Sungudi and its History in time
Saree/Sari is one of the oldest traditional wear in our Indian Culture. Wearing a saree has been in our history ever since the Indus Valley civilization. As the cotton fibers cannot be preserved, historical evidence can be seen in the cave paintings and engravings of women wearing saree ever since that time. Weaving and saree making was considered one of the oldest occupation since man started forming civilizations. Dress and agriculture were the two most important unique things in the lifestyle of any civilization known to mankind to know on how every things came to be.
Sungudi is the crown jewel of South Indian dressing. Sungudi has been known to man ever since the 17th Century. Making of Sungudi Cotton sarees were combines artistic expression of Tamilians and Saurashtrians (Migrated from Gujarat) a are very old techniques used centuries ago. During Thirumalai Nayakkar reign and under his patronage Saurashtrians were welcomed after they were affected by the multiple invasions of Mohammed Ghazini which forced them to flee their lands and find refuge in South India.
Saree making was their predominant occupation and they were encouraged by the Nayakkar King to continue their work with suitable alterations to add golden zari quotient to the sarees to make it royalty. Then the whole idea of saree making took a drastic change over in this period. The cultures from two different parts of India coming together to share their artisans gave birth to a new line of saree weaving.
As the migrated people settled near Madurai district, the Chinnalapati region which now belongs to Dindigul district. Till today, this region is the prime producer of Sungudi Cotton Sarees and now many other garment materials like Salwar materials.
The process of Sungudi Saree making is completely handmade and it involves a lot of process mostly using tie-dye method. In initial days, artisans used vegetable, fruits and spices to extract vibrant colors. Over time, harmless chemicals have replaced them still keeping the Sungudi Saree making intact to its original method.