Kanchipuram Saree is a type of saree traditionally made by weavers from Kanchipuram located in Tamil Nadu. Popularly known as Kanjeevaram Sari, Kanchipuram Saree is referred to as South India’s answer to the Banarasi sari.
They are woven naturally and are distinguished by their wide contrast borders. Temple borders, checks, stripes and floral (buttas) traditional designs are found on a Kanchipuram saree. According to legends in Hindu mythology, Kanchi silk weavers are the descendants of Sage Markanda, the master weaver of Gods who is supposed to have woven tissue from lotus fibre. Also, while cotton is considered to be the favourite fabric of Lord Shiva while Silk was preferred by Lord Vishnu.
Kanchipuram became prestigious during Krishnadevaraya’ time. There were two weaving communities, Devangas and Saligars. Even today the people living around Kanchipuram take weaving as their main profession.
Kanchipuram sarees are woven by pure mulberry silk. This industry comprises of handloom weavers. The pure mulberry silk used in the making of Kanchipuram sarees, comes from the neighbouring state of karnataka and the zari comes from the state of Gujarat and the sari weaving process is done in kanchipuram. To weave a Kanchipuram saree, three shuttles are used. While the weaver works on the right side, his aide works on the left side shuttle. The border color and design are usually quite different from the body. If the pallu (the hanging end of the saree) has to be woven in a different shade, it is first separately woven and then delicately joined to the Saree. The part where the body meets the pallu is often denoted by a zig zag line.
In a genuine Kanchipuram Silk Sari, body and border are woven separately and then interlocked together. The joint is woven so strongly that even if the saree tears, the border will not detach itself.
Themes and motifs
Suns, moons, chariots, peacocks, parrots, swans, lions, coins, mangoes, leaves and many such motifs are woven into Kanchipuram patterns. Other common motifs include a jasmine bud within a square or a round frame. Another theme is Thandavalam where parallel lines run across the body of the Saree.
These are sarees with rich woven pallu showing paintings of Raja Ravi Varma and epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Shatika is proud to have a vast display of kanjeevaram silk sarees or kanchipuram silk sarees.
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