B. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) Rice.

Mysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) online

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stands, musical instruments, and images of the gods ; and bell metal
for the bells and gongs used in temples and in religious services, and
by mendicants. Hassan and Tumkur Districts produce the largest
number of articles.

Manufactures. — The total value of manufactures is thus stated
for ten years. The figures apparently include textile fabrics, oils,
sugar, coffee, and wooden or metal articles. They do not pretend to
be strictly accurate, but serve to show a decided increase in the annual
value of manufactures, which perhaps would be still clearer if later
statistics were available : —





















I 890-9 I


The following statement shows the proportion in which each District
contributes to the totals of the last five years : —













.. 2,468,636 .

. 2,732,110 .

• 4,355,500

•• 3,977.170 .

. 3.896,653


939,280 .

. 1,025,385 .

• 1,035,325

.. 1,091,940 .

. 1,188,150

Tumkur ...

245,873 ..

329,3^4 ••

• 44^,320

.. 359,822 ..

. 388,379

Mysore ...

694,845 .

770,060 .

• 428,370

698,221 .

• 472,425

Shinioga . . .

439,974 ■

. 285,588 .

• 273,860

■■ 524,476 .

• 393,530

Hassan ...

186,118 .

. 292,504 .

• 341,5^9

.. 6,126,500 .

• 1,547,996


• I. 571. 592 ■

■ 2,213,787 .

• 1,474,251

.. 1,234,870 .

• 1,444,191


220,530 .

• 330,850 .

• 977,750

528,775 .


Textile Fabrics.— These are of cotton, wool and silk, with a few
from fibre. The following are the only years for wliich I can
obtain complete statistics of the annual estimated value of such
fabrics : —


Cotton Fabrics.

Woollen Fabrics.

Silk Fabrics.

Other Fabrics









... 32,470








..• 413,950 ••


... 38,124


•• 2,712,799



... 67,556





... 64,356

These figures do not include the value of raw materials sent out of
the Province for manufacture. Raw silk especially is largely exported
to various parts in Southern India.

Cotton. — The spinning of cotton into yarn or thread is the occupa-
tion of large numbers of women of the lower orders. But before the
cotton is ready for the spinning-wheel, it is cleaned or separated from
the seed by passing through a rude gin, and then, as it is too lumpy
for spinning, it is fluffed up with a how, which is the special occupation
of a class of Musalmans called Pinjari. It is then carded into rolls
handy for the spinner. The wheel is turned by means of a handle
with the right hand, whilst .with the left, which holds the cotton, the
thread is spun on to the reel. After the bobbin is full, the yarn is
rewound on to a swift. This is done by placing the axle of the swift
perpendicularly on the ground, and keeping it in rapid motion by a
touch with the third and fourth fingers of the left hand. The thread is
then reeled off on to a bigger reel, and finally into a large skein, by
passing round five small stakes set up in the ground in the form of a
square. The skein is next dressed for the loom. The requisite
number of threads is fastened firmly to fixed points, and being
separated by small sticks, is supported by cross sticks. The cleaner
then takes a brush of cocoanut fibre, and dipping it in a preparation
of flour and water, passes it steadily up and down the entire length of
the skein, using at the same time one of the small dividing sticks to
facilitate the operation.

The loom is placed over a kind of well or hole, large enough to
contain the lower portion of the machinery, which is worked on the
pedal principle, with the toes, the weaver sitting with his legs in the
hole for the purpose. The combs are supported by ropes attached to
beams in the roof, working over pulleys, and stretching down into the
well to the toes of the weaver. In his right hand is the shuttle, which
contains the thread, and which, passed rapidly through the spaces
created by the combs, forms the pattern. The principal comb is
held in the left hand. As the cloth is manufactured it is wound on
the beam by slightly easing the rope on the right hand and turning
round the lever.

Particulars will be found under each District, in Vol. II., of the


cotton fabrics manufactured in the various localities. In addition to
the cotton stuffs used for clothing, the principal are tape for bedding,
carpets or rugs, tent cloth, cordage, &c.

