The silk and cotton saris of Pochampalli, Venkatagiri, Gadwal, Narayanpet, and Dharmavaram are very popular in all households throughout India. All these saris are named after the place of their origin. The weaving styles of these saris are distinct, which produces a unique variety of fabric. These fabrics are known for their line cotton and elaborate pallus and borders with ornate gold thread work.
One of the unique weaving style of handloom heritage of Andhra Pradesh is 'Ikat' weaving. Another rich art tradition of this state of South India is the 'Himroo weaving'. One of the centres of traditional Andhra saris is Gadwal. The saris made here have their own style, which is usually different from others. The body of the sari is made in cotton while the border and pallu are made of silk. The cotton and the silk fabrics are woven separately and then attached together. The pallu and the border are adorned with rich traditional designs. The designs in the saris used the mango motifs mostly. The colours, which are used mostly, are yellow, parrot-green, pink and beige.
The saris were traditionally woven in the interlocked weft technique called 'Kupadam' or 'Tippatiamu'. These are often woven with 'Kutabham' also called 'Kotakomma' (a temple motif) in the borders and are known as 'Kupadam' or 'Kumbbam' saris. These saris are mainly worn during pujas and called 'puja saris' by local women. These saris are worn mainly during religious and festive occasions. The pure silk version of this sari also existed in earlier period, usually woven in contrasting colours.
The Narayanpet village of Andhra Pradesh is close to the northern Karnataka. Therefore these saris have similarity with northern Karnataka than most of the Andhra saris. These saris are available in cotton and silk and are woven in dark earthy colours. These are very eye catching and the borders are usually kept in a flat spread of deep maroon red or chocolate red, which is again thinly separated by white or colored lines.
Most of the 'Ilkal' saris are embellished with a form of running stitch work. This creates straight or zigzag lines as well as angular, often snow-flake like floral, geometric and figurative forms, which includes elephants and shrines. There are different names of stitching such as 'Negri' for running stitch, 'Gavanti' for a double running stitch, which creates an unbroken line and 'Murgi' for a zigzag line. The end of these Ilkal stitching contains two large white supplementary-weft, woven in the interlocked weft technique. It is called 'tent' here.
The 'Pochampalli' textiles of Andhra Pradesh are made by using the tie and dye technique of the yarn. The geometric designs are made by using different colours of yarn. Using these designs, various dress materials, saris and home furnishings are also made. The cotton and silk materials are used in Pochampalli saris.
Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh is well known for its ikat saris. These saris are woven in many towns of Nalgonda, Hyderabad and Guntur districts such as Chirala, Golconda and Jalna. There this weaving style is called 'Chitku' and 'Pagdu-bandhu' whereas the tie and dyed yarn is called 'katak-buti'.
Till 1950, the Ikat saris were not made in the Pochampalli area. The end piece of the saris had a series of bands of different widths of descending size from the large central band. These bands were decorated with weft-ikat dyed threads with no supplementary-weft weaving. The Pochampalli sari industry grew very fast by 1970. The motifs in the new era have become abstract, geometric with plenty of brilliant colours. The technique of preparation of these saris is unique and extremely popular. In this type, when only one wrap of weft yarn alone is tie-dyed, keeping the other plain it is called single ikat. But the complex patterns produced by tie-dying both wrap and weft it is called double ikat.
Kothakota is another type of weaving in Andhra Pradesh. It is similar to the Gadwal sari with silk borders and rich pallus with very innovative zari designs. The borders are woven in rich colours contrasting the body color.
The Venkatagiri saris of Andhra Pradesh are woven in cotton and silk with pure silver zari and brocade designs in the border. The graceful strains of gold can be found all over the sari. These saris have pleasant colours with golden dots, leaves, parrots or simple geometric designs.
'Dharmavaram' saris are one more type of Andhra Pradesh saris. These are woven with simple plain borders without much contrast. The borders are usually wide with brocaded gold patterns or butta. There are exclusive designs available in the pallus. Now, these saris are also woven in tussar silk.
The dress material used by the nobles of Andhra Pradesh was of a distinctive luxurious fabric named Himroo. These were with a cotton base and silk or art silk weave, made into stoles, gowns and furnishings.
Some other well-known handloom saris made of pure cotton with simple zari borders are available in a variety of designs in Bandarlanka in East Godavari district. The cotton saris with unique and rich designs are produced in Siddipet and Armoor. The Patur saris of Andhra Pradesh are with rich designs in the pallu and borders are made with tested zari. These are available in pure cotton, cotton-silk and polyester. The mercerized cotton is also used popularly to make Patur saris. The Srikakulam saris are made with simple art and no borders. The Madhavaram saris from Cuddapah of Andhra Pradesh are also very popular.