Last month, when I told my friend that I was going on a trip to Hyderabad, her only request to me was to get her a Gadwal saree.
Her request prompted me to look for Gadwal sarees in the heritage city of Hyderabad, and also learn about its fascinating history.
These handloom zari sarees, popularly known as Gadwal sarees, are the pride of Andhra Pradesh.
Woven in traditional patterns by the master weavers of Gadwal in Mahbubnagar district, these sarees have a cotton body, embellished with silk pallus and borders in resplendent colours. This mix of cotton and silk has given rise to a new trend of sarees known as sico sarees, which are quite popular the world over.
While the silk for the border and pallu is sourced from Bangalore, the gold and silver threads are sourced from Surat, I was told. The most fascinating feature of this saree is that it can be folded in such a way that it fits in a match box. No wonder, Gadwal sarees have been in great demand the world over since the 1930s.
As the salesperson at the Gadwal outlet said, “People buy these sarees in dozens while going abroad as they make good gift options. Moreover, they’re light and easy to carry.”
The patterns on the pallu and border, that represent South Indian culture, add to their timeless appeal. As also the contrasting colours of the body and the pallu/border. Looking at once opulent and elegant, these sarees can be worn to any function, big or small.
The very fact that they are mostly woven out of cotton make them ideal to be worn in summer too.
I soon found myself picking up one for each of my family members and friends. After all, they are easy to carry, ain't it?