Handloom weaving in Balaramapuram dates back over two centuries and is associated with the patronage of the Royal family in Travancore. His highness Maharaja Balarama Verma (1798 – 1810) brought weaving families from Valliyur in Tamilnadu to settle in Travancore. It is perhaps because of the patronage they received that the community of Saliya continue to weave the finest white cotton Balaramapuram set-mundu/ two-piece drape with gold borders in Kerala.
This unbleached white drape was considered pure and auspicious, and was often sprinkled or dip-dyed in turmeric or saffron-tinted water to mark an auspicious occasion such as a marriage or a festival. Gold yarn/zari or other colors are restricted to the outer edges, borders and end-pieces of the draped garment. Class or community is reflected only in the range of coarse-to-fine cotton muslin weave, progressing to hand-spun silks for the wealthiest. This is the distinguishing textile of Kerala, reflecting harmony between the hot, humid climate and comfort.