CUDDALORE : When we talk about Jamdani silk sarees, Uppada is the name that pops up in one’s mind. It is a village on the sea coast, not far from Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. It is famous for the handloom silk sarees made by 1,000 weaver families.
It’s a traditional craft passed down generations but it faces a threat to its survival. The traditional market for handloom sarees is being encroached upon by duplicate Jamdani silk sarees woven with the latest technology.
It takes an entire weaver family working hard on the handloom for a month to weave a single saree which might fetch them `8,000 if sold. To get by, the weavers accept piece work from businessmen who provide them the silk yarn to make Jamdani and Uppada silk sarees.
Piece work pays `500 per saree. It’s not the same thing as making a saree entirely by oneself but in an occupation challenged by market forces.