Our Revival Journey.....
Dr. Hemalatha Jain started the journey of PhD to revive a languished craft but seeing the plight of the artisans she decided to start a handloom cluster.
During her research she found secondary data and folklore on patteda anchu.
Historical details are: Patteda anchu saree was woven in and around the villages of Gajendragarh, Belgaum, Raichur, Kodal, Bidar, Bellary, Gulbarga and Dharwad in 10th Century. This saree is named after its border and checks pattern but is also known as dundina seere, devaru seere or laxmi seere or pooja seere. Made in cotton, it was specifically designed for women working in the farms, being only 38” wide and 6 yards in a coarse 20’s count. The saree has specific colour palette including mustard, maroon, pink and green.
Reference from books and priests revealed that in the 10th century Patteda anchu saree was offered to goddess Yellamma Saundatti. Patteda anchu wedding saris are normally woven in shades of red checks with broad mustard border and is considered very auspicious.
Dr.Jain got a rag of patteda anchu from former devdasi (around 85 year old) as she tested the rag it was discovered that the sample was almost 200 year old. This was break through for her to revive the saree as the traditional format with modern colour palette.
She revived the farmers sarees which are ready to wear saree like denims; no need of stitch fall or do beading on the edges. The historical evidences prove that these farmers saree were worn in 10th century. They were lost to globalisation and the introduction of synthetic yarns not only killed the cotton saree craft but also killed artisans livelihood.
Punarjeevana had launched the revived craft Patteda Anchu in 2015 Bangalore in collaboration with Dastkari Haat samiti and Registry of saree (100 saree pact).
The cluster Punarjeevana was started with revival project slowly and steadily it was converted into a sustenance model to survive the craft and artisans. The cluster was started with 2 weavers and today 45 artisans are working under the umbrella of Punarjeevana.
Punarjeevana has tirelessly gone on to revive other weaves such as Gomi Teni, hubli, sada pata, sudha kadi, lakundi, Gajju and dhotra sarees.
In march 2018 Punarjeevana launched second revival Sari Gomi Teni at Bangalore Craft Council store Kamalini which is also a great success. Gomi Teni as per historical research shows its a craft from 12th century. Gomi teni was usually gifted to the daughter and the daughter in law during their pregnancy.
The design on the gomi teni is a symbolic representation of jowar (Millet) which is extensively grown in north karnataka.
Punarjeevana went on to launch their third revival sari in Jan 2019 called Hubli saree. It was launched at Bangalore and Chennai. A weaver’s 85 year old father Hussain saab confirmed existence of the Hubli Saree, which he had been seen his father weaving, when he was 16 year old. Those days this saree was extensively woven in Gajendragad, Bagalkot and Gadag. Scientific testing of the sample received during the investigation has revealed the age of the fabric to be around 103 years old.
Hubli saree was worn mostly by married countrywomen. The pattern of the border was called gadi dadi and the flowers in it symbolizes beauty and elegance. This pattern is also used in saris like: Ilkal, Narayan peth and other saris from south of India these days. The warp is always in off white (kora) colour whereas the body and contrast weft, gives a bright shoot of colours leading to dhoop chhaav (Shadow) effect. It always has bright borders.
Punarjeevana in October 2019 launched another natural dyed khadi patteda anchu at dastkari haat samiti studio in New delhi.
Punarjeevanahave launched various other revivals such as lakundi, sada pata, dhotra and sudha kadi sarees.
All these sarees were revived with the blend of traditional weaves and their innovative signature of ready to wear and zero maintenance.
This innovation was achieved using the combination of coarser and finer yarns in warp and weft. Each sarees comes with two pallus - one pallu is formal and other one is casual with striking colours. Younger sari wearers today, love the concept of ready to wear sarees. The sarees were traditionally available in one colour palette maroon with mustard border, we introduced ganga jamuna border in our collection with striking pallus. punarjeevana, It was appreciated by their esteemed customers. The sarees are woven on handloom which do not require any electric energy, and are dyed with ecofriendly dyes and natural dyes, packaging material used is upcycled material the whole system is sustainable for environment and reduces carbon footprints.