THANJAVUR: An application has been filed seeking the Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Woraiyur cotton saree. P Sanjai Gandhi, an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) attorney and registered GI agent for Tamil Nadu, on Sunday said the application has been filed on behalf of five weaver cooperative societies, including the Woraiyur Devanga Handloom Weavers Co-operative Society of Woraiyur in Tiruchy.
The application numbered as 857 and dated March 25 by the GI registry is being facilitated by the Handlooms, Handicrafts, Textiles and Khadi Department of the State government, he added. Elaborating on the uniqueness of the Woraiyur cotton saree, Gandhi said it is recognised for its block colour schemes and geometric motifs. It has a simple, narrow border with plain or small motifs.
The saree is normally available in six or eight yards. Occasionally, nine yards are also woven.
Further, Woraiyur cotton sarees usually utilise kora cotton for warp and come with a unique width of 50 inches. The traditional technique employed to weave the saree has been passed down through generations, Gandhi said.
Apart from the texture, durability, and finesse, what makes the Woraiyur cotton saree visually distinct are the timeless and consistent designs, he added.
The saree is traditionally produced by the ‘korvai loom’, an attachment that creates a ‘korvai’ (continuous) border while weaving the body of the garment, in a single process. More than 500 handlooms out of 1,000 households in Manamedu village near Tiruchy now make the sarees, Gandhi further said.
He also said the literary evidence on ancient textile industries in Woraiyur has been verified by archaeologists who discovered artefacts of a brick dyeing vat from their excavations in the area, and hoped the Woraiyur cotton saree would be given the Geographical Indication tag soon.