Bangalore’s 7 Gifts to the World: #2 – Bangalore Silk

This is a part of the series of Bangalore’s 7 Gifts to the World. The Metroblogging network, all 50 cities around the world, is taking part the series where each city will identify 7 gifts (can be people, places, styles, stuff, ideas) that originated in that particular city, and has been adopted the world over, or at least, extensively. We kicked off the series with the Art of Living and this is the second one. Read on!!

Gift # 2
Bangalore Silk has been a preferred choice of women, ideal for winter wear and easily affordable and more appropraite for social events than the heavier varieties of silk from Benares or Kancheepuram which are worn for weddings. It is also ideal for being converted into shirts and scarves and stoles because of its relative lightness and maintainability.

Although it is called Bangalore Silk, the production of silk is spread over the 4 districts ofChannapatna, Ramanagaram, Magadi, and Kanakapura taluks of Bangalore Rural district andas of 2005 figures, Karnataka produces 9,000 tonnes out of the country’s total pro duction of 14,000 tonnes of mulberry silk.

Silk production in the state dates back to the 18th century. As a legacy of this activity, there is an area in South Bangalore called Tata Silk Farm where J.R.D. Tata established a silk farm in 1897.

The State government has actively promoted sericulture as a high employment, agro-based, income-generating industry. The industry covers units engaged in growing mulberry plants, rearing silkworms, producing cocoons, and reeling silk yarn. There are close to 8 lakh families engaed in sericulture in the state.

The World Bank has actively promoted the silk industry over the last decade and a half. From 1980 to 1989, the Bank loaned $54 million to support the sericulture industry in Karnataka. In 1989, the Bank gave two more loans totalling $177 million for the National Sericulture Project in Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. In 1994 and 1995, the World Bank loaned another $3 million to modernise the silk indu stry and helped back a $157 million project to upgrade the production facilities and quality of silk.

Apart from the lighter variety, the state is also known for its heavier and more ornate ‘Mysore Silk’ saris with pure gold zaris which are a part of kannada culture and some of these are passed on as heirlooms.

Coincidentally this document published today gives a detailed account of the industry in the state.

Next time you are in Bangalore, make sure you pick up a Bangalore Silk sari, shirt or even a scarf to put a smile on a loved one’s face or just to pamper yourself.

2 Comments so far

  1. Ravi (unregistered) on December 1st, 2006 @ 4:26 pm

    Nice post! Thanks. I’m gonna see that my better half does not read this, though! ;)

  2. Glass (unregistered) on December 2nd, 2006 @ 12:56 am

    Pictures please. Also, I received a cotton saree from Karnataka. It has a thread border and feels like silk but the price tag is around Rs.350. Can you do some research into the various cottons available in our state? With pictures ;-)

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