Andhra Pradesh - Telia Rumal and Pochampalli

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Teila rumal and pochampalli


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Weft ikat sari with warp ikat and brocade borders, from sambalpur district orissa

Preparing the yarn for dyeing by resist binding, Barpali, OrissaProduction clustersPrakasam districtChiralaNalgonda districtPuttapakaKoyalagudemChoutupalProduts Double and single squared rumalSari draped clothDupatta veilsTools Maggam loomAchhu healdsPanni reedAasu warping frameChitkipita weft ikat frameKami throw shuttleNadi fly shuttleRaatnam yarn winderThe telia rumal, chowka, square, asia rumal, indicate the cloth with patterns created by an exacting process of tying and dyeing the threads prior to weaving.

Telia is derived from the use of tel, oil, that is used to soften the yarn in preparation for dyeing, and rumal means a handkercheif.

Most evidence suggests that ikat weaving began in the late 19th century, when most of the original textiles were large scarves (rumal) made for export to Arabia.

The cotton cloths measuring 44 x 44 inches were expoterd to Myanmar, West Asia and East Africa.

The fishermen in Mumbai and Andhra Pradesh used them as lungi (loin cloth), turban or shoulder cloths.

The telia rumal has a square format enclosed by red broad borders.

Within this concentric structure, are featured geometric and figurative designs in single and double ikat techniques in black, red and white.The warp and weft yarns were dyed in natural madder that was later replaced with alizarin dye.

After dyeing, the yarns were treated in oil to give them a deeper shade of red thus imparting an oily texture and smell.

Telia rumal are woven in pairs.

The rectangular telia dupatta was used as a veil by muslim women and a multipurpose cloth by men.

Telia rumal has been the mainstay of Ikat in Andhra.

Having originated in Chirala, the skills spread to Nalgonda district where ikat weaving is more vibrant than in Chirala.

The festival of India exhibitions and design interventions restored the artistry of telia rumal and enlarged the vocabulary of ikat weaving in the region.

Double ikat cotton rumal (cover or kerchief) made at puttapaka village, near Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

Telia rumal double ikat cloths from Puttapaka village, near Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

A mordern interpretation of telia rumal developed for a sari. The sari is predominantly white with coloured borders and a pallu or cross border with squares based on the telia rumal traditions

Telia rumal with a geometrical pattern woven with ikat or tie-resist-dyed warp and weft.

Telia rumal with a chaupad or dice game design woven with double ikat and single ikat used in the field.

The inner square of the telia rumal with contemporary motifs such as clocks, birds and flowers.

Telia rumal, 44 x 44 in size, with a pattern formed by tie-resist dyed warp and weft stripes

Rumal with motifs of mathikai, a local fruit, and mallipu or jasmine.Production clustersNalgonda districtPochampalliKoyalagudemPuttapakaGatuppalChautupalPrakasam districtChiralaProducts SariDupatta stolesYardageFurnishingsBedcoversTools Maggam loomPanni reedAcchu heald shaftChitkaasu weft ikat frameThreadRubber tubingPochampalli Ikats

In Andhra Pradesh, cloth patterned by tie-resist-dyed yarns is known as paagadu bandhu, chitki, chit-ku and more popularly by the Indonesian term ikat.

While the tie-dyed yarn is katak-buti.

Ikat was initially woven in Chirala, a coastal town in Prakasam district, which had a flourishing market in the 19th century for telia rumal or square cotton cloths produced for the Arab market and exported to the Middle East, Africa and Burma.

These were used as loincloths by fishermen in Mumbai.By the 1970s, pochampallis ikat sari industry had mushroomed.

An increase in demand from export markets helped spread the technique to Pochampalli and the neighbouring villages of Koyalagudem, Puttupaka and Chautupal who later diversified to produce sari, yardage and furnishings.

Over a period of time each village developed a specialization: Pochampalli in silk saris of both single and double ikat, Puttapaka in fine cotton and silk saris and yardages, Gatuppal, Chautupal and Koyalagudem in cotton and silk yardage for furnishing and shirting.

Ingenious technology such as the chitkaasu, a curved frame with pegs on which the weft threads are grouped and tied for dyeing, has sustained production.

Weaving is a full time activity, often the entire family being involved in the craft.

Simple geometric designs, multi-colored patterns, stripes and chevron forms are dominant patterns.

Other influences include Gujarat patola, ikat patterns from Orissa, Japan and Guatemala (South America) introduced by exporters and trade.

The most significant impetus has come from the festival of India programmes (1982-1992), which revitalized the weaving craft.

Marking out the weft threads for tying before dyeing in Pochampalli, Andhra Pradesh

Prepared yarn on dyeing frame, in Pochampalli, Andhra PradeshThe majority of Pochampalli ikats are vibrantly coloured, however, and although there is wide range of mordern designs, most still follow the rumal layout with wide plain borders, one or two plain bands marking the endpiece, and a field covered with ikat created designs.

Historically, Andhra Pradeshs ikat saris appear to have closer ties with Gujarat than Orissa.

Two brothers from one of the original rumal-weaving families in Chirala are believed to have trained in Gujarat in the early years of the twentieth century, and today the Pochampalli and Chirala areas specialize in creating imitation patolu saris.

Some of these imitations are very close to the originals although the weaving is often less fine.The characteristic patolu motifs are often interspersed within the rumal format, leading to the typical patolu elephants (enuga), parrots (ciluka), dancing girls (annu) and flowers (poovu) being placed within the geometric grid of the rumal-style field.

Other imitation patola have purely geometric forms within the field, something not seen in the traditional gujarati versions.

Most of these imitation patolu also have ikat borders and endpieces which are usually less complex than the multiple bands found in the originals.

They are woven in silk, cotton and silk-cotton mixes, and, as might be expected, are very popular in Gujarat also

Sold in urban centres; and like the older rumal trade goods, its ikat saris are primarily made for export out of state rather than for local markets.

Detail of single ikat silk sari, prabablly from Pochampalli, Andhra Pradesh


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