Of ]VoolIen fabrics the kavibli or camblet is an indispensable article
of covering for almost all classes. Its manufacture is a characteristic
industry, more especially of the Chitaldroog and Kolar Districts, and
of Mandya and Hunsur in Mysore District. For the finest kinds, made
only in Chitaldroog District, the best of which are of very high value
(see Vol. II) and rarely made except to order, the fleece from the first
shearing must be used. This is taken from the sheep when about six
months old. Every successive fleece becomes coarser and does not
increase in quantity. The wool is commonly black, and the deeper
this colour the more valuable the wool is reckoned. The fleece is
shorn twice a year, in the second month after the shortest day, and
in that which follows the summer solstice. Twelve sheep give as
much wool as makes a kambli six cubits long and three wide.

Before the sheep are shorn they are well washed. The wool, when it has
been shorn, is tensed with the fingers, and then beaten with a bow like
cotton, and formed into bundles for spinning. This operation is performed
both by men and women, partly on the small cotton wheel and partly with
the distaff. Some tamarind-seeds arc bruised, and after having been
infused for a night in cold water, are boiled. The thread when about to be
put into the loom is sprinkled with the cold decoction. The loom is of the
same simple structure as that for cotton weaving. The new-made cloth is
washed by beating it on a stone ; and when dried it is fit for sale. The
high price of the finer kinds is thus evidenUy owing to the great trouble
required in selecting wool sufficiently fine, the quantity of which in any one
tlecce is very small.

The carpets of Ilangalore are well known for their durable quality,
and for the peculiarity of having the same pattern on both sides.
The old patterns are bold in design and coloining. The pile carpets
made in the Central Jail from Persian and Turkish designs are
probably superior to any other in India. In connection with l>anga-
lore carpets the following interesting remarks and testimony l)y Sir
(".eorge IJirdwood may be quoted from his sumptuous work' prei)ared
lor the Austro-Hungarian (jovernment: —

The decoration of textile fabrics was at first extremely ritualistic, and
pre-historically it would seem to have originated in tatooing, from which
the rich symbolical vestments worn by kings and priests have, in great
part of tlie world, been obviously derived. The practice was once

' Enlitlc'tl The Termless Antiquity, Historical Coittiiiiiity, and IittCi^ral Identity
of the Oriental Manufacture of Sumptuary Carpets,


universal and is still widespread, and where it yet survives is invariably
ritualistic, indicating the relation of those so " stigmatised " to their tribes
and tribal divinities. . . , Already at the time of the composition of the
Iliad and Odyssey these textiles had acquired the ritualistic Euphratean
types by which they have ever since been predominantly characterised
throughout Central, Southern and Western Asia, as also in their passage
through Phoenicia and Phrygia into Europe.

[The author considers that the coloured slabs and other decorations
discovered by Layard in the ruins of Nineveh and Babylon] all incon-
testably prove that, in design and colour, the carpets woven in Hindustan
and Central Asia to-day are the self-same carpets as were used for awnings
and floor covering in the palaces of Sargon, Sennacherib, Esarhaddon, and
Sardanapalus, " the great and noble Asnaper " of the Book of Ezra. The
stone slab from Koyundjik [palace of Sennacherib, B.C. 705-681], and the
door sill from Khorsabad [palace of Sargon, B.C. 722-703], are palpably
copied from carpets, the first of the style of the carpets of Bangalore, and
they were probably coloured like carpets.

The wonderful carpets of Bangalore probably approach in their bold
scale of design and archaic force of colouring nearest to their Euphratean
prototypes. . . , The Italianesque style introduced in the treatment of
modern Persian carpets, and, with local modifications, of the Masulipatam
and other denominations of Indian carpets, if a departure from the
traditionary Euphratean mode, is yet undeniably pleasing, and on account
of its broken patterning and generally diffused colouring, better adapted to
carpets intended for European rooms, where they are overcrowded and
overshadowed by the furniture, than the severely co-ordinated designs and
immense masses of clearly-defined, deep-toned colours of the carpets of
Ushak, Koula, and Bangalore.

