When one sees beautifully woven and simple sarees adorning the bodies of women, one can bet that they are from God’s own country Kerala. The climate and, the natural surroundings make way for simplicity. One can see the set sarees, the traditional wear of Kerala being draped in one single style by most women. In rural areas, the traditional style of draping the saree is still being followed. Set Sarees and set Mundu are very similar to each other.
Origin & History
Set Sari resembles the set Mundu very closely. The Set mundu is the traditional clothing of Kerala that originated from the Sattika variety found in the Jainism and Buddhism. Till date, the set Mundu is observed as a traditional form of clothing in Kerala. Textiles in Kerala have been present since the British era. A very predominant textile that is famous across the globe is the Calico textile known for the beautiful cotton and other fabrics it materializes. It has been running in the city of Calicut Kerala since the 11th century.
The sarees in this region bear a very traditional and lovely style and design. Marked by the immense goodness and beauty of nature surrounding this region, the sarees too are very beautifully designed. The colors match the beauty surrounding Kerela and do complete justice. Most sarees found in Kerala may lack in colors but, are beautifully designed at the borders and become their unique selling point!
Influence over the Years
Today, Kerala has a variety of traditional and elegant wear of sarees, which are largely created by several textile industries across the state and beyond. Hand woven varieties of mundu are predominant. The handloom and textiles of Kerala are government operated and, hence care is being taken that most weavers are employed in them. Calico printing and, the sarees formed of it are an integral part of what makes Kerela sarees a cut above the rest.
If one observes the mundu of the past, it is just a drape that covers the body. A saree in Kerala can be called an innovation of the Mundu. The sarees of Kerala are still very similar to the mundu but, the draping style is slightly different. Also, the way the weaving and printing are done today is slightly different.
Initially, the printing and dyeing were done by hand along with the weaving of these sarees. But, today with the modernization of the world, all this is done at the textile mills with the help of machines. Today, apart from the silk varieties, a lot of cotton print varieties are being exported out of Kerala.
Globally the traditional attire of Kerala is widely recognized. The white saree with a golden pallu is the trade mark of Kerala, hence making maximum women across the globe owning one in their wardrobes.The Calico print sarees are also a major demand across the globe.
Wearing Kerala Saree
The traditional Set Sari with the golden border is usually the wedding attire of Kerala. Beautifully woven, this attire makes the bride look adorable and beautiful. Apart from this, the calico print sarees are pretty much regular wear. Designed in such a way that they can be worn by anyone anywhere, these sarees are being sold like hot cakes.
The Kuthumpally sari which is a traditional saree of Kerala is rich and elegant. It is worn during occasions like marriage, party, and religious festivals. The textiles of Kerala give out sarees that match every occasion. Gold marks the beauty of Kerala sarees. When one accessorizes with gold jewelry and matches it with a chic pair of shoes or heels, they enhance the beauty of these sarees.
The textiles in Kerala are huge manufacturers of sarees in silk and cotton. So, basically, it suits not only every occasion but also every kind of environment. The sarees need to be draped in a manner that the pallu stays stiff and, does not fall off. With cotton and silk, maintenance is not such a difficult task. Dry cleaning, however, would be the best option. Also, one can wear these sarees in the monsoon too. The reason being Kerala sarees are most suited for the monsoon.
Interesting Facts and Comparisons
- Calico mill is the oldest textile mill of Kerala
- The kuthumapally variety of saree was traditionally hand woven
- Most Kerala handloom sarees are off white in color
- Several popular Indian actresses like Aishwarya Rai Bacchan, Asin and Sonakshi Sinha have worn the Kerela Kasavu sarees and have fetched a lot of global popularity for this style