As brocading, zardozi, kim-khava, or heavy metal work in any form would not suit his delicate yarn the Mysore artisan prefers, unless especially commissioned to do the otherwise, minimal zari-work confining mostly to borders and pallu – end-part, though using as a rule the most genuine kind of zari, gold or silver. He prefers dying and printing for discovering his design patterns, at least when seeking to embellish the field. Not glitter or glow, though some occasions might require it, a Mysore silk sari graces an occasion, formal or informal, with its rare elegance and timeless beauty of yarn and dye. In a formal gathering a Mysore silk sari outstands most wears by its gracefulness and its ability to add exceptional fluidity and ease in the wearer’s movement. In recent Nineteenth Delhi Common Wealth Games the lady representing the state of Karnataka leading players’ teams of one of the participating nations was in Mysore silk sari. The grace that her figure revealed was exceptional.
This sari, an ideal example of the silk textiles of India, renowned for their exotic colours and fine patterning resulting from a complex series of dying and weaving processes, attains its beauty and yarn’s quality levels from the procedural maturity of Mysore artisans, the silk weavers and dyers in particular. The silk used in its manufacture is so fine that the moment one touches it, its gentle soothing touch fascinates him to have a feel of its softness over and again. As much exotic is the magic of its colours, and all it creates by using just two of them, the black and blue, and a little of gold. A brilliant use of black and blue, the colours of the same group having same tones in relation to light, astonishes the eyes with their pleasant contrast, such as even the contrasting colours fail to create.
Saris have in general three well defined segments, field – the sari’s total expanse, borders, and pallu – especially embellished and often its most exquisitely manufactured and artistically worn end-part. This sari, like most Mysore saris, also has such segments but does not seek its beauty or merit in any of them singly. It is in the totality of them all, in their perfect balance, that it discovers its real beauty. It has an elegant border worked with genuine pure gold zari which besides brocading the main design-pattern – a floral arabesque, also distinguishes it from the rest with linear courses on both edges but a narrower one, or not so wide as outbalanced the sari’s aggregate beauty. It is the same with the pallu which is patterned with the same design-pattern as the field except that a few breadth-wise laid sleek gold strips distinguish this part from the rest. The real beauty of the sari lies in the field uniformly patterned with motifs of variously designed flowers, leaves and small twigs rendered in shining blue on a lustrous background rendered in black.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.
Primary Color Pantone 18-3949 TPX (Dazzling Blue)