This style of weaving has been influenced by two states, Maharashtra and Telangana. Narayanpet saris have had the privilege of enjoying the royal patronage of the Marathas. Regarded as the garment of the gods, Narayanpet saris have been used to drape the idols of deities and were worn exclusively by aristocrats.
Narayanpet is a quintessential sleepy village in South India. It is located in Telangana, 165 km from Hyderabad.
One legend states that in 1630 AD during Shiva Maharaj’s campaign in the Deccan, the brightly-colored saris of the ladies caught his eye and thus the Narayanpet sari got its Royal Maratha Patronage. Other versions of the tale state that the weavers, who were part of Shivaji’s camp during a campaign, stayed back and developed the form as we see it today.
The process of manufacturing a Narayanpet handloom sari starts with dyeing the yarn. Yarns are dipped in boiled colored water at very high temperatures. The higher the temperature, the more durable the color. A unique process is employed for the manufacture, where eight saris 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. One Narayanpet cotton sari takes a day or two to be made, while silks take longer depending upon the complexity of the design.
The Narayanpet saris, which are used for daily wear, don’t display any motifs. The ones that are used for traditional occasions or offered to the gods may have temple motifs. Small zari designs often feature on the borders.