Aptly described as the 'Queen of silks', Kanjeevaram silks come from the handlooms of Kanchipuram, a temple town in Tamil Nadu. Considering that the weavers in this town are believed to be descendants of Sage Markanda, who supposedly wove fabrics for the Gods themselves, Kanjeevaram silks also known as Kanchipuram sarees are referred to as the 'weave of Gods'. The saris are handwoven with pure mulberry silk and zari, which are distinguished by their wide contrast borders and heavy weaves. GI tagged in 2005, Kanjeevaram sarees are artistic masterpieces and treasured family heirlooms.
These sarees are made of real mulberry silk yarn. South India supplies both fine mulberry silk and zari utilised to make Kanjeevaram sarees. A Kanjeevaram saree is woven with three shuttles. The weaver's assistant tends to the left side shuttle as he weaves on the right-hand side. Typically, the border's colour and pattern are significantly distinct from the body. Whereas if the saree pallu needs to be woven in a different hue, it will first be woven independently, then skilfully attached to the saree. A jagged line is frequently used to indicate where the body and the pallu converge. Body and border are weaved separately and then fused together to create an authentic Kanchipuram saree.
The broad contrasting margins define the Kanchipuram saree. Traditional patterns include florals (buttas), chequered, striped, and temple design borders. The motifs and texts found in South Indian temple architecture, as well as organic elements like leaves, birds, and animals, serve as inspiration for the patterns and designs of Kanjeevaram silk sarees. These sarees feature elaborately woven pallus that display scenes from nature and mythological stories. The price of Kanjeevaram sarees varies greatly depending on the level of craftsmanship, colours, design, and materials used, such as the zari (gold thread). The silk's reputation has also been enhanced by the workmanship and quality of the fabric.
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