Venkatgiri sarees originate from the town of Venkatgiri in Andhra Pradesh. These zari cotton sarees that are woven in the Jamdani style are known for being the most luscious forms of cotton sarees in India. The history of this saree throws light on how it was one of the preferred garments of the royalty of Andhra Pradesh, so much so that they were only created exclusively. It is soft to touch and is strong and durable. The fine weave makes it suitable for practically all climates.
The town of Venkatgiri specializes in the production of this saree, wherein 50% of the workforce is engaged exclusively in catering to the needs of this niche market. With the innovations in technology, the weavers’ production time has been cut down greatly, thus enabling them to create more of these sarees in a year. They don’t have to rely on neighboring towns for the dyeing, thereby cutting costs and minimizing effort.
One of the distinctive features of this saree are the large and bold, quintessentially Jamdani motifs of mango, peacocks, parrots, swan or leaf. These designs are embroidered along the border of the saree as well as the pallu, thus lending it a fine and distinctive look.
Originally, Venkatgiri sarees were made using cotton fibers. However, in recent times silk threads have come heavily into use, thus making it widely accepted and recommended. The cotton variety then can be worn in all climates, although women generally prefer them during summer months. They can be accessorized with traditional, South Indian gold jewelry to complement the zari work motifs on it.
As the Venkatgiri saree is soft, light and finely woven it needs to be maintained very delicately. Dry cleaning is preferable, although washing with soft suds is a viable alternative.