Saturday, 4 May 2013

Textile products of Kerala

Textile Products of Kerala

Kerala's textile industry mainly located in handloom sector.Handloom fabrics of Kerala are well known for its quality and variety.Balaramapuram Sarees(a 5.5 meter long and 1.2 meter wide narrow fabric worn by ladies), Kuthampully Sarees,Kannur Shirtings and furnishings, Alappuzha Coir mats,terry/Turkish towellings and carpets are not only the examples of its popularity but, of course,its traditional value.The textile products of Kerala are made of  pure cotton ,coir(made from coconut fiber) ,Jute,Sisal and Palm fibers.Polyester cotton blends are rarely used.
Fly Shuttle Frame Loom 

Kerala's textile industry is depended on handlooms rather  than automatic looms due to its traditional nature.There are so many co.operative handloom societies run by the weavers ,across Kerala.These societies supply  cotton yarns(dyed/bleached),weaving accessories and other technical information required for the particular products.The weavers will produce the fabrics in hand looms, either in their home or a collective weaving shed located in the weavers co.operative society itself.The looms used to weave are pit looms(A primitive loom at floor level the shedding mechanism usually located in pits and the warp yarn is stretched parallel to the ground),frame looms and Jacquard/ Dobby looms.
The yarn intended for weaving is given a scouring treatment in closed vessels(earthen/iron) using caustic soda and soda ash and steeped over a night .The next day the yarn is taken out and washed well in water.A half bleaching  is given for the yarn if it it is intended for dyeing pastel shades.Bleeching powder(sodium hypo chlorate)or hidrogen peroxide is used as bleaching agents.Optical brightening agents such as tinopal,ranipal are used to enhance the brightness of bleached yarns.A souring treatment with Hydrochloric Acid is also done to control the pH value. The dyes used are vat ,reactive,direct and natural dyes.If the yarn is single count ie 10S, 20s etc,it is sized using starch.Then the warp yarn is prepared  in sectional/vertical warping machines.The warp yarn is tightly wound on wooden beams and fitted into looms.
The healds are usually made of varnished knitted wire healds, metallic healds etc.Bamboo reeds and metallic reeds are used for denting the warp.


  • Erettu Thorthu/Erezha Thorthu/Mangadan Thorthu

Technical Specifications

Length:24 inches(61cms)/27inches(68.58cms)/30inches(76.2cms)
Width:48 inches(122cms)/54inches(137.16)/60inches(152.4cms)
Count of Warp:20s,26s(Cotton)
Count of Weft:26s(Cotton)
Reed Count:32s,36s
Drafting Order/Drawing Order:1,2
Denting Order:2 ends/dent
Ends Per Inch:32,36
Picks Per Inch:30,34
Lifting Order: 1,2


Erettu Thorthu or Erezha Thorthu


Thorthu is a towelling fabric made of cotton yarn..it absorbs the moisture quickly due to its loose structure.it is woven in plain weave using two heald shafts.the warp is drawn  1-1-2-2 order,that is ,the first two yarns are drawn through the two heald eyes of the first heald and third and fourth yarns are drawn through the two heald eyes of the second heald shaft.Then the first two yarns of the first heald shaft are drawn through the single split or dent of the reed and the third and fourth yarns of the second heald shaft are drawn through the second dent of the reed and so on.Due to this, the fabric woven will give the appearnce of a mat weave in 2 and 2 order.

  • Kaili or Lungie

Technical Specifications

Length:2 meters
Width:52 inches(132cms)
Count of Warp:2/60s,2/80s,2/100s(Cotton)
Count of Weft:2/60or 40s,2/80 or 40s,2/100s or 60s(Cotton)
Reed Count:72s,80s,92s
Weave Employed:Plain
Number of healds:4
Drafting Order/Drawing Order:1,3,2,4
Denting Order:2 ends/dent
Ends Per Inch:72,80,92
Picks Per Inch:68,78,90
Lifting Order: 1&2up 3&4 down
Lungi or Kaili

Kaili or Lungi is worn by the gents of Kerala.Usually made of cotton and sometimes in poly cotton blends too.It is a casual wear.The kaili or Lungi designs are either in checks or stripes of vivid colour combinations.In olden days the yarns were dyed using Naphtol/Azoic dyes,nowadays it is completely replaced with vat and reactive dyes.


  • Saree

Technical Specifications

Length:5.5 meters
Width:48 inches(132cms)
Count of Warp:60s,80s,100s,120s  (2/80s or2/100s for border)
Count of Weft: 60s ,80s,100s,120s
Reed Count:72s,80s,92s,100s
Weave Employed:Plain&Jaquard motifs in border and cross border
Number of healds:4
Drafting Order/Drawing Order:1,3,2,4
Denting Order:2 ends/dent(3ends/dent for borders)
Ends Per Inch:60,80,100,120
Picks Per Inch:58,78,96,116
Lifting Order: 1&2up 3&4 down
Number of Hooks of Jacquard:120,400,600,800
Saree woven with Zari yarn


Saree is a thin fabric woven by using fine yarns.It is used by ladies.The traditional Kerala saree has off white color.It is a highly decorative fabric woven in different styles and textures.It gives a designer endless imagination and creativity.
Traditional Saree Motifs woven with pure Zari Yarns(extra weft figuring)
In traditional sarees the extra weft motifs arewoven by inserting extra wefts with hands.these usually include the motifs of parrot,peacock,mango shape and small geometrical motifs.Nowadays dobbies and jaquards are playing  this role.
Saree Cross Border
Saree has got two side borders usually 2.5to 5 inches in width.It has also got a cross border.Fine Zari/Jari yarn is also widely used in these sarees.


