The Ballakami weave is an extra weft technique that is a speciality of the Srikakulam region of Andhra Pradesh. A normal handloom has two pedals that are operated by the hands and feet. In Ballakami, there is an extra weft detailing that gives it a unique look and texture. The extra pedal is not used continuously but as and when required by the design. This requires great mindfulness and concentration on the part of the weaver. This weave was traditionally used to embellish saree pallavs to give the saree a signature look. Nowadays, it is woven as a fabric to create a very textured and subtle or dramatic look depending on the colours used. Typically, just a little over a meter is woven in a day.
Bonukami or Ballakami means a good weave or good weft, Kami means weft.