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Kasavu – Traditional Kerala Saree In Off-white And Gold

By TGB Desk / On November 11th, 2017

Hello Lovelies, We are so happy to be writing about one of our favourite weaves all the way from the God’s own country, Kasavu. This gorgeous Kaithari (‘Handloom’ in Tamil & Malayalam) hasn’t lost its sheen in the tsunami of clothing choices. Over the years, it has retained its uniqueness and place of prominence in the Malayalee wardrobe. And why not? There is nothing that can beat the elegance and grace of this traditional cream and gold saree. In fact, it has captured the imagination of non-Keralites as well, with its simplicity, chic sophistication and timelessness.

PC – Deepak Vijay Photography

History

In case of Kasavu, history and legends are woven together as warp and weft. It is believed that during the reign of King Mahabali the local weavers were encouraged to weave a distinct fabric by weaving gold into cotton. This was done with the main purpose to distinguish the locals from the outsiders.

PC – Weva Photography

As per history, King Balaramavarma (who ruled from1798 to 1810) and his chief minister Ummini Thampi were credited for bringing handloom industry to Balaramapuram and the rest of the Kerala! The weavers of Balaramapuram hand wove exquisite garments to be used by the nobles belonging to the royal family. It came a full circle when Raja Ravi Varma belonging to the erstwhile Travancore dynasty paid an ode to the gorgeous Kasavu through his world famous paintings!

PC – Haris Vision

Mundum Neriyathum

The original Kasavu saree came in two pieces – Mundu and Neriyathum. Mundu veshti is the garment used to cover the lower half of the body and Neriyathum is the garment that’s used to cover the upper half of the body. Traditional Kasavu is in the ‘Kodi’ hue (the color of the sandalwood paste) with a thin golden zari border. This particular shade is attained by using a mixture of rice and tapioca.

PC – Jackson James Photography

In the earlier days, real gold zari threads were used to weave the borders, but of late, silver zari coated with gold is being used. Every kasavu woven by a Balaramapuram master weaver has exact 4,500 threads. And the weave on both sides is the same. Need not worry about the good side and the bad side. Isn’t it amazing? It isn’t just a piece of cloth. It’s a piece of art!

PC – Weva Photography

Today one-piece Kasavu is gaining popularity as women, not just from Kerala but across India have lost their heart to this beautiful saree. So, in order to cater to their demand, Kasavu saree has been created. Traditionally, it’s worn with either a green or red blouse indicating the marital status of the wearer. There is Kasavu half-saree (& churidhaar as well) for young girls.

PC – Vinuparavoor Photography

Accessories

It can be said that the Kasavu saree and brocade blouse are a match made in a fashion heaven! Women have always loved to team up their Kasavus with a brocade blouse. 

PC – Haris Vision

Currently, Kalamkari, Ikat and ajrakh blouses are hot favourite. A few enterprising women have been teaming up Kasavus with crop tops, peplum blouses, halter necks, corsets or shirts. And the outcome is simply fabulous.

PC – Pixelstory.in

You can select the jewelry based on the event that you are attending. But please keep in mind that off white and gold go together well. So complement your Kasavu with pearl jewelry or gold jewelry. You can go for jhimkki and kasu mala or mango mala if you want to keep the look simple yet traditional.

PC – Vinuparavoor Photography

Oh, and by the way, ruby and emerald jewelry also go really well with Kasavus. If you want a contemporary look, then try teaming it up with trendy statement Chandbalis. Remember that there are no set rules for accessorising a kasavu. Just go ahead and be as creative as possible and bring your individual style to life and create a look that’s completely unique to you!

PC – Haris Vision

Weddings

PC – Gorgeous bride ‘Dr. Priya’

Kerala brides usually sport opulent Kasavu with broad zari border and exquistely embellished blouse. Kerala jewelry (comprising of palakka mala, nagapada thali, mullamottu mala, karimani mala etc) or huge chunky temple jewelry is traditionally worn along with it. Strings of pearly white jasmine flowers neatly tucked in their long dark hair complete the bridal look.

PC – Weva Photography

Phew, so much prettiness!

Who else is obsessed with gorgeous cream & gold ensemble?

Stay Happy!

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