Chirala handloom saris are made with cotton, and have a contrasting border and hand butta designs on the body, woven with golden zari. The variable thread count used in weaving determines the softness of the fabric. Around 5,000 looms are currently being used in weaving Kuppadam saris. First, the yarn is washed and then dipped in the required color in a boiler, and the worker goes on turning the yarn so that the color is evenly soaked into the yarn.
The most important aspect in this process is the mixing of colors which will add unique and durable color to the fabric. Then it is again washed and dried. These yarns are then starched. Starching of the yarn is where the color in the yarn will become more permanent in nature and gives the yarn a polished look. The starched yarn is brought from the merchants by master weavers and is distributed to other weavers. Then it is turned in a spinning wheel called “charkha”. In turning the charkha the yarn becomes a thread, which is used for weft.
The loading of yarn into warp is the next process. Then yarn is loaded onto the loom. The length of yarn which is loaded as warp is known as “pacham”. One pacham of Chirala is 36 yards in length, and a weaver can make six saris from one pacham. Once pacham is loaded, weaving starts. Handloom saris from Chirala are famous for their softness and durability. The handloom fabrics are soft and comfortable to wear and suit all climates. Traditionally, Chirala looms manufactured saris, but now due to the demand, dress materials are also woven.
The Chirala Kuppadam solid sari border is registered under the Geographical and Protection Act 1999.