Pochampally sarees originate in the Nalgonda district in the state of Telengana. One of the oldest dyed prints in the state, it is also known as the Pochampally Ikat, because of its resemblance to the Ikat style of dyeing the cloth. The patterns on a Pochampally saree are largely geometric. While the name of the saree is lesser known in the northern parts of India, it is amongst the most famous sarees of southern India. So much so that Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is known to have worn the Pochampally saree during one of the ceremonies at her wedding.
Pochampally sarees’ history can be traced to an area known as Bhoodan Pochampally in the Nalgonda district. It became popular in the 1800s and was one of the most traded items on the Silk Route. This popularity has transcended generations and it is now a globally favored traditional saree from India. One of the biggest reasons for its appeal is the extravagance and power that it exudes. The area of Bhoodan Pochampally even found its way into the tentative list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, under the ‘iconic saree weaving clusters of India’ category. This global recognition has also contributed to the rising popularity of Pochampally sarees.
Pochampally saree designs are unique and different from Ikat in many ways. The intricate designs that are to be featured on the saree are dyed onto the warp and weft threads of the saree, after which the saree is woven. This unconventional way of dye printing a cloth is what makes the Pochampally stand out and gain favor among many women who prefer traditional sarees. The saree itself is made of a fabric known as sico, which is a unique blend of silk and cotton, used specifically in making this saree. Women from around the country are attracted to the Pochampally saree because of its interesting weaving style and history.
Many stores have begun stocking up on Pochampally sarees because of their increased demand in the market. Some of the latest Pochampally sarees feature a bold mix of colors and a generous sprinkling of geometric designs and patterns. Combinations of yellow, black and white, pink and green, pink yellow and black might seem shocking but are quite harmoniously fused into each other, making these sarees very popular amongst women. One of the most quintessential Pochampally designs is the combination black and white that can be woven into a pattern of checks, triangles, stripes and more. The heavier variants of Pochampally sarees also have zari woven extensively into their pallus.
Designer Pochampally sarees have been taken to international ramps and runways, thereby creating a consumer base for this sari outside India as well. One of the most appealing characteristics of the designer variants is their ability to cater to modern style sensibilities. Women with a preference for modern fusion saree styles and designs have taken to this variation of the Pochampally saree. Found in a combination of lighter, pastel shades, the saree is light on patterns, that is to say that they are largely restricted to the pallu or the border of the saree. The use of zari is also lighter than the traditional variants, although just as elegant and exquisite. Moreover, the prints that are being used in designer Pochampally sarees are also reinvented, such as the use of an elongated diamond that looks like an angular teardrop, and more. All these modern takes on one of the most celebrated sarees of India has ensured that it grabs the attention of younger as well as older audiences across the world.
Styling a Pochampally Saree
Styling a Pochampally is relatively easy as one can play off the different elements of the saree. For instance, the geometric motifs on the saree can be offset by similarly shaped jewelry pieces for the ear and the neck.
Another way to enhance the beauty of a Pochampally saree is to accessorize it based on its traditional or modern looks. More traditional Pochampallys can be styled using traditional pieces of jewelry such as south Indian gold jewelry which features motifs such as temples, domes and square statement pieces. If this kind of jewelry is unavailable, one can also pair lighter pieces of Kundan jewelry or Polki jewelry with Pochampally sarees. The traditional heavier pieces might be unsuitable due to the clash of motifs and styles.
Modern jewelry for modern Pochampally sarees can include elegant, light gold chains with diamond pendants. Colorful bangles in color of the saree can also boost the overall look of the saree with minimum efforts.
One can also accessorize Pochampally sarees with jewel studded handbags. Cutdana handbags are one of the best suited accessories to a Pochampally saree. Other stone studded clutches and smaller hand-held pieces are also a good option.