Kodiyala- 112 kms away from Bangalore on to Mysore is a town of sugarcane fields, bright walls, beautiful art and the heritage of weaving. The Padmashali community of weavers from Andhra Pradesh were invited by the Wodeyar king of Mysore, over three centuries ago. These communities are practising the profession even today. However, most of these weavers had shifted to working on the power loom. Despite largely engaging with power loom, most weavers have the knowledge and skill set that is prerequisite for handloom weaving.
They, therefore, only need training to enhance these pre-existing skills. Kodiyala is also known for its cotton sarees. While it isn’t a highly distinct style, it has identifiable motifs and has the flexibility to allow design innovations. Shrenis Samudaya has been working in this area for some time and has been able to make a difference.
And now women have been brought under the fold too! A craft which has been practised for hundreds of years by fathers and fore fathers and ones before them are noe welcoming women to the fold. Isn't that as great as having women bar tenders, women soldiers and women astronauts?
Discovering so many new stories of this beautiful weaving cluster. The usual popped- what can we do at Heeya and Heartcrafted Foundation towards this? Reviving handloom weaving, enabling women weavers in the area and creating eco systems that could not only generate livelihoods but also create a stamp as a distinct handloom cluster.
The first of course was to show the world how beautiful their sarees are! In silk and cotton with the finesse only a Master weaver can muster, they have created magic with the warp and weft. I was truly falling hook, line and sinker! I was sure followers of Heeya would too
When I had visited them sometime in February - it was a pleasure to have interacted with the women weavers who are under training, guided by the master weavers. The set up has winding machines, frame looms, pit looms and even a small mulberry tea plantation and a silk worm rearing unit that sees the entire larvae to cocoon life cycle and finally processing and reeling to complete the end-to-end cycle of farm to fashion. With Ramnagara being just a few kilometres away, silk sourcing is easier for larger requirements.
Presenting to you, stories of Kodiyala