South India is fondly called the Manchester of India, thanks to the superior variety of cotton grown and spun here on handlooms as well as power looms. With time it has become a large hub of cotton apparels like chudidar, salwar, kurta, shirts and sarees. Though South Indian Sarees are mostly famous for their silk touch, cotton sarees are equally in vogue such as the venkatgiri sari from Andhra Pradesh and Kora Cotton sarees from Coimbatore. Though, the Kora Cotton traditional saris are not purely made of cotton. It has a good measure of silk woven into it and that is where lies the aesthetic beauty and the USP of the Kora cotton sarees. The cotton fabric used for this traditional sari is of a quality is superior to that of used to manufacture cotton saris in other parts of India.
Like all other South Indian Saris, its visual appeal lies in its lavish pallu and border designs which are done in bright colours with a hint of shining zari. Various motifs are also used to enhance the visual appeal and on closer look, you will witness the self styled jacquard patterns in the fabric of this saree. These patterns are created by the artistic interplay of silk and cotton thread which are woven together to form the basic fabric for this sari and its blouse. After the fabric woven on the handloom, further design processes are carried out as in designing the border and the pallu. The archetype of border used in the sari is also used in the blouse.
These sarees come in a variety of colours, though the effect of red cotton woven with gold zari remains with indigo touch on the border as well as pallu remains unparalleled. These sarees are on the affordable side with their cost ranging from INR 400 to INR 1200. This is a welcome news given the fact that other South Indian sarees made from silk and brocaded fabrics such as Kanchipuram, Kodali Karrupur etc are very expensive and not within the reach of an average homemaker.
There is a good demand for these traditional sarees in the international market as well thanks to the Indians living abroad. So no wonder the demand for these saris has been hit hard by the global economic meltdown. At the same time, the demand in the domestic market has been hit by the growing popularity of the Kora saris made on power looms which reduce the overall cost of these South Indian Sarees. But what the consumers fail to understand is that the fabric woven on power looms lacks the aesthetic design and appeal which is the main attribute of these saris.
If you are a true saree lover, then you ought to insist on buying true hand loomed kora cotton sarees and blouse. This will not only add to your rich collection of ethical and traditional saris but will also go a large extent in preventing this genre of saris being lost into the annals of history.