Mysore is known for its Mysore silk Saree. For over seven decades, Mysore silk, with its unique sheen and regal look, amazing drape, pure yarn and zari, has held its own among all other silk fabrics from India and abroad. Today, it is the Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation (KSIC) which holds aloft the State's supremacy in silk and silk products, from classy dress material, Sarees, stoles, and furnishings to the most resplendent of sarees
Though the origins of the Mysore Silk Factory date back to 1912, organised production of fabric started only in 1932, after a small quantity of raw silk was tested in Switzerland for quality. Looms installed in the factory were also imported from Switzerland, and most of them have survived to this day.
In 1980, after it was handed over to the KSIC, the whole factory was modernised. The KSIC ensures that the raw silk goes through a complex production process, to meet the high quality standards expected of Mysore silk Saree. The KSIC has about 115 designs and 300 colour shades in its repertoire, with traditional designs occupying the pride of place. Explains P. Vijayan, managing director, KSIC: "Rather than replacing traditional designs, we at the KSIC are adding innovative new designs to our repertoire. And these innovations are done without tampering with the purity and uncompromising quality that characterises Mysore silk."
The Architect of Mysore Sir M.Vishveshwaraiah gave much importance to Sericulture in rural development. He hired the services of Signor Washington Mari from Italy to organize and develop silk industry in Mysore in 1913. Signor Mari made available 12 varieties of pure European and Chinese silkworm to conduct experiments. Under the guidance of Signor Mari, Appadhorai Mudaliar conducted native environment breeding experiments in Channapatna. They successfully developed many cross breed combinations between females of Mysore Local (Pure Mysore) and males of European and Chinese races, which were far superior to their parents. In 1914, Signor Mari shifted his headquarters to Bangalore, and Mudaliar continued to carry out the breeding experiments in Channapatna Farm. In 1914 independent Department of Sericulture was established and Signor Washington Mari became the first Director of Sericulture. In 1919, Government hired the services of Japanese expert, Mr. Yonemura for conducting research and imparting training in sericulture. Government started Silk filature in 1922 and Silk weaving factory in 1931-32 at Mysore.
The Mysore Silk is synonymous with splendor and grandeur. Mysore silk Saree has been registered as Geographical Indicator under Intellectual Property Rights. Karnataka is the homeland of Mysore Silk. Karnataka sericulture has a history of more than 215 years. In 1785, the Tiger of Mysore Tippu Sultan established sericulture in Mysore kingdom. He wanted Mysore to be the foremost among silk producing nations. The dream of this great ruler became true during later period. During these years Karnataka sericulture has seen many ups and downs in its long journey. It has transformed into a model in mulberry sericulture in the country. During early 19th century while the world sericulture was collapsing, Mysore Sericulture industry sustained. Though, most of the exotic silkworm varieties perished remained stable through this period, and even today it is the back bone of mulberry sericulture in India.
Mysore Silk is a natural protein fibre, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The protein fibre of Mysore silk is composed mainly of fibroin and produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of themulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity (sericulture). The shimmering appearance of silk is due to the triangular prism-like structure of the silk fibre, which allows silk cloth to refract incoming light at different angles, thus producing different colors.
The KSIC, which already has ten exclusive showrooms in Bangalore, Mysore, Chennai and Hyderabad, is keen to expand its network to other cities to sale Mysore Silk Sarees. But Vijayan sounds a note of caution: "Mysore silk's brand image is often misused by petty traders and manufacturers who pass off inferior silk Sarees as Mysore silk Saree. Customers are always advised to look for the embroidery code number in every sari they buy, and also to log onto their website www.ksicsilk.com for more information as well as online shopping."
The Mysore Silk sarees come in a splash of over 100 different Saree Collection, colors and any no. of design combinations.Based on the taste of the end consumers the sarees are printed and dyed with suitable eye catching colors. Various approved quantity of approved chemicals are added at various stages as per silk manufacturing standards to retain the luster and quality of the silk fabric. The sheen and the visual luxury of the crepes are only to be experienced. At 75 gms per metre, the KSIC silk sarees have an unmatched drape. These crepes have delicate strands of zari interwoven in spectacular designs, in the borders and the pallu. The printed crepes are tributes to designing and come with a double advantage of possessing the crepe's softness and a vibrant range of designs from floral to geometric. Some of the design combinations are:
Mysore Silk Sarees Have Wide Range Of Collection and Design, The Price / Cost Ranges Starts from 3000 rs.