Mangalagiri Sarees and Fabrics – An Overview

Last Updated on 15/12/2020

Mangalagiri Handloom Cotton Sarees and Fabrics – An Overview

R.S. Balakumar
Associate Professor
Dept of Fashion Design & Arts,
Hindustan University, Chennai, India


Mangalagiri Sarees:

Mangalagiri sarees and fabrics are created by execution handiwork weaving in Mangalagiri, a town in Guntur district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The Mangalgiri fabric is produced by weaving with the help of pit looms from combed yarn by warp and woof interlacing. The fabric then undergoes the process of dyeing. The Nizam design is another characteristic of the fabric is also produced in Mangalgiri by the famous and experienced artisans and weavers.

Mangalagiri sarees and suit materials are very popular and standard handloom product from the state of Andhra Pradesh. The name Mangalagiri is derived from the place Mangalgiri located 12 kms away from Vijayawada. The town of Mangalgiri is not only famous for its beautiful sarees but is also popular for being a pilgrimage terminus.

Mangalagiri sarees
Fig: Mangalagiri sarees

The occupation of weaving is as old as 500 years as per some engravings found at this region. There was a wandering period for the weavers during the rule of Qutub Shahi due to proliferation in taxes. The production of the Mangalagiri sari includes different stages which includes as follows: –

Stages of production process of Mangalagiri sarees and fabrics:

Raw materials 
Pure cotton yarn, silver and gold zari’s, synthetic and natural dyes and some chemicals are to be used
Cotton purification 
This process involves boiling of hank cotton to remove certain impurities, soaked overnight, rinsed and made appropriate for dyeing process
It involves bleaching technique for white saris and for coloured ones, Vat dyes are also be used very often
Removal of excess dye 
Dyed or bleached yarn endures saturated in boiling water with some techniques to cut out surplus dyeing
After the above process, the yarn is dried and also adds light sensitive colours in shades

Pre-loom process:

Winding of hank yarn into warp and weft 
Charka, shift bamboo and bobbin are used to form warp. While, the weft is made with help of a pirn
Street sizing – the warp extension
The warp extension, spraying of rice conjee  (starch)confirms appropriate weaving followed by drying
Weaving process 
It involves Warp and Weft method of weaving and sometimes replaced by Jacquard weaving. Usage of only pit looms for weaving, designing and cutting per the goods demand undertakes
Cutting and folding
Woven cloth undergoes cutting per the goods demand
Inspection of sarees 
Inspection by the master weaver to rectify flaws
The period of 1985 bought revolution with new market for dress materials and as well as the saris

Mangalagiri saris are unique variety, woven from cotton and has the most characteristic features such like zari on the border and no woven designs on the body is the speciality features of the mangalagiri sarees.

This special saree has intricate tribal designs that are woven in cotton along with zari or golden colored patterns that occur in small checks. The pallu (edge) or the saree borders of both top and bottom sides, of this saree is ornamented with a striped design, which is a typical tribal embellishment that is made out of golden embroidery. The Mangalagiri sarees come in a host of bold colours that make it look very elegant and good-looking.

Mangalgiri cotton is created by the cotton yarn that is acquired from the mills. This cotton yarn is then boiled in water and caustic soda for a couple of hours before it is suitable for dyeing. If the yarn is to produce white coloured sarees, then it is bleached before weaving, else for colouring chemical dyes are used. After dyeing, the yarn is then sun dehydrated before it is all set for the weaving process.

Mangalgiri handloom cotton saree
Fig: Mangalagiri handloom cotton saree

This improvement facilitated the rulers to adopt a more favourable attitude with the weavers and reduce the taxes. In short, the support is proof enough that the Mangalagiri handloom tradition has been a part of the town for more than five centuries.

Mangalagiri is a small village that has a population of around eighty-five thousand to one lakh people. Out of the total population, around 5000 of them are weavers of Mangalgiri textiles. The exceptionality of Mangalagiri cotton is due to its sturdiness. The fabric is woven only on pit loom, and there are no breaks on the weave towards the edges of the fabric along with the sole fact that it is formed in Mangalgiri alone is the special features.

The Mangalgiri saree has no embellishments on its main body. It has a zari or golden thread work embellished Nizam border and pallu. These geometrical and simple designs are inspired by the tribal designs and also making its significance to attract the foreign tourists visiting this place and eagar to purchase these mangalagiri sarees and textile materials. Many other parts of the Indian people, especially women of all the age groups interested to buy more number of Mangalagiri sarees for their own usage and also willing to give their friends and relatives as the specialgift.

Present day development of Mangalagiri Sarees and Fabrics:

At current, handloom weaving is the prime occupation of Mangalgiri town and around half of the population depends on this cottage industry for their living. The beautifully woven sarees and dress materials that are produced by Mangalgiri are what have placed this small town on the world textile map.

There are a lot of challenges being made at giving a modern twist to the Mangalgiri textiles. Apart from the attractive and bright saree creations, the Mangalagiri dress materials have a global demand too in recent time. A proportion of the new generation like the teen-girls enjoy wearing the cool cotton kurtas, dupattas, salwar-kameez,patiyala salwar and stoles with the Mangalgiri weave which can be teamed up with western wear. Mangalagiri Saree. This saree, highlighting ethnic designs, is very much in demand in the fashion market of the present scenario.

Mangalagiri is a very popular handloom textile which has a lot of worldwide demand owing to its simple-minded patterns, toughness of the cotton and colours and wear ability to the customers wishes to buy more sarees and textile materials from the Mangalagiri place. Due to foreigners visit in this place textile business have well developed. Many international buyers are giving saree and textile material orders to Mangalagiri textile weavers service centres and Foreign Exchange value is rapidly increased.


  1. The Saris – by Rtakapur Chishti.
  2. Indian Costumes – by Anamika Patak
  3. Costumes of India – by S.N.DHAR.

More articles published by same author:

  1. Drafting and Cutting Techniques of Dartless Saree Blouse
  2. Drafting Details of Katori Blouse Step by Step
  3. Viva Questions and Answers for Fashion Design Students and Professionals
  4. Different Types of Traditional Dress in India
  5. Madurai Sungudi Cotton Sarees – Present Trend
  6. Chettinad Cotton Sarees in Tamilnadu – An Overview

Share this Article!

1 thought on “Mangalagiri Sarees and Fabrics – An Overview”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.