Kasavu saree is the pride of Kerala. The finest fabric from God's own country has exquisite elegance and grace. They are symbolic representations of Kerala's tradition and culture. The unique texture and gold border add elegance to the wearer.
The origin of kasavu comes from centuries ago when women used to wear a two-piece of cloth known as 'settu mundu'. The popularity of fabric and design rose during the Buddhist era and it is inspired by Greek and Roman attire as a long piece of cloth having a coloured border.
It is considered a popular belief that his Highness Maharaja Balram Verma and his chief minister Ummini Thampi in the early 19th century introduced the modern-day saree in Kerala. They invited Weavers from the Nagarkot region of Tamil Nadu to bring revolution to the handloom industry of Kerala. They gave the place of pride to the weavers who are known as Shaaliyars. The Shaaliyars use their weaving technique with the available cotton market to hand weave exquisite and elegant garments for the royal family of Travancore.
The exquisite material and design of kasavu sarees and Mundas became popular among the Dutch and Portuguese. The ship-loaded export of handloom generates high trading peaks. The Hindu industry later spread in various districts of Kerala like Chendamanglam in Ernakulam, and Koothampalli in Thrissur.
When Vasco da Gama came to India he battered gold in return for spices because he was unaware of the success of this industry. The rivers and upper class of Kerala were clever and utilised the dumped gold on the shore of Kerala to weave them into Mundu and Neriyadu which is now known as kasavu.
Kasavu and art.
The most renowned painter Raja Ravi Verma depicted every style of mundu and neriyadu also known as kasavu. The traditional wear has been depicted in several arts by painters from Shakuntala to Mahabharatam through their draping style also known as nevi saree or national dress.
Saree is not only worn for traditional religious reasons but it is a fashion statement to people across the age group.
Kasavu and elegance
The handloom was originally adorned by royals and nobilities. They used to be a symbolic representation of wealth and class in Kerala. Only rich and royalty ad on casa red is of white colour while commoners are allowed to wear colour. However, royals and aristocrats can wear coloured borders at home while attending an event they are prohibited to wear any colour border. The height of the border is a serious matter for people back and time.
However, with the changing time is accepting small acceptingmotives like little flag mango etc. A small motif in the corner of the garment is also popular. Sarees now incorporate motifs like trees fruits peacocks and many more in the corner to put extra weft.
The handloom is do not allow any kind of pattern in them. It is because the patterning like checks and strips turn them into casual and the casa handloom is formal wear. Many temples of South India do not allow checks or striped patterns inside the temple because they are not considered elite. In past, patterning in kasavu is considered a crime as it is a deterioration of refined art.
Handloom and festivity
In India, there are different culture in tradition and every place have its trademark from the way of worshipping to food and dresses. In Kerala has been a tradition and trademark that is practised and worn on special occasions like weddings and celebrating Onam.
Onam is one of the most important festivals celebrated all over Kerala. It is celebrated in the remembers of the good governing king Mahabali. Because of jealous Indra, Mahabali was sent back to rule hell. But because of Mahabali's generosity, lord Vishnu granted him a wish to visit the land and his people once a year. Onam is celebrated as a homecoming of Mahabali every year. Another tale relate to Onam is the Lord Parshuram incarnation who created Western ghat from the tip of Kerala to Maharashtra and established a good reign. Onam is celebrated as the foundation day of Kerala by lord parshuram. Everybody makes special dishes and adorns themselves with good dresses. Kasavu handloom has been an important part of Onam. From the past to the present everybody in Kerala wears Kasavu handloom to complete the festival. It is now considered a symbol of their ethnicity and perseverance in art all through these years. They present a multi-course vegetarian meal in a banana leaf with around 26 dishes for their deity and give them a warm welcome.
Chowdhrain has a variety of gold pattern saree that gives you an elegant and royal Onam look.
1. Divine - Chanderi Silk Saree
The saree is embedded in a white and gold combination with a sparkling twist of pink in the handwoven Katan silk. It contains small Minakari floral booties that indicate an interesting nakshi border with an attack of pink colour. It is made from cotton to provide you with freshness Onam.
2. Ivory Coin Banarasi Saree
A combination of white and gold in ethereal ivory Banarasi blows everybody's mind in this timeless classic. It provides a dreamy and royal look at the same time. The saree is perfect for giving a royal Onam vibe.
3. Nirmal - White Gold Pure Cotton Maheshwari Saree
Classic saree for playing Onam look. This cotton saree from Chowdhrain is made to provide you with an elegant look. The perfect heightened border gives a royal feeling from Travancore.