Kerala sarees, also known as Kasavu sarees or Mundum Neryathum sarees, are a traditional type of saree that originated in the Indian state of Kerala. These sarees are made from fine cotton and have a distinctive off-white or cream-colored base with a golden border.
The name "Kasavu" comes from the Malayalam language, which is the native language of Kerala, and refers to the golden border of the saree. The Mundum Neryathum saree, on the other hand, is a two-piece saree that consists of a lower garment and a shawl-like upper garment, both of which are usually made of cotton.
Kerala sarees are typically worn by women during festivals, weddings, and other important occasions in Kerala. They are also popular as formal wear, and many women wear them to work. The simplicity and elegance of these sarees have made them a favorite among women not just in Kerala, but across India and around the world.
In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in traditional textiles, and Kerala sarees have become increasingly popular as a fashion statement. They are now available in a wide range of colors and designs, and many designers are incorporating traditional Kerala saree elements into modern fashion designs.
Kerala sarees have a long and rich history that dates back to the pre-colonial period in India. It is believed that the tradition of wearing sarees in Kerala can be traced back to the 9th century AD, when the region was ruled by the Chera dynasty.
The original Kerala saree was known as the Mundum Neryathum, which was a two-piece garment consisting of a lower cloth and an upper cloth. These sarees were made from hand-spun cotton and were usually woven by women in their homes.
During the colonial period, Kerala sarees underwent significant changes. The British introduced the use of power looms, which made it possible to produce sarees in larger quantities and with greater precision. They also introduced new techniques and designs, such as the use of zari (gold and silver threads) and embroidery.
After India gained independence in 1947, there was a renewed interest in traditional textiles and handicrafts. The Kerala government established several handloom weaving centers in the state, which helped to revive the traditional Mundum Neryathum saree. The saree was given a modern twist by incorporating new colors and designs, while still retaining its traditional elements.
Today, Kerala sarees are a popular choice for weddings, festivals, and other important occasions. They are known for their simplicity, elegance, and comfort, and have become an important part of Kerala's cultural heritage.
Kerala sarees are traditional sarees from the state of Kerala, India. Here are some of the key characteristics of Kerala sarees:
Material: Kerala sarees are typically made of cotton or silk, which are both lightweight and breathable fabrics that are suitable for the hot and humid climate of Kerala.
Color: Kerala sarees are usually white or off-white in color, with a simple border in gold or other colors.
Design: The design of Kerala sarees is simple and elegant, with minimal embellishments. The saree may have small designs or motifs on the border, but the body of the saree is usually plain.
Border: The border of a Kerala saree is typically wider than that of other sarees, and is often embellished with gold thread or zari work. The border may also feature traditional Kerala motifs, such as temple designs or floral patterns.
Pallu: The pallu of a Kerala saree is also quite distinctive, and is usually plain or lightly embellished with small motifs. It is draped in a unique style that is specific to Kerala, with the end of the pallu usually tucked into the waist at the back.
Occasions: Kerala sarees are often worn for formal occasions, such as weddings and festivals, and are considered to be a symbol of Kerala's rich cultural heritage. They are also popular as daily wear sarees, due to their comfort and simplicity.
Overall, Kerala sarees are known for their understated elegance and timeless appeal, and are a treasured part of India's rich textile heritage.
Kerala is known for its traditional sarees, which are popular for their unique designs, fabric, and color combinations. Some of the popular types of Kerala sarees are:
Kasavu Sarees: Also known as Kerala sarees, these sarees are made from pure cotton and have a gold or silver border. The sarees are usually white or cream-colored with a thick golden border.
Mundum Neriyathum: This traditional Kerala saree is made from cotton and is worn by women of all ages. The Mundum Neriyathum consists of two pieces of cloth, one worn as a skirt (mundu) and the other draped as a shawl (neriyathu). These sarees come in various colors, but the most common colors are off-white or cream.
Kanchipuram Sarees: Kanchipuram sarees are made in Tamil Nadu, but they are also popular in Kerala. These sarees are made from silk and are known for their intricate designs and vibrant colors.