Notwithstanding, however, the sweet charm of the Abbasi Persian
carpets of modern trade, the palm for pre-eminent artistic merit above that
of all other denominations of Oriental carpets now manufactured for merely
commercial gain must be awarded to those of Masulipatam and Bangalore,
to the former for their perfect adaptability to European domestic uses, and
to the latter on account of the marvellously-balanced arrangement of their
colossal proportions and the Titanic power of their colouring, which in
these carpets satisfy the feeling for breadth, and space, and impressiveness
in State furniture, as if they were indeed made for the palaces of kings and
the temples of the gods : and these Southern-Indian carpets, the Masulipa-
tam, derived from the Abbasi- Persian, and the Bangalore, without a trace of
the Saracenic, or any other modern influence, are both, relatively to their
special applications, the noblest designed of any denominations of carpets
now made, while the Bangalore carpets are unapproachable by the com-
mercial carpets of any time and place.

Silk fabrics, of stout texture and excellent designs, are made,
chiefly by Patvegars and Khatris, in Bangalore and at Molakalmuru.
Women of the wealthier classes are often richly attired in silk cloths


on ceremonial or festival occasions. These, with and without gold and
silver or gilt lace borders, are largely manufactured in Bangalore ; the
silk and wire used for this purpose are also produced in Mysore. The
silk industry is reviving, owing to the cessation of disease in the silk-
worms, and silk filature is largely carried on in Closepet, Kankanhalli,
Magadi, Chik Ballapur, Tirumakudal-Narsipur and other taluqs. But
Bangalore is the centre of the silk trade, where raw silk is prepared in
large quantities for the loom and dyed.

Mills and Factories. — But the produce of hand-looms can hardly
compete in quantity and price with that of machinery worked by
steam. Of recent years mills on a large scale have been established in
Bangalore city for textile manufactures.

The Maharaja of Mysore Spinning and Manufacturing Company
(Limited), was originally established by a Bombay firm in August
1883, with a nominal capital of Rs. 450,000. It has been assisted by
the Mysore Government, which has taken some shares and advanced
loans on easy terms for extending the machinery. The mill contains
187 looms and 15,624 spindles, and employs up to 600 hands, of whom
more than a half are men, the rest being women, boys and children.
In 1888 it paid a dividend of 7 per cent, but none in subsequent
years. The following is the quantity and value of work turned out : —

Yarn. Cloth.


Value Rs.


Value Rs.


1,429,389 .,

• 519,345 •






.. 281,757


1892-3 ..


. 653,687 ..



1893-4 .,

• 1,232,755 ••


• 294,393 ..

. 147,196

The Bangalore Woollen, Cotton and Silk Mills Company (Limited),
under the management of Messrs. Binny and Co., of Madras, was
started in November 1888. The capital is Rs. 400,000, and the
average annual dividend 4 to 4^ per cent. The Ciovernment of
Mysore holds shares in tliis concern also. There are 14,160 spindles
for cotton, and 26 looms and 780 spindles for woollens. The number
of hands employed varies from 500 to 600, a half or more being men.
The out-turn of work is as follows : —

Cotton Yarn. Woollen Blankets and Jhools.

Ib.s. N'aluc Rs. lbs. Value Rs.

189O-I ... 1,615,844 ... 608,341 ... 251,862 ... 125,931

1891-2 .. 1,388,785 ... 512,058 ... 182,967 ... 104,795

1892-3 ... 1,481,700 ... 578,443 • •• 119,53s ••• 64,152

1893-4 ... 1,439,148 ... 558,402 ... 105,348 ... 59,286
A cotton-ginning factory has been established by Messrs. Binny
and Co. at Davangere, which is a great mart for that staple. There
is also a cloth manufactory at Siddarhalli in Belur taluq.


