Kodali Karuppur Sarees - Reviving the lost glory of Indian textiles

On the banks of River Kollidam lies a small picturesque village with centuries-old temples, historically known for its textile industry - the Kodali  Karuppur Village. Despite the fact that the river continues to flow and contribute to the village's agricultural sector, the textile infrastructure that once produced the famed textiles, Kodali Karuppur sarees,  no longer exists.

But what makes Kodali Karuppur sarees so special? Why is this long-forgotten craft form being researched and revived now? Are there any traces of the original craft? These are a few questions surrounding this glorious art form which we will be delving into in this week’s blog.

There are three characteristics which distinguish a textile from another: one-of-a-kind designs, unique techniques and highly talented artisans. Kodali Karuppur is one among very few textiles which are defined by all of the above.  It combines two very different processes: hand painting and brocade weaving.  It is indeed unfortunate that only a few of its original pieces survive which are on display at a few museums.

Once woven only for the queens and nobilities of the Tanjore court, Kodali Karuppur textile is an extraordinary combination of Jamdani and dye painting, found by the Maratha rulers of Thanjavur during the 18th-19th century. The Saree was an essential part of the bride's trousseau in Baroda, Kolhapur, and Satara. Because of the highly skilled labour involved, the craft disappeared with the advent of royalty in the country.

Today's Kodali Karuppur sarees have lost their original allure and can only be recreated with block printing and natural colours. The original craft, on the other hand, is so much more. The dye painting process is extremely complicated and time-consuming, which led to adopting block printing techniques to replicate them.

The revival efforts of the Kodali Karuppur saree serve as a constant reminder that art never dies, and its legacy will live on for generations. At Sundari Silks, we are constantly on a quest to uphold the diverse indigenous art forms of our motherland. Our founder, Mr.K. Rajaram is actively involved in the revival of the Kodali Karuppur craft form and is dedicated to preserving and propagating India’s diverse weaving heritage. If you would like to own a piece of this cherished possession, call us on +91 99624 25968.

Share on