In a rare honour, the Uppada Jamdani sarees of Andhra Pradesh have been granted the Geographical Indication (GI) registration in India.
The Uppada Handloom Weavers Co-operative Production and Sales Society Limited and two other registered societies, representing the weavers community in several villages in the Uppada Kothapalli mandal of East Godavari district, have been given the GI registration.
The GI has been granted under the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act by the Chennai-based Geographical Indications Registry, I S Sri Naresh, Director of Handlooms and Textiles of Andhra Pradesh government, told PTI.
The recognition would provide greater Revenues and international fame to the weavers of the industry which has an annual turnover of Rs 6 crore (Rs 60 million).
The Jamdani style of weaving, originated more than 300 years ago, had a rich history. The style of weaving was patronized by the Maharajas of Pithapuram, Venkatagiri and Bobbili in the state.
The weavers used to make the unique sarees for the women of the royal households and were prohibited from weaving or selling them to anyone outside the royal family.
The specialty of the design is that it blends into the cloth and cannot be felt by the hand, separately from the surface of the cloth.
Secondly, the design is uniformly visible on both sides of the cloth, says Sri Naresh.
Further, no loose threads can be seen on either side of the design. Since the entire design is hand woven without using any mechanical device, the designs would be strong and durable.
The Jamdani design will neither disappear or get damaged and the threads would not come out over a period of time, as generally happens in normal weaving.
The weaver community in Kothapalli mandal have, however, lost the patronage with the fall of the kingdoms. Loss of patronage led to a decline of the style of weaving.
Since the making of a Jamdani saree involves intricate work that stretches up to a month, they are very costly, says Sri Naresh.
Cotton Jamdani sarees cost between Rs 2,500 and Rs 5,000, while silk sarees cost between Rs 6,000 and Rs 16,000. Superior quality silk sarees can be worth as much as Rs 100,000, he adds.