Efforts are on to make and market Kase saris — which have colourful bold checks and are traditionally worn by Yakshagana (Badagathittu) artistes — to suit any woman’s wardrobe.
The Karkala-based Kadike Trust, which has been working to popularise the Udupi sari, which enjoys the Geographical Indication (GI) tag, is now doing the same with Kase sari, which come in bright shades of yellow, red and black checks.
“Some decades ago, the late Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya, founder of the Crafts Council of India, who was attracted to the Kase sari, visited Manjunath Shettigar of Brahmavar, a master weaver, and collected some samples,” said Mamatha Rai, trustee of Kadike Trust.
A couple of years back, the Crafts Council of India sought a couple of saris for exhibition at a national conference in Manipal. It was then that the trust decided to encourage weavers to weave Kase sari, which is being marketed as “Yaksha Udupi Sari”. “The marketing of this sari is fetching better returns for weavers and we are sharing profits with them,” Ms. Rai said.
At present, about five weavers from three primary weavers’ cooperative societies (at Brahmavar, Shivally, and Talipady) weave these saris. “The Kase sari worn by Yakshagana artistes is 8.25 metres long. But we are getting it weaved for 5.5 metres with a pallu. We presently have orders for weaving 50 saris,” Ms. Rai said.
Use of social media
The trust has been using social media to popularise these special saris. It is also encouraging weavers’ societies in Udupi district to take up weaving of this sari and is facilitating its marketing.
George Amanna, 68, a weaver, said the initiative to popularise Kase sari was laudable at a time when the demand for handloom saris was low. “I hope the trend of wearing Kase sari catches on,” he said.
Shashikanth Kotiyan, secretary, Shivally Primary Weavers Service Cooperative Society, Udupi, said the society had weaved about 70 Kase saris (of 5.5 metres length) and supplied them to the trust for marketing so far.