Anyone who has ever been to the city of Bangaluru, or any other city for that matter, will immediately tell you how overwhelmed one feels with the sights and sounds of the place, the food, the amazing places that one must see and are highly recommended and the choc-a-block itinerary that allows you less to almost no time to go exploring and finding what some women are passionately in search of-Sarees.
Bangaluru is almost a synonym for some of the finest in silks and chiffons that one can find in the whole country and when one visits the city, it’s almost an imperative that one heads to some of its finest sources. It’s thus important to home on to the best buys, from the best places and learn to identify a great material so as not to fall prey to the typical tout based selling that tourists fall prey to.
The entire south India is famed for its production of silks and Bangalore in particular has not just been the center of its manufacture for centuries but also the commercial center where it is traded from and thus it automatically became the hub for making purchases of silks like the famed soft silks called as mulberry silk, eri silk or endi silk, and even raw forms of silk like paat silk and muga silks. But the silk for which the city has offered its name is Bangalore silk-a sift , gleaming luxurious silk that is famous for its design and colors.
Another handloom saree famous for its airiness and worn everyday by Bangaloreans , be it housewives or office goers, is the ilkal saree. Note the Dharwad border n the sarees and their bright colours.Crepes and chiffons from Bangalore have held much value over the years as the finest of silks weavers in the city are involved in production of the famed crepe de chine sarees that have delicate glow, a lovely drape and the feel of silk, while all the while creating a modern silhouette.Considering how large the saree industry has become with designer houses stepping in and creating a large mish mash of styles-today it’s possible to but all kinds of sarees from this city.
The point being that where does one pick it up from and what to look for while buying particularly silks from this region. The thumb rule that applies to all sarees that claim to be silk is to look for the silk mark insignia. Any saree that does not have the correct silk mark symbol is perhaps not pure in its material usage. As silks have gotten more and more expensive there has been ample spurious or mixed fabrics that have been pumped into the Bangalore saree trade and only careful discerning eye will come to know the difference.
But more important than that is in knowing which would be the best place to buy sarees in Bangalore.
Known to be the purest chiffon saree that you can find-the Mysore chiffon saree is sold in authentic well known shops in Bangalore. It’s also called as Chamundi chiffon. It’s a lightweight fabric that adheres to all shapes and gives wonderful feel on the skin while maintaining perfect balancewhile draping. It may look very fragile but being made of silk has great resilience to color dyeing as well as embroidery and one can find the best of chiffons of this variety in Bangalore. Be vary of the imitation or polyester mix chiffons that come with a peculiar shiny feel to it that tends to feel slippery between ones fingers.While chiffons from Benaras have the typical zari butta the ones that you can pick up in Bangalore come in more trendier prints an colors and are thus more contemporary as well.
It’s known in the past to be the place from where the weavers settled in this region supplied the royal classes the finest of silks. Chickpete continues to be the destination for all those looking for authentic silks with the best kinds of weaves.
Anyone going past Kuberan, Byrappa and Sons, and Sudarshan Silks, will know of its history from the very look of the shops and the expertise with which they extol the great name the shop has earned over years of their existence. There is Shantala Silk House near the old Railway station that too excels in its traditional silks and of course there is Nalli as well as Prasiddhi that has chain of shops across the city –one even at MG Road and Commercial Street-two prominent places where all shoppers go anyway.
While in Bangalore do pay attention to the fact that this city was making quite headway in silk trade in the modern time selling silks to the Maharaja in Mysore and Garhwal and even abroad, and has continued with its reputation as being one of the foremost suppliers of raw silks to different parts of India wherever there is silk weaving-even Benaras gets its silks and chiffon yarn from Bangalore and adjacent Mysore.
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