Gadwal Saree

Gadwal Saree is a handcrafted woven sari style in Gadwal of Jogulamba Gadwal district in the Telangana State, India. 

Gadwal sarees are made from cotton and silk which is usually tussar or mulberry. “The dyeing is usually done at Chirala where the yarn is dipped in boiled coloured water at an extremely high temperature. Higher temperature means the colour will last a long time.

It was registered as one of the geographical indication from Telangana by Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.

Though Gadwal is the most famous of all, there is an entire of cluster of smaller villages also engaged in weaving these sarees. Over 800 looms are used every day at Rajoli village to create these seven yard beauties. All sarees produced here are sold to the master weavers of Gadwal, which is probably why Rajoli is overshadowed. Other notable villages where they are made are Gattu, Yemmiganur, Aiza and Nagaladinne.

It takes painstaking effort over five days to make one beautiful Gadwal saree on the loom using the interlocking weft technique. Even then, the weavers’ job is not complete; he has to meticulously attach the silk border using ash to finish the saree. They are most notable for the Zari on the saris. The sari consists of cotton body with silk palluwhich is also given a new name as Sico saris. The weave is so light that the saree can be packed in a matchbox

The sarees made on machines using low-quality silk take less time and are sold in the market as original Gadwal sarees. The true hallmark of a Gadwal saree is the merging of cotton and silk threads in the border, which differentiates it from the sarees made on powerlooms.

With any handloom fabric, making it relevant to the increasingly fashion conscious crowd is a challenge. Of late, Gadwal sarees, have received a huge impulse thanks to the efforts of fashion designers like Sanjay Garg and Vinay Narkar who have contemporised it with their labels Raw Mango and Reshamwala. A quick browse through their websites reveals curated Gadwal sarees unlike the generic stacks one has to sort through to find a standout piece.

Though Gadwal sarees got a boost under the patronage of the Nizams and got accentuated with a geographical indication (GI) certificate in 2010, the plight of these weavers is similar to those in other parts of the country as they struggle to make a better life for themselves and their children with the paltry sum they make a month.