Dyes. — In connection with the foregoing textile fabrics may be
mentioned the dye stuffs used to produce different colours : —

Woollen dyes. — Blues, from indigo ; yellow, from turmeric ; red, from
Sanders wood and lac ; browns, from popli chakkc ; orange, purple, and
green, by mixing the primitive colour stuffs ; rose and magenta, from aniline
dye ; crimson and dark red, from red-wood and lac ; scarlet, from red-wood
and tin mordant.

Silk dyes. — P'rom suringi {calysaccion loiigifolium) are obtained red
and crimson, used with two parts of pesti pods by boiling. From
kamala powder {rottlera imclon'a, Kan. kapila piidi) are obtained the
following — blue, for bleached silk, by maceration in cold solution of indigo ;
black, by steeping again with alum and iron mordants ; greens, for
yellow thread steeped in indigo solution. From safflowers {carthamus
ttnctoriiis, Kan. kitsumba) yellow and pink for red thread steeped in indigo

Cotton dyes. — From Indian madder {rubia munjisia, Kan. viunjistd) are
obtained pink, crimson, lake, and orange. Native dyers use it commonly
for red colour by boiling with alum. From chay root {pldenlandia iimbel-
lata, Kan. chiri verji) are obtained red, orange, and purple. It is very
e.\tensi\-ely used for red dye by the native dyers. The process varies to
some extent in obtaining the evanescent and permanent colours. From
morinda bark {morinda uinbellata, Kan. maddi chakke) is obtained red, by
boiling with milk-hedge ashes. The colour is dull, yet it is considered
faster than the brighter colours obtained from other substances. The best
dye is procured from the bark of the roots of trees three years old. From
popli stem {ventilago ntadraspatatia, Kan. popli chakke) is obtained brown.
The bark of the root is used also for orange dye. With chay root it forms
a rich chocolate colour, and with galls black ; used by oiling and steeping,
with or without alum. From myrabolan {tenninalia c/iebida, Kan. alale
kayi) used with other stuffs, is obtained yellow and black, by maceration
and boiling. The three kinds of myrabolans yield, with alum, a good
durable yellow, and with salts of iron a black colour, commonly used for
tanning purposes. From babool bark {acacia arabica, Kan. mtigali chakke)
are obtained buff and fawn, by boiling. From indigo seeds (Kan. tagasi
bija) is obtained an adjunct for blue dye. From annotto {bixa orellana,
Kan. rajiga vidlike) and from mara manjil {coccinium fenestratum, Kan.
mara arisina) is obtained yellow. From cassia flowers {cassia aiiriculaia,
Kan. tdvarike htivii) is obtained blue. It is also an adjunct for yellow dye.
From cochineal {coccus cacti., Kan. kirimanji htila) red and scarlet are

Other dyes. — From indigo {indigo/era tinctoria, Kan. iiili) is obtained
blue and its shades, green, purple and black, by maceration in solutions.
From turmeric {curcuma longa, Kan. arisina) yellow and orange, by boiling
with alum mordant. From sanders wood {pterocarpiis santalinus, Kan.
patanga) red, crimson, scarlet, orange, and purple, by boiling with alum or
tin \ from poras flower {biitea frondjsa, Kan. viuttugada htivic) yellow.

GO XI 541

green, and orange, by steeping in : with the addition of a Httle soda it
turns to orange. From lac {coccus lacca, Kan. arafru) red, crimson and
scarlet, by steeping. From log wood {hcrmatovylon campechianuiit) red and
black, by boiling. From tugra seeds (cassia tora, Kan. tan^adi bija) blue,
used as an adjunct to green and yellow. Cassan leaves (inemccylon /inc/oria,
Kan. ulli yele) are used in red colours by boiling with alum.

Goni. — In many parts of the country, goni is a considerable article
of manufacture. It is a coarse, but very strong sackcloth, from 18 to
22 cubits in length, and from ^ to f of a cubit broad, and is made
from /«;;

Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 64 of 98)