Kanchipuram Silk Sarees

Kanchipuram Silk is a special kind of silk originated in Kanchipuram region of Tamil Nadu. It has been recognized as a geographical indication by the government of India in the year 2006. Kancheepuram Sarees are mostly worn in Bridal occasions in Southern region of India and it is estimated that about 6000 families are involved in Kanchipuram saree production. Kanchipuram saris woven with heavy silk and gold cloth are considered to be special and are worn on occasions and festivities.

History of Kanchipuram Silk Saree:

The story of the Kanjeevaram silk saree begins in Hindu mythology. It is about 400 years old and is still treated especially all over India. People of Kanchipuram consider the Kanchi silk weavers as the descendants of Sage Markanda, who was considered to be the master weaver for the Gods themselves.

This Kanchipuram Silk Saree was originated at the period of Krishna Devaraya from the Vijayanagar Empire where the rulers of that respective period were keen about silk sarees which was considered as their tradition. Settled in the small town of Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu), the famous Kanjeevaram saree weave goes back 400 years. Two major weaving communities of Andhra Pradesh, the Devangas and Saligars migrated to the town of Kanchipuram. They used their excellent weaving skills to make the silk saree that bore images of scriptures and figurines found on the temples around the village.

People also believe that only after its origin, silk saree has become the must-wear costume for women especially in ceremonies like weddings, festivals etc., which is still followed in South India.

Kanchipuram Silk Saree is a combination of pure mulberry silk of Kanchipuram and the gold and silver zari that comes from Gujarat. Kanchipuram silk sarees are generally woven from pure mulberry silk of Kanchipuram region. The silk thread which is used to weave the saree is dipped in rice water and dried under the sun in order to increase both, its thickness and stiffness. The silk thread is then interlocked with a thin silver wire and woven through after which a golden thread is used to complete the procedure.

The warp frame which is used to weave this fabric has about 60 holes, in which there are 240 threads in the warp and 250 to 3000 threads in the weft, giving it a sturdy feel. The border and the body of the saree are generally woven separately and then interlocked together with much precision and neatness which gives a prestigious look to the saree.

A Tamil film titled Kanchivaram which was made in 2008 is loosely based on the life of weavers of Kanchipuram and this film helped these weavers to get their problems into mainstream media focus. Last year, the government introduced a special policy to the weavers of this region to promote e-marketing of local handlooms. Thirteen e-commerce entities have also partnered with the Office of the Development Commissioner to market handloom products from the weavers themselves.

The price range of Kanchipuram Silk Saree would be somewhere between Rs: 5000 to 2,00,000 which depends on various factors.


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