Molakalmuru is a traditional saree from Karnataka state. The raw materials used to weave this saree are mulberry filature silk for the warp and charkha silk for the weft. The weaving is done mainly on pit looms with either the fly shuttle or throw shuttle technique. Three shuttles are used: one shuttle for body portion and two shuttles for both the borders.
Molakalmuru silks are distinguished from their sister silk weaving traditions in Mysore and Bangalore not only by being lighter in weight and more translucent but also by the chukka/yarn-resist in the body check, and by the warp tie-dye of the borders. The weaving takes place in Molakalmuru Taluk in Chitradurga District about 250 kms from the capital city Bangalore by traditional weavers of the Sokula Sali, Pattu Sali, and Padma Sali communities.
Molakalmuru silks with its all over patterned body, borders and end-piece are woven with twisted silk warp with less twist in the weft and metallic yarn/zari as extra warp and weft provide the texture and drape to the wearer. Often these saris are woven with contrast border and pallu/end-piece, with the body of the sari woven with a different colored warp and weft giving the sari a two-toned effect. The weavers use 3 shuttles on either side of the sari in the Korvai technique. Traditionally the borders are designed with two stripes, while stripes and check patterns with motifs are used in the body.
Maroon, red, blue, mustard, green, yellow, pink and black are the traditional color palate, with motifs of the swan, lotus, peacock, mango, Shiva seed considered auspicious.
More than 3500 traditional weaves continue to weave the Molakalmuru silks.