Balaramapuram Sarees: These sarees are made in Balaramapuram, a small town in Kerala. Balaramapuram sarees are made from cotton and are known for their vibrant colors and intricate designs.
Chendamangalam Sarees: Chendamangalam sarees are made in Chendamangalam, a village in Kerala. These sarees are made from cotton and silk and are known for their traditional designs and vibrant colors.
Settu Mundu: Settu Mundu is a traditional Kerala saree that is worn by women on festive occasions. The saree consists of two pieces of cloth, one worn as a skirt (mundu) and the other draped as a shawl (settu).
Thalassery Sarees: Thalassery sarees are made in Thalassery, a town in Kerala. These sarees are made from cotton and are known for their traditional designs and vibrant colors.
Pathani Sarees: Pathani sarees are made in Pathanamthitta, a district in Kerala. These sarees are made from cotton and are known for their unique designs and vibrant colors.
Each of these sarees has a unique style and is popular among women in Kerala and across India.
cotton is the primary material used for making Kerala sarees. The cotton used for Kerala sarees is of high quality and is usually handloom woven. The sarees are typically made from fine cotton yarn and have a distinctive off-white or cream-colored base with a golden border.
The use of cotton for Kerala sarees is not only practical, as cotton is breathable and comfortable in Kerala's hot and humid climate, but also has cultural significance. The simplicity and elegance of cotton sarees have been an important part of Kerala's traditional attire for centuries and continue to be popular today.
In recent years, designers have started experimenting with different colors and designs, giving the traditional Kerala saree a modern twist. However, the use of cotton as the primary material remains a hallmark of the Kerala saree.
Kasavu is a term used to refer to the gold or silver zari border that is woven into traditional Kerala sarees. The Kasavu border is a distinguishing feature of Kerala sarees, and is typically woven using fine gold or silver metallic threads that are wrapped around a cotton or silk core.
The Kasavu border adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to the saree, and is often complemented by other traditional motifs and designs. The Kasavu border is usually about two to four inches wide and runs along the entire length of the saree, including the pallu (the end section of the saree that is draped over the shoulder).
Kasavu sarees are typically made from high-quality cotton yarn, and the off-white or cream-colored base fabric is often handloom woven. The combination of the Kasavu border and the fine cotton fabric make Kerala sarees comfortable to wear in Kerala's hot and humid climate.
Overall, the use of Kasavu adds an element of luxury and grandeur to Kerala sarees, making them a popular choice for weddings, festivals, and other important occasions.
silk is also used to make Kerala sarees, particularly for special occasions and weddings. In fact, Kerala is known for its exquisite silk sarees, such as the Kasavu saree, which is made from a combination of silk and cotton. These sarees have a distinctive golden border, and are often embellished with intricate embroidery or zari work. Kerala also produces other types of silk sarees, such as the Balaramapuram saree and the Kuthampully saree, which are known for their unique designs and patterns. So, while cotton is the more common material for Kerala sarees, silk is also an important part of the state's textile tradition.
cotton silk is also used for Kerala sarees. Cotton silk is a blend of cotton and silk fibers, which gives the saree a soft and comfortable texture of cotton and the rich shine and luster of silk. Cotton silk sarees are popular in Kerala and are often used to create the intricate designs and patterns that are characteristic of traditional Kerala sarees. These sarees come in a wide range of colors and designs, from simple and elegant to heavily embellished with embroidery and embellishments. Cotton silk sarees are a popular choice for weddings, festivals, and other special occasions in Kerala.
The Kasavu border is a distinctive feature of traditional Kerala sarees, also known as Kasavu sarees or Mundum Neryathum sarees. The Kasavu border is a gold or silver zari border that is woven into the saree using fine metallic threads that are wrapped around a cotton or silk core.
The Kasavu border is typically about two to four inches wide and runs along the entire length of the saree, including the pallu (the end section of the saree that is draped over the shoulder). The off-white or cream-colored base fabric of the saree provides a beautiful contrast with the gold or silver Kasavu border, giving the saree a timeless elegance.
