In the late Thirties, Rukmini Devi Arundale, dancer, Theosophist and founder of Chennai-based Kalakshetra Foundation, launched the kili (parrot) motif on the Kalakshetra sari. Today, this design has discovered its manner into the Kerala kasavu, courtesy Kochi-based designer Shruthi Prajosh, as half of her Onam Edit.
A textile fanatic, Shruthi has labored with the handloom weavers of Kuthampilly in Thrissur for 13 years and launched the Kaithiri challenge to carry round-the-year work to the weavers. “This is a dream come true,” she says. “I’ve been chatting with the weavers about this design for the final six months.” She says the youthful weavers (round 30% of the Kuthampilly weaving group) are desirous to experiment with new designs.
Shruthi has imported motifs from completely different traditions, cultures and mythology of India on to the Kerala kasavu, which is often worn solely throughout the festivals in the state. Four years in the past, she designed a sari with the Tree of Life motif. Other improvements embrace kasavu saris in pastel shades (to be worn on completely different events), including the orange selvedge to the border and including the phoda khumba motif (the triangular-shaped roof) from temple structure.
“Six years in the past, we launched kattam (checks), vara (stripes) and methods like the ‘muthu kattam’ from Kanjeevaram, in the physique of the kasavu. We took technical assist, in making the kili card, inviting a weaver from Coimbatore to work with us at Kuthampilly. As a weave, the kattam require precision and proper calculation,” says Shruthi. The weaver does the psychological math to calculate the required thread depend.
Shruthi explains that the 200-odd weavers in Kuthampilly initially hailed from Tamil Nadu. “Around 500 years in the past, the native king introduced these weavers right here they usually settled down. They communicate a combination of Tamil, Malayalam and Konkani.”
According to Chennai-based textile researcher Sreemathy Mohan, the unique parrot motif was first present in the costume Rukmini Devi Arundale wore when she enacted the dance drama, Kutrala Kurvinji. “It was a cotton sungadi and the parrots on it have been large.” One of the hottest motifs it was additionally crafted on Venkatagiri saris and the Ashavalli brocades of Gujarat.
A motif of love
The parrot has an vital position in Tamil tradition and seems in Indian mythology as a discovered sage. It can also be a motif of love and subsequently types an vital sample in bridal trousseau saris.