Indians take great pride in their handwoven textiles. They serve as symbols of India’s identity, culture, and legacy and are weaved with various historical tales. The oldest and most significant weaving mills in India are located at Kanchipuram, a lovely temple city in southern India.
The Kanchipuram saree weaving reflects the culture, personality, and charm that can still be observed today. Under the guidance of the Chola dynasty, the area prospered as a spiritual and learning center.
Origin and history
Hindu mythology can be used to trace the origins of Kanjeevaram silk sarees. It is said that the Kanjivaram silk weavers are decedents of Markanda, who was renowned for producing clothing for the gods. This lovely fabric is Tamil in origin. It has a more than 400-year history and was born in rural Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu.
Its two central textile-producing communities, the Debanga and the Sarigar, traveled from Andhra Pradesh to establish at Kanchipuram. They started making exquisite sarees from Kanjeevaram silk using their weaving skills, adding the lovely doll patterns they had seen in temples across the area. Soon after, this beautiful fabric rose to fame and became a must-have for saree enthusiasts.
The Art of Weaving
The Kanchipuram silk sari is woven from pure mulberry silk. Even though Gujarat is home to 24-karat gold and silver zari, silk is a southern Indian specialty. The silk thread used to weave saris is soaked in rice water and dried outside in the sun before increasing both thickness and hardness. Once finished, the weaver completes the procedure using the silk thread with first-rate silver twine and gold thread.
This fabric is woven using a warped body with 240 holes and a weft body with 60 holes with a thread count of 250–3000 to give it a substantial feel. The Kanchipuram saree‘s pallu, border, and frame are usually knitted before being incredibly precisely and cleanly sewn together to provide its traditional appearance.
The holes and borders of Kanjeevaram silk sarees are woven independently before being linked, one of its most distinctive characteristics. Pitoni is the name of the zigzag design that joins the two pieces together.
Typically, the buddies of Kanjeevaram sarees are significantly dissimilar in style and color from the body. Fabric made of kanjeevaram is regarded as one of the most challenging and resilient materials.
Three strands of silk are twisted with silver wire to create the saree, which increases its tensile strength. The average weight of a Kanjeevaram saree is 2 kilos.
Features of Kanjeevaram Silk
The weaver weaves the frame and the pallu separately rather than combining them due to the distinct differences in color and design. It’s possible to see the Pitni (zigzag) design where the frame meets the Pallu. It is also customary to weave the three sari borders before joining them.
The three connectors (known as korvai) are installed precisely so that the borders do not weaken when the sari tears, preventing this from happening.
Due to the Zari’s construction, which involves twisting three silk threads with silver wire, the fabric is highly challenging and durable. A Kanjeevaram sari, which may weigh up to two kilograms, can upload weight.
Tips for finding the original
- Understanding the purity of the thread from which a saree is weaved is the first step in identifying a genuine Kanchiume saree. Pure silk is more affordable and of higher quality than other options.
- Royal silk sarees from Kanchipuram are as exquisite as pearls. Pure silk appears to be two-toned because its sheen and sparkle reflect light differently depending on the angle from which it is viewed.
When creating a Kanchipuram saree by hand, the saree is crucial. In the modern market, items like examined sarees, historically crafted pure gold, and silver are sold at low prices and in poorer quality.