Dharamavaram a small town, is geographically located in the southern border of Andhra Pradesh. By the 1880s, artisans from surrounding villages, encouraged by the construction of railways and a trade route have set up looms to weave sarees. With abundant cotton, a native to the are, the weavers in Dharmavaram thrived in the following decades producing fine cotton sarees.
Bangalore, the closest city to Dharamavaram, has long-established silk harvesting thanks to its high altitude and the right climate, producing best silk in the country. The weavers took advance by replacing fine cotton with raw silk in an attempt to increase the longevity of the saree and it paid off. This marked transformation of Dharmavaram saree and it’s weavers as one of the best along with Benaras in north and Kanchipuram in the south.
What makes Dharmavaram saree so special and unique is its iconic double shade body attached to a broad border. In the late ’90s, the computer-aided design was adapted to further push the complexity and precision in the design of these sarees.
Today, the broad borders of Dharmavaram saree are made with rich gold Zari often emblemized with iconic motifs, inspired by the roof of Lepakshi temple, an epitome of the unmissable Vijayanagar architecture.
Golden threads used on weft to create a rich body
Often confused with a Kanjeevaram saree, the Dharmavaram saree holds its distinctiveness in the vibrant colours and sophisticated designs. Many brides across India and especially from south prefer Dharmavaram for their bridal ceremonies and rituals. The added gold and silver Zari pairs well with jewellery to make their moments special and memorable.
Through Weaves of India, our new series of films and photo stories, we explore the relationship of the saree with the weaver, environment and community at large. We have also curated a fine collection of Handloom Dharmavaram silk sarees you can on our online store.