Narayanpet is a quintessential sleepy village hamlet in the South of India. It is located in Telangana,165 kms from Hyderabad. One school of thought states that in 1630 AD during Shivaji Maharaj’s campaign in the Deccan, the brightly coloured saris of the ladies caught his eye and thus the Narayanpet saree got its Royal Maratha Patronage. Other versions of the tale state that the weavers, who were part of Shivaji’s camp during a campaign, were the ones who stayed back and developed the form as we see it today.
The saree is made of fine count cotton or silk. This base material is purchased usually from Vijaywada. This is of immense significance considering the fact that the weather is extremely hot all year round in Telangana.The saree is normally woven with 60’s–80’s yarns both in the warp and weft. Small extra warp geometrical designs are woven in the border with zari/art silk. These sarees are woven on fly shuttle pit looms fitted with the lattice dobby.
The process of manufacturing a Narayanpet handloom saree starts with dyeing the yarn. Dyeing is the colouring process of the yarn by dipping the yarn in the boiled colour water at very high temperatures. Interestingly, higher the temperature, the more is the durability of colour. A unique process is employed for the manufacture, where eight sarees are made at one go on a loom. Hence, instead of seven yards of fabric being mounted on the loom, 56 yards of silk are mounted on the loom at a single time. A cotton Narayanpet saree takes a day or two to be made, while silk Narayanpet sarees take longer depending upon the complexity of the design.
Various types of colourful silk saris, with intricate brocade work in silk and zari, are woven at Narayanpet. As the silk threads are not of a very high count, the saris are both light-weight and festive.
These sarees have a distinct style of a checked body and patterned border and a simple pallu. Interlock weft technique is used to achieve the two different wefts to be woven side by side. Owing to the blessings of the goddess resident in the local temple, temple design border is woven in most of the sarees. In 2012, these sarees got the geographical identification tag.