About ODOP

ODOP Product Introduction

01Venkatagiri sarees are generally made of cotton, silk mix, and pure silk that is weaved mostly on the traditional pit looms. These sarees are mostly woven with the art of Jamdani weaving followed by about 14 generations. It is believed during the time of Venkatagiri Raja, this art of weaving started. Now about 3064 Households of Venkatagiri are involved in the making of the classic Venkatagiri saree. Previously the people from the caste of Padmashali & Devanga communities were mostly involved in this work, nowadays other people are also part of this work. The craftsmen from five generations are involved in the making of these Venkatagiri sarees. Venkatagiri is a small village in the Tirupati district of Andhra Pradesh. 

Pure zari threads are brought from Kanchipuram, and artificial zari threads are mostly ordered from Surat with a cost ranging between Rs. 300 to RS. 3000 as per the pattern of the design.  The acai system is followed for the insertion of the Jamdani work on the loom. 



History of the ODOP Product


It is said that the weaving at Venkatagiri first originated over 300 years ago and was patronized by the Velugoti dynasty. A group of about 40 weavers were. supported by the Velugoti dynasty for the exclusive purpose of weaving dhoti and turbans made of soft cotton, with sophisticated embroidery for the Royal family. Gradually, the weavers started moving into exclusive saree-making.made for the queens, royal women, and other zamindaris. The erstwhile kingdoms of Bobbili and Pithapuram also encouraged the making of Venkatagiri sarees.However, now the sarees are woven for public consumption. In Venkatagiri there are about 40,000 inhabitants of which about 20,000 are weavers. The houses are neatly arranged in rows, and almost every house has 30 looms, the entire family is involved in the weaving process in Venkatagiri making the town inhabited by a weaving community.


Geographical Location: The art of weaving Venaktagiri Sarees is practiced at Bangarupeta, Manulalpeta, Ranipeta, Molasaliveedhi, Mallammatemple Street, palliated, NTR colony, B.C. Colony, Tholimitta, Kampalem, and the neighboring villages of the Venkatagiri town, of Tirupati district, Andhra Pradesh. In the Venkatagiri town, the art of weaving is practiced at 3064 households, on around 2500 looms.



Tools and Raw Materials

Some of the tools and raw materials used for making Venkatagiri saree are shown below.

Raw Materials,

  Cotton yarn

– Cotton yarns of generally high quality are generally preferred.

 Silk yarns

– Pure or Art silk yarns are preferred as per the cost at which it is made.


– Pure or Artificial zari threads are used as per the customer’s request.

Tools used are,


– It is equipment that winds the yarns onto the pirns.


– It is used to input the Jamdani designs in the weaving process.


– It is used to cut out the unrequired yarns.

  • Shuttle (Paggu)

– Generally used to supplement the weft yarn into the loom.

 Pit Loom

– To interlace the warp and weft yarns.


Raw material Cotton & Silk yarn – The Cotton and silk yarns  for the ODOP Product are procured from Coimbatore & NHDC. The ODOP product is woven in pure cotton , silk or a combination of both to weave the sarees.


Zari Weft Bobbins – Antique Gold and silver zari is used for the extra weft motifs and borders which gives the sarees a rich look


Warp yarnThe warp yarn that is dyed and sized before setting on


Punch cardsThe punch cards are used for jacquard motifs on a loom. This gives an all over design in short


ShuttleThis boat like structure is used to carry the weft from one end to other end of warp


Weft bobbinsThe weft yarn is winded in bobbins


Fibre to Fabric process Venkatagiri sarees are mostly one to two inches wide with gold borders, it have a unique characteristic of woven combinations of zari and cotton threads. Designs on the borders are locally called Patti, which are nothing but dotted lines alongside the golden bands. These are also known as high-quality muslins with high thread counts. They are transparent with their most saturated color of yarn dyed with hues such as purple, orange, olive green, bright green, and bright red.




Raw materialThe yarn is washed and resized for dyeing. The desizing is the removal of starch from the yarns to make it softer and absorbable of dye.



DyeingVenkatagiri Sarees are essentially made of pure cotton, with elaborate zari work on them, with characteristic colors. The characteristic Venkatagiri saree is made of pure cotton and dyed using vat or Naphthol dyes. The colors are bold and do not run when the sarees are washed or soaked. This is largely attributed to the quality of the water in that region. Special care is taken to ensure that the water used for dyeing and treating the yarn is soft water.,



WarpingThe process of warping includes the detangling the yarns and to form a uniform warping with no damaged yarns. The warps yarns are loaded on to big bobbins and later are sent for wheel warping to form the warp layout of the saree. The weft bobbins are also made using the charkha winding.



