A Visit to Kuthanpulli Village near Thiruvilwamala
by Lakshmi Menon
(Bangalore, Karnataka, India)
During my visit to Thiruvilwamala, I had a chance to visit Kuthampully weavers' village.
Kuthampully is a traditional cotton weaver's village in Kerala. About 600 families produce some of the most exotic sarees in Kerala. The kasavu handloom weaving of Kuthampully is extremely famous. Their products are known for the quality, durability and simplicity. The Kasavu saris, double dhoti, set mundu and veshti are some of the popular items produced here.
Most of the weavers of this village belong to the Devanga community. They originally belong to Karnataka. It is believed that this community of traditional weavers were brought here by the Kochi Royal family some 500 years ago to weave exclusively for the palace. Though the weavers community reside in Kerala they still follow their original customs. Every house of this village has its own handloom machine.
Kuthampully saris are a favourite among womenfolk not only in Kerala, but also in other parts of the country. It is not the golden embroidery alone that makes the Sarees stand out. The borders of Kuthampully Sarees comes with the Royal elegance of golden thread, and they are cool and comfortable to wear. The typical Chutti gives it a Keralite authenticity for Kuthampully Sarees. The sarees are different from the regular sarees because of the golden embroidery. The texture of the saree depends on the type of thread, thickness and style of weaving.
As we entered a handloom we observed the rhythmic musical sound of the working of the loom. Modern weaving techniques have been incorporated to meet the current trends. The products made with the powerloom cannot be differentiated easily from the handloom products they are not as best as the handloom products, and their prices are also comparatively less.
We were told that today many of the youngsters moved to other places after receiving the necessary degree certificates as they feel that the money earned by the weavers is not sufficient enough to run a family and educate their children. ***