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Over a hundred and fifty years ago, Maharaja Balaravarama introduced a technique of weaving that birthed the Kerala cotton saris. In the years since, they have grown to be cherished as heirlooms of tradition- passed down from mother to daughter for generations as part of a bride’s wedding trousseau. Meticulously hand embroidered, these saris were created to last, and this is reflected in their timeless appeal.
The Kerala cotton sari has been adapted from the mundum neriyantham, the traditional two- piece attire of Malayali women, and has been draped the same way for generations, with the pallu folded stiffly over the left shoulder. Though customarily white, with golden zari jacquard on the borders and pallu, they have evolved to include a dash of colour here and there.
These saris are said to have been inspired by the natural beauty of God’s own country, as is apparent in the motifs adorning them- which often feature floral patterns or scenes of worship. Traditionally worn by the bride at her wedding, they may also be worn by guests today, at a wide variety of festivities- especially when contrasted with simple gold ornaments.