Street sizingThe process includes the stiffening of the warp yarns with rice starch or pulse starch. This process helps in coating a thin layer of starch over the yarns to avoid them from breaking during the weaving.



PiecingThe technique of applying starch on the healds of the shafts to hold the warp thread is known as piecing. 

Shuttle loadingThe weft bobbins are loaded into a boat-like structure known as a shuttle which is carried from one end to the warp threads horizontally and helps in the interlacement of yarn


Weaving The sized warp yarns are then loaded on to the warp beam and further to the loom. The threads are pass through the healds which results in sectional warping of the yarn. The weft when passed through the two sections of the warp causes the interlacement of the yarns.




The prominence of Extraweft (jamdani) technique in ODOP Product :

The extra weft technique of Venkatagiri saree is very different like from that of a any other handloom variety. The jamdani technique of Venkatagiri saree is usually a nerve wrecking process as many intricate motifs can be woven onto the saree. The Venkatagiri saree is the ritualistic textile as mythical stories are woven onto the fabric. The technique is used to weave curvilinear motifs and can take a long time to weave as well. But this technique of extra weft has increased the demand of the Venkatagiri sarees internationally and nationally.


Jacquard Lifting Machines The saree is woven on a traditional fly shuttle pit loom. The shuttles used for weaving are comparatively longer than the other fly shuttles Jacquard is used for weaving extra weft designs. Zari is used in extra weft for ornamentation of the designs. The mechanism involved the use of thousands of punch cards laced together. Each row of punched holes corresponded to a row of a textile cotton with a thin zari border, cotton with silk, Venkatagiri silk saree, etc. They generally measure around 5.18 meters in length and 1.17 meters in width. The cost of a simple Venkatagiri cotton saree with zari borders to a pure Venkatagiri silk saree varies from Rs.1300 to Rs.7000. Some of the varieties commonly found are Venkatagiri Pattu, Venkatagiri silk, and Venkatagiri 100 considered the lightest of them and very popular. They vary from light color to dark shaded colors with light or heavy Jamdani works on them.



  • Type of Saree: Cotton Jamdhani sarees
  • Weaving Type: Plain Weaving
  • Warp: 100s
  • Weft: 100s
  • Length: 5.25 Mts
  • Width: 47”
  • Loom Weavers: 1 member
  • Allied Workers:02
  • No of Days: 3/4 days usually
  • Saree wages to Weavers: 1800 Cost of sarees: 30000


  • Type of Saree: Venkatagiri Silk saree
  • Weaving Type: Plain Weaving
  • Warp: 20-22 D Silk
  • Weft: 20-22 D Silk
  • Length: 5.25 Mtrs
  • Width: 50”
  • Loom Weavers: 1 member
  • Allied Workers:02
  • No of Days: 5 days usually
  • Saree wages to Weavers: 2000 to 4000
  • Cost of sarees: 6000 to 25000.


Antaran is a key intervention of the Tata Trusts’ craft-based livelihood programme, initiated to bring seminal changes in the development of the crafts sector. This comprehensive programme aims to rejuvenate ailing handloom clusters through an end-to-end programme. The overarching objective of this intervention is to transform six pilot weaving clusters by creating entrepreneur-led microenterprises across each element of the value chain. Three handloom clusters, one each in Odisha, Assam and Nagaland, states known for their rich cultural weaves, were chosen in the first year. Incubation and design centres were also opened in these three pilot states as a one-stop destination for buyers, designers, researchers and lovers of traditional crafts. The Antaran intervention has directly benefited 3481 people involved in pre-loom, on-loom and post-loom processes, while also impacting the livelihood of thousands of weavers in these regions. This unique initiative also presents designers an opportunity for creative collaboration with talented weavers from these hitherto hidden clusters.

Antaran-led community initiatives across four states and six clusters are in: Assam (Kamrup and Nalbari), Nagaland (Dimapur), Odisha (Gopalpur and Maniabandha) and Andhra Pradesh.

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Why Antaran Venkatagiri ?

The Antaran Venkatagiri is a comprehensive handloom programme aimed at arresting the drift of weavers, particularly the younger generation from the handloom sector. The overarching objective is to create entrepreneur-led microenterprises across each activity in the value chain i.e. pre-loom, on-loom and post-loom.

After undergoing rigorous, need based incubation and design education, grad uate weavers are directly connected with buyers. The programme design takes an ecosystem-based approach and builds on the core strengths of handloom textile viz-a-viz natural fibres, hand spun and naturally dyed and unique designs.