The Kasavu border is an important part of Kerala's cultural heritage and has been used in traditional Kerala sarees for centuries. The border is often complemented by other traditional motifs and designs, such as paisley patterns, floral designs, and geometric shapes, which are woven into the saree using a combination of zari and colored threads.
Overall, the Kasavu border adds a touch of luxury and grandeur to Kerala sarees, making them a popular choice for weddings, festivals, and other important occasions.
Temple designs are a type of traditional motif that is often used in Kerala sarees. These designs are inspired by the intricate carvings and architectural elements found in Kerala's temples, and often feature geometrical shapes, floral patterns, and images of gods and goddesses.
The temple designs used in Kerala sarees are typically woven into the saree using a combination of zari (gold or silver metallic threads) and colored threads. The designs are usually intricate and detailed, with each motif representing a particular aspect of Kerala's culture and heritage.
Some popular temple designs used in Kerala sarees include the lotus flower, the elephant, the peacock, and the mango leaf. These designs are often combined with other traditional motifs, such as the Kasavu border, to create a unique and beautiful saree.
Temple designs are an important part of Kerala's textile tradition and are often passed down from generation to generation. They add an element of cultural significance to Kerala sarees, making them a popular choice for important occasions such as weddings and festivals.
Floral and paisley motifs are common designs that are often used in Kerala sarees. These motifs are inspired by nature and are usually woven into the saree using a combination of zari (gold or silver metallic threads) and colored threads.
Floral motifs are often woven into Kerala sarees using vibrant colors such as red, blue, and green. They can be either small or large in size, and can be arranged in a variety of patterns. Some popular floral motifs used in Kerala sarees include the lotus flower, the hibiscus flower, and the jasmine flower.
Paisley motifs are also a popular design element in Kerala sarees. Paisley motifs are teardrop-shaped designs that originated in Persia and were later adopted by Indian weavers. These motifs are often woven into the saree using intricate patterns and bright colors such as red, green, and gold.
Floral and paisley motifs are often used in combination with other traditional designs such as the Kasavu border and temple motifs to create unique and beautiful Kerala sarees. These designs add an element of beauty and sophistication to the saree, making it a popular choice for weddings, festivals, and other important occasions.
Nature-inspired designs are a popular design element in Kerala sarees. These designs are often inspired by the natural beauty of Kerala's landscape, including its lush forests, tropical flowers, and exotic wildlife.
Some popular nature-inspired designs used in Kerala sarees include:
The peacock: The peacock is a symbol of beauty and grace, and is often woven into Kerala sarees using a combination of zari and colored threads.
The tree of life: The tree of life is a popular motif in Indian textiles, and is often woven into Kerala sarees using intricate patterns and vibrant colors.
The mango leaf: The mango leaf is a popular design element in Indian textiles, and is often used in Kerala sarees to create a beautiful and intricate border.
The lotus flower: The lotus flower is a symbol of purity and enlightenment, and is often woven into Kerala sarees using vibrant colors such as pink and orange.
The elephant: The elephant is a symbol of strength and prosperity, and is often woven into Kerala sarees using intricate patterns and bright colors such as red and gold.
Nature-inspired designs are an important part of Kerala's textile tradition, and are often used in combination with other traditional motifs such as the Kasavu border and temple designs to create unique and beautiful sarees.
There are several types of blouses that are commonly worn with Kerala sarees. Some popular types of blouses include:
Traditional blouse: The traditional blouse is a simple and elegant blouse that is often made from cotton or silk. It has short sleeves and a high neck, and is typically worn with Kasavu sarees.
Jacket blouse: The jacket blouse is a modern take on the traditional blouse. It features a longer length and a jacket-style design, with a collar and buttons down the front. This type of blouse is often made from silk or other luxurious fabrics and is a popular choice for weddings and other formal occasions.
