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Where can I get an original Kanchipuram saree?

by Bhargavi Mittalu on Oct 18, 2022

Where can I get an original Kanchipuram saree?

Crafted meticulously in the Kanchipuram village of Tamil Nadu, Kanchipuram silk sarees are beautiful garments of unparalleled beauty. Woven with mulberry silk threads, these are often an integral part of the bridal trousseau of brides from the southern states of India. Often compared to the Banarasi silks of Northern India, owning a Kanjivaram or Kanchipuram saree is a matter of both pride and joy for many Indian women.

However, given the increasing instances of replicas and fakes crafted and sold under the pretext of a Kanchipuram saree, it is important that you as a buyer are able to discern between the original and a duplicate. Here’s how you can become the proud owner of an original Kanchipuram saree.

Kanjeevaram silks

  • Shop at the source
  • The best way to procure an original Kanchipuram saree is to purchase your silks right at the source. If you have the opportunity, do visit the Kanchipuram village, which is a two-hour drive from Chennai. Walk around a bit and you can view the work of the artisans. Not only would this give you an insight into the effort and unique technique of their workmanship but will also enable you to purchase a good piece from the many available. 

    Kanchipuram Village

    However, do ensure that you go to trusted weavers only. If travelling to Kanchipuram via taxi or auto, the drivers may usually direct you to a store. You need to be wary then, as drivers often get commissions from the stores, and these may not be the best places to shop at. 

  • Check for the GI tag
  • With a craft that dates back to over 400 years ago, the village of Kanchipuram has been awarded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag for its authentic sarees in 2006. So, whenever you purchase a Kanjivaram sari, be sure to check that it carries the GI tag as well. There may be a few stores that will charge you a little less to lure you into purchasing these sarees albeit without a tag. However, be wary of such places as you may end up buying a fake product.

  • Know the variety
  • Gathering all the know-how on how Kanjivaram sarees look, and feel can be of great help. Even in Kanchipuram, there is a wide variety of sari materials to choose from. This depends on the kind of yarn being used on the loom to make the sari. Being aware of the variety, enables you to choose the quality and price brackets you wish to buy. The topmost tier of Kanjivaram saris comprises those made with pure silk while using pure Zari. These saris are exquisite in quality and comprise silver or gold Zari. Then there are saris with pure silk but non-pure Zari. This implies that the Zari isn’t pure gold or silver but is a tested material that will carry a similar sheen. Needless to say, these are less expensive than the pure versions. Finally, the pocket-friendly variety in Kanjivaram includes polyester and non-pure Zari options for you to consider.

    Gold Kanchipuram silk saree
    Gold Zari Kanchipuram silk saree
  • Consider the uniqueness of each piece
  • Kanjivaram sarees are unique, not just in the usage of mulberry silk but also in their choice of motifs. For a traditional choice, do look for saris that have the motifs of flowers, peacocks, leaves, sun and moon. Beautiful temple borders and contrasting colors between the border and the body of the sari are other elements to look out for. Also, being crafted on the look, each piece will be unique and special. Prices will vary not just based on the yarn used, but also on the complexity and exquisiteness of design.

  • Buy from a trusted store
  • Busy schedules and aspects of distance can make it difficult for you to shop at the source all the time. Also, not knowing which weavers and stores to visit can be a hurdle as well. Shopping from a trusted store can be a viable option. A good store usually has a collaboration with weavers and is able to procure the choicest of saris from the weaver. Not just that, a discerning team of quality specialists ensure that only the original comes to the store.

    With Kanchipuram having earned a name as the silk city, and its sarees often being called the ‘queen of silk sarees’, do add a few of these to your wardrobe. Buying these may seem like an expensive affair, especially when cheaper alternatives seem easily available. However, do remember that every original Kanchipuram sari that you purchase carries with it the hard work of generations of weavers, many of whom still struggle to keep this rich Indian tradition alive. Mavuri silks supports the beauty and workmanship of this craft and brings a rare collection for its customers. Do check out our store for the vivid variety on offer.

    Click on Kanchipuram Silk saree for more collection to shop online from Mavuri's exquisite.