The team has been to working with the Venkatagiri Cluster in Andhra Pradesh over a period of 5 years to build the necessary individual and group infrastructure desired by the clusters. his 5-year programme through incubation and design centres for handloom development in Venkatagiri, Andhra Pradesh works as an education and business development hubs for artisans, enabling them to be designer weavers and help build a community of micro-entrepreneurs across the handloom value chain in the region. A full-time expert team with professionals from business, textile design and technical backgrounds facilitates this process on ground today.

Key Focus Point

  • Comprehensive training on business management
  • Communication and presentation skills
  • An upgrade in technical skills to weave in different kinds and counts of natural fibres
  • Consistent design education to weavers in batches for five years
  • Linking weavers to national and international buyers.
  • Establishing clusters as hand- loom destinations
  • Brand building for artisan entrepreneurs
  • Ethical trade practices and competitive pricing.
  • Consistent design education to weavers in batches for five years
  • Enhancement of design sensibilities and weaving repertoire of trainee weavers.

Venkatagiri Cluster Profile :

Venkatagiri is a town in Tirupati district of Andhra Pradesh. It is famous for its Handloom Cotton and Silk Saris, currently having an active weaver population of 2500. Venkatagiri counted thread weaving is perceived to be a great advancement in textile with the inculcation of intricate patterns that are created using the unique technique of ‘loom embroidery’. It involves tedious process and need more man-hours for this form of weaving as the rich motifs are created directly on the loom using the extra weft technique.

The distinctive feature of Venkatagiri sarees lies in the big Jamdani motifs of a parrot, swan, pea- cock, mango or leaf designs, butta in the pallu. Over time, the coming of power looms and the de- cline of value for cottons resulted in the weavers being forced to shift to weaving silks in the cluster. To cater to market demands, they started to weave in the Kanchipuram, Benarasi and Paithani styles forgetting their own design language.

Over the years, the Venkatagiri cotton textile that once held a special place in all south indi-an wardrobes faced a downfall due to the loss of patronage, mechanisation and dismantling of the craft ecosystem. This diminished the market value and over time the customer connected. The weavers were left with no option other than making poor quality cheaper sarees that would fit the price bracket of a basic cot- ton saree. Slowly, both the makers and buyers forgot about the uniqueness of the cluster.



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Products developed by Antaran TATA Trusts

Antaran works towards strengthening craft ecosystems, building core strength of handloom textiles such as natural fibres, hand-spun yarn and natural dyes, while reviving and reinterpreting the traditional weave designs in these selected clusters for wider markets. Artisans learn about design and business and are empowered towards entrepreneurship and self-employment.


Patnamsubramanyam is a Venkatagiri weaver. Motifs like flowers, birds, peacocks, mangoes and leaves are common in his saris.

Patnam Subramanyam, 41, is not just any cotton weaver in Venkatagiri, he is one of the last skilled Jamdani weavers remaining, a skill that took the Venkatagiri saree to the epitome of glory in the past. He was a weaver working under a master weaver with very low wages.Even though the conditions were extreme, being a 4th generation jamdani weaver, he didn’t want to part ways with his traditional craft He happened by know about the Antaran initiative through fellow weavers and since then hasn’t looked back. The major change that was bought about in his life was that he was able to break away from the grip of Master weavers and weave for himself.

The various exposure programmes and the revival initiative under the name of Back to Roots started by Anatran made him understand the value and demand for his skill set. At the Back to Roots event, which was held to revive the lost Venkatagiri fine cotton saree, he got the opportunity to see and document sarees more than 50 years old, the ones his grandfather used to weave. His main mission now is to bring those sarees back to life. Patnam is also credited with weaving 100s count cotton yardages in Venkatagiri with a 92 reed for the first time on demand of a designer he connected with through Anatran. Since then he has woven 140s, 120s, revived many of the lost anni buttas of Venkatagiri and also experimented with natural dyes for his fabric. Today his clientele includes brands like Nallis, Swadesh, Purvi Doshi, Hastkala etc. With entrepreneurship, he has also gotten the freedom to weave designs and patterns he loves and fully displays his skill. An artist and a designer in his own right, his most recent art work and his contributions in revival bagged him the Lalitha Prasad Award from Crafts Council of Telangana.

Patnam understands that until or unless the weavers in Venkatagiri revive what was unique to them, they are not going to sustain in the long run, no matter the material they choose or the mechanism they adopt. He has hence taken it upon himself to spearhead the revival of the Venkatagiri Jamdani, dedicating a major chunk of his time for the mission. Inspired by his success, he was able to bring back another 10 Jamdani weavers to work with him and continues to be an inspiration for the youth of Venkatagiri.