Boat neck blouse: The boat neck blouse features a wide neckline that sits just below the collarbone. It is a versatile blouse style that can be worn with a variety of sarees, including Kasavu sarees and sarees with temple designs.
Halter neck blouse: The halter neck blouse features a high neckline that ties at the back of the neck, leaving the shoulders and upper back bare. It is a modern and stylish blouse style that is often worn with sarees that have bold prints or vibrant colors.
Sleeveless blouse: The sleeveless blouse is a simple and elegant blouse that is often worn with sarees during the summer months. It is a popular choice for casual occasions and can be made from a variety of fabrics, including cotton and silk.
These are just a few of the many types of blouses that can be worn with Kerala sarees. The type of blouse that is worn with a saree often depends on the occasion, the fabric of the saree, and the personal style preferences of the wearer.
The colors and fabrics used in Kerala sarees can vary depending on the occasion and personal preference. Traditionally, Kerala sarees are made in cotton or silk, and the most common colors are white or off-white with a gold or colored border. However, today, Kerala sarees are available in a variety of colors and fabrics, including:
Cotton: Cotton is a popular fabric choice for everyday wear Kerala sarees, as it is lightweight and breathable. Cotton sarees come in a range of colors, from pastels to bright shades.
Silk: Silk is commonly used for Kerala sarees, particularly for special occasions and weddings. Silk sarees have a rich and luxurious feel, and come in a variety of colors, such as red, green, and blue.
Kasavu: Kasavu is a traditional Kerala saree made from a combination of silk and cotton. It features a white or off-white body with a gold border, and is often worn for festivals and formal occasions.
Tissue: Tissue is a lightweight and shiny fabric that is commonly used for party wear Kerala sarees. It comes in a range of colors, from metallic shades to pastels.
Chiffon: Chiffon is a lightweight and sheer fabric that is often used for Kerala sarees in bright and vibrant colors, such as pink, orange, and yellow.
Overall, the choice of fabric and color for a Kerala saree depends on the occasion, personal preference, and the current fashion trends.
Necklines and sleeve styles are important design elements in clothing, including sarees. Here are some popular neckline and sleeve styles that are commonly used in saree blouses:
These neckline and sleeve styles can be combined in different ways to create unique and stylish saree blouses that complement the overall look of the saree. Additionally, variations and modifications of these styles can also be created to suit personal preferences and to add a touch of individuality to the blouse design.
Kerala sarees are delicate and require special care to ensure they last for a long time. Here are some tips on how to care for Kerala sarees:
Wash with care: Kerala sarees are usually made from cotton or silk and should be washed gently by hand using mild detergent. Avoid using hot water and scrubbing the saree vigorously as this can damage the fabric and the design.
Iron carefully: Kerala sarees often feature delicate designs that can be easily damaged by high heat. To avoid damaging the saree, iron it on a low heat setting and avoid ironing over the design elements.
Store properly: To prevent damage and maintain the saree's shape, fold it carefully and store it in a cool, dry place. Avoid hanging the saree for long periods of time as this can cause the fabric to stretch and lose its shape.
Protect from insects: Kerala sarees are susceptible to damage from insects, especially if they are stored in a damp or humid environment. To protect the saree from insects, store it in airtight containers or add neem leaves or mothballs to the storage area.
Avoid contact with chemicals: Kerala sarees should be kept away from chemicals such as perfumes, deodorants, and hair sprays as they can damage the fabric and the design.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your Kerala sarees remain in excellent condition for years to come.
Proper washing and cleaning is important to maintain the quality and longevity of Kerala sarees. Here are some tips to help you wash and clean your Kerala sarees:
Hand-wash: It is recommended to hand-wash Kerala sarees instead of using a washing machine. Use a mild detergent and lukewarm water to gently wash the saree.
Avoid soaking: Avoid soaking the saree in water for too long, as this can cause the colors to bleed and the fabric to weaken. Wash the saree quickly and rinse thoroughly.
Dry-cleaning: For silk Kerala sarees or those with heavy embroidery work, it is recommended to take them to a professional dry cleaner to avoid damaging the fabric or embellishments.
