Mysore silk gets e-edge in centenary year

Brighter and better

Mysore silk gets e-edge in centenary year

When tradition weds technology, the result is bound to be exquisite. And that is what Mysore silk sarees have turned out to be in their centenary year.

State-of-the-art computer technology has given lightning speed to weaving yards of the Indian woman’s object of desire in made-to-order designs. The technology touch will also help increase the quantity of production of the world famous textile brand and greatly improve its quality.

A computer-aided electronic loom, manufactured indigenously in Bangalore, has been deployed on a pilot basis and 10 more will soon start functioning at the silk factory in the City of Palaces. More and more new designs will come alive on the much sought-after sarees through the new system, something that hitherto took a long time in the mechanical looms.

“Each of the electronic looms costs Rs four lakh to Rs five lakh. In the machines which are currently in use, it takes 15 days to change a particular design. It is just a couple of minutes in the new machines,” said B S Sadananda Swamy, general manager of the Mysore unit of the Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation (KSIC).

Designs developed by experts through specialised computer software are loaded onto the computers connected to the electronic looms. Once the yarns of the colour and texture recommended by experts are set in the loom, it is just a matter of time for the smooth wonder to be ready.

Sarees in a mind-boggling range of designs, 80 in number, are woven at this factory. The price bracket is between Rs 10,000 and Rs 2.14 lakh, catering to all categories of buyers. With a workforce of 500, the annual output stands at 70,000 sarees, chudidar pieces, kurtas, silk shirts and dhotis.

The silk factory, set up in 1912 by Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, has indeed come a long way and the electronic enhancement will help it grow by leaps and bounds. In the initial years, the silk yarn was sent to European countries to be woven into sarees. Gradually, looms came into being at the Mysore facility. In 1980, the factory came under the KSIC.

The silken magic just got more mystique.

Kohinoor in silk

The costliest saree from the KSIC’s stable is priced at a princely Rs 2.14 lakh, with the border woven in special golden and silver yarn. The sarees with eye-catching designs come with a discount of 15 per cent. Seventy such sarees were produced in 2005-06 and 65 pieces have been sold till now.

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