Kanchipuram, near Chennai, is famous for its Kanchipuram or Kanjeevaram Sarees.
Traditionally Kanjeevaram Sarees are of silk and cotton. However the Kanchipuram Silk Saree, singularly known for its magnificent look and grand qualm is the possessor’s self-regard and the covetousness of others. No marriage or traditional function in South India seems solemnized unless the radiant Kanchipuram Silk Saree adorns many a woman present on the occasion.
Kanchipuram Silk Sarees are made of innocent silk, achieving their grandeur from the motifs having zari like silk threads dipped in liquid gold and silver. Classification as a Kanjeevaram Sari, needs the Geographical Intimation (GI) stipulation, that the decorative zari must include at minimal 57% silver and 0.6% gold in it, be followed in word and detail.
A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin. The use of a GI is a legal certification that the product possesses certain qualities, is made according to traditional methods, and enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical origin.
Kanchipuram Sarees have GI label for the product since 2005.
Elegant broad borders with colours also designs different from that of the body highlight the Kanjeevaram Silk Saree. The pallu or pensile extremity of the saree, could be of the same colour and design as that of the border or could differ. If different, it is woven separately and then finely attached to the main saree.
A Kanjeevaram Silk Sari could take two to three weavers working simultaneously, anywhere from a week to a fortnight to finalized a Saree. The time taken depends about the uniqueness also intricacy concerning the design to be incorporated in the motif.
Typical motifs are sun, moon, peacock, swan, lion and mango. Themes like jasmine flowers scattered between boundaries, parallel lines working across the sun or temple structures, are too popular.
A popular variation is a thicker, cramp and heavier Kanchipuram Silk Saree. This is achieved by the dipping of zari threads in rice water and drying it to get thickness, before weaving for supplementary warp and weft patterns.
Priced from a modest Rs. 2000/-, the Kanchipuram Silk Saree could move upto a lakh further above, based on the design, motif and materials used.
Modern designs, artistic floral work and other incorporations on the saree body are variations to widen the apply of the Kanchipuram Silk Saree.
The latest Kanchi Pattu Silk Saris have crystals, kundans and beads. They make cliquish gifts on festive occasions, are preferred as grand bridal attire alternative are used as wear for special occasions like weddings, visit to temples while traditional festivals, civilizing programs moreover big parties.
The Kanchipuram Cotton Handloom Saree, which is soft and airy, with check patterns in attractive colour combinations, cute motifs, elegant borders and pallus, is comfortable, appealing and preferred during summers.
The South Handloom Kanchi Cotton Saree with its embroidered bootis and having silk or zari brocades as borders, is suitable wear for daily casual, corporate office, college and functions.
Whereas the fancy version having block prints amidst resham border is a fusion of trendy and traditional, it would be ideal as occasional wear for home makers and working women alike.