Drying: After washing, gently wring out the excess water and hang the saree to dry in a shaded area. Avoid drying in direct sunlight, as this can cause the colors to fade.
Ironing: Iron the saree on a low heat setting to avoid damaging the fabric. For silk sarees, use a pressing cloth to avoid direct contact with the iron.
Storage: Store the saree in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight and moisture. Fold the saree carefully and place it in a cotton or muslin bag to protect it from dust and insects.
By following these tips, you can keep your Kerala sarees looking beautiful and new for a long time.
Storing sarees properly is important to maintain their quality and ensure they last for a long time. Here are some tips for storing sarees:
Clean and dry: Make sure the saree is clean and completely dry before storing it. Any moisture or dampness can lead to mold or mildew, which can damage the fabric.
Fold properly: Fold the saree neatly along the length, ensuring that the pleats are aligned and the borders are properly folded. This will help prevent wrinkles and creases from forming on the fabric.
Use muslin cloth: Wrap the folded saree in a muslin cloth, which is a breathable fabric that will help protect the saree from dust and insects.
Avoid plastic bags: Do not store the saree in plastic bags, as plastic can trap moisture and cause damage to the fabric.
Store in a cool, dry place: Store the wrapped saree in a cool, dry place that is away from direct sunlight, moisture, and humidity. Avoid storing sarees in attics, basements, or places with high humidity levels.
Air out the saree: Every few months, take out the saree from storage and air it out for a few hours to prevent any musty smells from forming.
By following these tips, you can help preserve the quality and beauty of your sarees and ensure that they last for a long time.
Ironing is an important part of caring for Kerala sarees, but it must be done carefully to avoid damaging the delicate fabric and intricate designs. Here are some tips for ironing Kerala sarees:
Use a low heat setting: Kerala sarees are often made from delicate fabrics such as cotton and silk, which can be easily damaged by high heat. To avoid damaging the saree, iron it on a low heat setting.
Use a pressing cloth: To further protect the saree from heat damage, place a pressing cloth over the saree before ironing. A pressing cloth can be made from cotton or muslin and will help to distribute the heat evenly over the saree.
Iron in the direction of the weave: When ironing Kerala sarees, it is important to iron in the direction of the weave. Ironing against the weave can cause the fabric to stretch and distort, damaging the saree.
Avoid ironing over the design elements: Kerala sarees often feature intricate design elements such as kasavu borders and temple designs. To avoid damaging these elements, avoid ironing over them directly. Instead, iron around the design elements or use a pressing cloth to iron over them.
Iron while the saree is still slightly damp: Ironing Kerala sarees when they are slightly damp can make the process easier and help to remove wrinkles more effectively. However, avoid ironing the saree when it is too wet, as this can cause the fabric to stretch and distort.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your Kerala sarees are ironed carefully and safely, maintaining their delicate beauty and intricate designs.
A Kerala saree is a traditional saree that originated in the South Indian state of Kerala. It is typically made of cotton or silk and features a distinctive golden border called kasavu.
Kasavu is a gold or silver zari border that is a prominent feature of Kerala sarees. It is typically made using pure cotton thread coated with gold or silver.
The most popular types of Kerala sarees are Kasavu sarees, which are white with a golden border. Other types include Kerala cotton sarees, Kerala silk sarees, and Kerala cotton silk sarees.
Kerala sarees typically feature traditional motifs such as paisleys, florals, and temple designs. These motifs are often woven into the kasavu border or printed onto the body of the saree.
A blouse for a Kerala saree can be made of cotton, silk, or other lightweight fabrics. The neckline and sleeve styles can vary, but boat neck and elbow-length sleeves are popular choices.
Kerala sarees should be washed gently by hand using a mild detergent and cold water. Avoid using hot water or harsh detergents, as this can damage the fabric and kasavu border. Store the saree in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Iron the saree on a low heat setting to avoid damaging the fabric and kasavu border.