  • Double Dhothi or Double Mundu

Technical Specifications

Length:4 meters
Width:52 inches (132 cms)
Count of Warp :60s,80s,100s(Cotton)
Count of Weft: 60s ,80,100s (Cotton)
Reed Count :72s,80s,92s
Weave Employed:Plain
Number of healds:4
Drafting Order/Drawing Order:1,3,2,4
denting Order:2 ends/dent
Ends Per Inch:72,80,92
Picks Per Inch:68,78,90
Lifting Order: 1& up 3&4 down
Traditional Kerala Dhothi


Dhothi woven with Bleached and dyed Yarns
Double Mundu or Double dhoti is gents formal wear.The dhoti has a small border and cross border, 1 to 2.5 inches wide,on both sides.Dark colors are used for these borders.The body is off white  color. Zari yarns are also used in borders and cross borders.

  • Bed Sheets and Pillows

Technical Specifications

(Bed Sheets)

Length:2.30 meters
Width:50inches(132cms),60 Inches(153 cms),72 Inches(183cms)
Count of Warp:2/20s,2/40s,(Cotton)
Count of Weft:2/20or 20s,2/40 or 20s or 26s,(Cotton)
Reed Count:36s,40s,64s,72s
Weave Employed:Plain,Twill,Satin etc
Ends Per Inch:36,40,64,72
Picks Per Inch:32,38,62,70

(Pillows)

Length:54 Inches(137cms),60 Inches(153cms)
Width:27inches(68.5cms),30 Inches(76 cms)
Count of Warp:2/20s,2/40s,(Cotton)
Count of Weft:2/20or 20s,2/40 or 20s or 26s,(Cotton)
Reed Count:36s,40s,64s,72s
Weave Employed:Plain,Twill,Satin etc
Ends Per Inch:36,40,64,72
Picks Per Inch:32,38,62,70
Combination of Cotton weft and Linen warp in 5 thread Satin weave






Jaquard Loom
Bed sheets and Pillows woven in fly shuttle frame looms.Jaquard looms are also used for the production.Combination of cotton and linen also used for the production.The yarns are dyed in hank form using Vat,Reactive and Natural dyes. 
Coir products of Kerala

Kerala produces a great variety of products made out of coir as a raw material. The commercial production of coir in Kerala dates back to the ninetieth century and has become the largest cottage industry in the state, employing millions. The beginning of coir spinning wheels during the mid nineties, facilitated in increasing the production and to obtain the required yarn strength for the manufacturing of matting. The coir fibre is elastic and flexible to twist without breaking and it holds a curl as though permanently waved. The coconut contains three layers– the outer layer which is smooth and greenish is called the Exocarp; the inner layer which is the fibrous husk is called Mesocarp and the innermost layer surrounded by the hard woody layer is called the Endocarp. The coir fibre is waterproof and resists damage against salt water. The sea water and fresh water is used in the production of white coir.
Coir Yarn Spinning


  • Spinning Process
The refined fibre is accumulated in a hand-made pouch affixed to the waist of the worker. The handful of fibre is rubbed against the hands forming a twist of the fibre.  One end of the twisted fibres is looped and hooked to the motorized machine and the other end of the twisted fibres is fixed to the manual spinning machine. The fibre is automatically conveyed from the pouch to form the thread. The women worker walks backward and ply the thread by concurrently handling both the threads with both the hands to make the twine of uniform thickness. Using the manual spinning wheel, the two twisted fibre threads are spun to make the twine more thick. Finally, the twine is attached by rubbing the two twines together to form a long twine.


Coir Warping



The coir yarn is warped in horizontal warping machine according to the number of ends required for weaving.Then this warp is wound on warp beams and taken for weaving.
Coir Weaving



Coir Mats


Coir Mats

COIR GEO TEXTILES-AN ECONOMICAL AND NATURAL SOLUTION FOR SOIL EROSION -FROM GOD'S OWN COUNTRY


Coir Geo textile is a natural remedy for large scale soil erosion.It is widely accepted because of the bio biodegradability and Eco friendly nature. Its durability,hairy surfaces gives better hold of the soil.It also allows the roots of the vegetation to pass which also enhances the surrounding areas.These are classified as woven and non woven.
Woven mats are further  divided as coir mesh matting with two shaft weaving,looped mats,latex backed coir mats. 
Non woven mats are further divided in to coco logs,coir fiber beds,coir needle felts.

The product list is incomplete,i will update it as soon as possible.
Hope you enjoyed it!expecting your comments and suggestions.



16 comments:

  1. Thanks for the information... I really love your blog posts... specially those on silks saree

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow.. very very informative.. great article..

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi,

    Was wondering, would you by any chance happen to know any place in Kerala to get customized kerala kasavu sarees/fabric ?

    Thanx in advance..
    George

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. I'm Keralite,i have a lot of local contacts ..could you inform me your requirements more by mail?

      Delete
  4. Nice and interesting blog. Do you know where i can get plain kerala cotton fabrics in yardage? Thankyou

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for comments!What's your end use? so that I can guide you...

      Delete
    2. It will be for sarees. Please provide your mail id. I will send the details. Thankyou

      Delete
  5. Very informative blog. I came to know about the technical specifications of Thorthu and Kaili for the first time. Details of Kerala Saree will also be very useful during purchase.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for posting this useful content, Good to know about new things here. Natural dyed handloom fabric

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nice blog, If you are looking for some trendy Kanchipuram Silk Sarees with a multitude of styles and fits,which providing the largest Kanchipuram Silk Sarees ethnic wear outfits.

    ReplyDelete