France being famous for its wine and Darjeeling iconic for tea, the little town of Kanchipuram is best known for its traditional ‘Kanchi pattu’. The ‘dream weavers’ of this town have been establishing the art since decades. Kanchipuram silk sari happens to be an integral part of every South Indian girl’s wardrobe; although now it’s being treasured all over India. Kanjivaram silk sarees are believed to be the most valuable costume for a girl on the wedding day. The sari beholds a special and graceful position among various other conventional fabrics of India. Though silk saris are made in various Indian towns, the small town of Kanchi is renowned for this fabric.
Kanchipuram silk sarees are woven from pure mulberry silk and this fabric is available in countless and attractive hues. These sarees are woven with three ply, high denier threads using thick zari to complement the warp and weft designs forming unique and intricate motifs in the sari. Following the color combinations, and the complicated designs used a sari normally takes 20 to 30 days for completion. It is from pure silk and again this fabric enjoys an everlasting reputation for its texture, gleam, finishing, and resilience.
Traditionally, these saris were woven in lovely patterns with simple gold lines making peacocks, temples, and dots. The contemporary fashion has breathed a new life into this 500 year old traditional fabric. Now, you get these Kanjivaram silk sarees in new and alluring patterns. To match with the altering trends, this silk has experienced brisk conversion. Magnificent designer silk saris are available unifying the conventional art with embroidery and matching crystal work. Latest trend of Kanchipuram silk sarees comes with the images of gods and goddesses on the pallu. Now, these silk fabrics are available all over the world. The matching hues in bright, simple tones are used in the sari catering to the consumers’ tastes and preferences. Nowadays, the consumers are more alarmed about the cost, weight, and simple yet elaborate designs with pastel shades. Looking into the requirement of modern day women, churidhar sets are also woven with Kanchipuram silk.
More than 60,000 silk looms manufacture Kanchipuram silk sarees, filling the town with the musical ‘tak tak’. The town is having an annual turnover over Rs.200 crores with exports around Rs.3 crores. Export figures are however limited due to the restraint of weaving mostly saris, which has its own monopoly, but is moderately lesser over other outfits. 75% of the population residing in Kanchipuram earns their livelihood by weaving this fabric. The particular zari used in this type of sari is made in Tamil Nadu, but the silver wire required for the weaving part is brought from Surat as the procedure behind its making is detained secretly by some traditional weaving families there, thus making the process time consuming and expensive.