka , to understand the making of the famous Ilkal Sarees. Ilkal sarees are woven using cotton warp on the body and art silk warp for border and art silk warp for pallu portion of the Saree. In some cases instead of art silk, pure silk is also used. Ilkal saree has been accorded Geographical Indication (GI) tag. The uniqueness of Saree is joining of the body warp with pallu warp with a series of loops locally called as TOPE TENI technique. 

Pallu portion-Design: “TOPE TENI SERAGU” 

Normally in tope teni seragu 3 solid portions would be in Red colour, and in between 2 portions in White colour.

Border : Red usually or Maroon dominates. Weavers generally take 7 days to Weave these sarees. It was amazing to see the Weaving process in detail, but what was very surprising is that the entire Village has power looms as well producing the same Ilkal sarees. The Visit opened many Vistas of knowledge to me and Our Weavers, Designers and we came back with lots of learning and ideas for new designs and motifs on our Sarees.


Sari lovers – please buy from Co-optex. Their collection is exquisite and they are supporting several weaving clusters. Every sari you buy keeps a weaver busy on his/her hand loom. It’s a way of preserving the weaving traditions. 

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