Molakalmuru saree are weaved in a town called Molakalmuru. This towm is situated in Chitradurga district on the borders of Karnataka. Weaving is the major occupation of the place. They are traditional silk sarees and the patterns on these sarees are inspired by the nature. The motifs on the sarees include that of fruits, flowers and animals. In 2011, it has been granted Geographical Indication tag and its tag number is 53. It has sought a place in the global market because of their high-quality sarees that are being manufactured.
The word Mulakalmuru means ‘broken knees’ when translated into kannada. According to sources, during a battle between native Indians and British, many British soldiers lost their knees due to rocky and hilly terrain in the town’s surrounding. These sarees are produced since 19th century.
Molakalmuru is best known for its hand-woven silk sarees and craftsmanship. The community of weavers known for manufacturing molakalmuru sarees is small. The taluk that had about 1500 weavers engaged in making silk sarees has come down to 440. Molakalmuru sarees have prints of fruits, animals and birds on them. The beautiful floral designs and the rich pallu make these sarees gorgeous and attractive. The long border saree has a contrast border and the traditional touch is its speciality. The peacock design saree is made of pure mulberry silk and this design is the replica of the Maharaja peacock design.
Butta molakalmuru sarees are woven using dobby looms and feature a mix of traditional and computer designs. This saree is special because the buttas are featured on both sides of the border, making it the most modern version of the Molakalmuru sarees in circulation.
Another variety of molakalmuru saree is long border molakalmuru sarees which are available in multicolor checks with a border in contrasting color. Double molakalmuru sarees are woven in two threads in contrasting colours. And other sarees feature geometric shapes such as chakra and bagudi.
PRESENT DAY SCENARIO
The sarees have great demand in Mysore, Bangalore, Shimoga and Gulbarga, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. They also have demand in USA, Australia. At present, the demand for these sarees has come down.
The Karnataka Handloom Development Corporation was established in 1975 with the objective of providing support to weavers. Today KHDC has 13000 handlooms under its wing. KHDC works ceaselessly to encourage and support hundreds of thousands of weavers. Revive ancient designs and weaves and integrate them into today’s lifestyle.