silk & sandalwood

Mysore is generally known for three things: silk, sandalwood and yoga.

Since I pretty much had the yoga part covered, I was excited to get behind the scenes of the silk production and see where the sandalwood oil is extracted – but this is as far as I got with my camera.

From what I understand, sandalwood is endangered from overharvesting;  it takes a ton of sandalwood pulp to produce just 25-30 kgs of oil.  Therefore, the government controls production volumes.  On the day I visited the factory, nothing was being produced and the aging facility was mainly filled with byproducts: piles of sandalwood logs (pulp removed) and sawdust (oil extracted).

Just down the road, the silk factory is a well oiled, sari-making machine.  It was amazing to see the massive (and loud) winding machines and looms weaving together bright coloured saris – some with real gold (!) and silver threaded borders.  Wish I had a few snaps to share.

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