History says that the Kanjivaram saree, considered as one of the most gorgeous sarees in the world
has a close association with saint Markanda. He used to weave clothes for the
gods themselves. Also, the Chola king Krishna Deva Rai who ruled Kanchipuram
city from the year 985 to 1015, took the initiative of trading silk sarees.
Thus Kanjeevaram saree originated from a small town named Kanchipuram in Tamil
Nadu, India. These saris are loved and worn as bridal, and special occasion
saris by womenfolk of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. Now,
it is an international sensation. Owing to its name, it could be judged as the
south Indian version of the Banarasi silk saree.
Mediterranian-Blue Handloom Pure Silk Kanjivaram Saree from Tamil Nadu with Wide Brocaded Border
A Kanjivaram saree is woven in pure Mulberry silk made from Mulberry yarn in vibrant colors, popularly known as pattu silk. To make the yarn thick and stiff, it is first dipped in rice water and sun-dried before using it. Subsequently strongly intertwined with silver wire /yarn. Again the resulting thread is interlocked with gold thread/yarn. Then woven in a throw shuttle pit loom by using the Adai technique. It is carried with the help of two weavers for making solid borders (Korvai) and the Petni technique for making contrast pallu. The sarees are woven in traditional designs and motifs inspired by Pallava architecture and paintings, the sculptures of temples. The mesmerizing sarees with a touch of gold make them perfect for celebrating every occasion and festival.
The final product is strong and durable. The ornate pallu and the border are woven separately – a specialty – which is then attached to the main saree body through intricate weaving. Usually, a Kanjivaram saree can be as heavy as 2 kilos. Every kanji saree is a smash hit in itself.
The traditional Kanjivaram saree, also known as the Kancheepuram saree, the queen of silks, is made up of rainbow-like weaves that integrate modernity and tradition. The pure mulberry silk and the elegance of pure gold and silver zari from Gujarat give the feeling of uniting the entire country. The silk is called 'pattu' in Tamil and so the sarees are also called Kanchipuram pattu sarees.
Caviar-Black Kanjivaram Sari from Tamil Nadu with Zari-Woven Motifs on Anchal
Different varieties of Kanjivaram Sarees are:
• Plain with golden border – using real gold at the borders gives a rich look for women.
• Traditional - as a wedding or bridal saree. The theme is coin, chakra, or checked motifs that represent the tradition.
• Temple weave – this type has a zigzag and real temple design or gopuram at the border.
• Floral weave – using the theme of flowers in the main part of the saree and the actual golden color comes to the border.
Both Banarasi and Kanjivaram are two of the finest silk sarees in India, which are popular globally as well. Their popularity has no bounds. womenfolk from all over the world, apart from Indian brides crave such a print to be added to their wardrobe. While a lot of them might seem similar at the first glance, there is a basic difference between these sarees. While Kanjivaram sarees belong to Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu (South India), Banarasi sarees find their origin in Varanasi or Banaras in North India. While in a Kanjivaram saree golden thread is used for weaving designs, Banarasi sarees have intricate gold and silver work on them using zari. They both come in a variety of designs and motifs in vibrant colors.
It depends solely on a person’s personal preferences, budget, and other factors. Banarasi saree boasts an exquisite Zari-work to weave out the floral motifs and foliage. However, Kanjivaram silk sarees carry intricate designs of temples, motifs, stripes, and checks, woven with golden or silver threads.
Imperial-Purple Kanji-Cotton Sari from Chennai with Zari-Woven Border and Tassels
The quickest ways to identify an original Kanjivaram saree are by following tests:
zari : See that the borders and pallu are in contrast. Then by having a closer look at the zari one may differentiate pure zari from the fake one.
Touch : By gently rubbing the surface of the saree, one will feel smooth and feathery throughout the fabric. If it is rough then it is not the saree that you wish to buy. Further to that, on squeezing it up a bit in hands, a crunching noise should be heard– that sound tells that it's the real one.
Luster : Just by bringing a kanji saree to the light, one will know the originality of the saree instantly. Kanchipuram sarees will shine when kept at an angle toward the light. If the color pops out, then it is a real one. If the saree appears dull, avoid buying it.
Ring Test : Let the saree pass through a ring. If it slides out on the other side without any breaks in the middle, it is real
Silk Hallmark : you must look for the silk organization’s mark which signals to certify quality standards of the silk.
The Kanchipuram and Kanjivaram sarees are the same – Two names with the same saree type. A basic Kanjivaram saree costs as low as INR 7,000 and as high as INR 3 lakhs. The exquisite golden zari work that this sari displays make it a must forever bridal trousseau, especially in South India. Various textures, the use of colorful silk, and skilled craftsmanship make it more expensive than most types of sarees. Since real Gold and silver are combined in this saree, the cost is a little expensive compared to other sarees. It is believed that the Zari on the border has at least 0.6% gold and 57% silver in it.
Blue-Ribbon Kanjivaram Sari from Bangalore with Zari-Woven Pallu and Checks
How Should One Store Kanjivaram Saree?
Here are some tips to maintain a Kanjivaram saree:
• Get your saree dry-cleaned before you store it.
• Remember to fold your saree carefully to not cause any damage to the zari work and change the folds every 3 months.
• Don't store your Kanjivaram saree with other sarees.
• Air your saree every 3 to 4 months.
Yes. In that case, always use cold water and just a little shampoo only after the first three washes. Harsh detergents and brushes will be very harmful to your beloved saree. Wash the sari, the pallu, and the border of the sari separately to avoid damage to your gorgeous saree.
Create a cover. Never iron this saree without a covering on top. Usually, cotton cloth is used as a cover over these sarees. This is done so as not to burn the saree.
Use steam iron- Always use a steam iron when ironing this saree as it removes all kinds of creases and lends a clean look to it.
Bitter Sweet Brocaded Wedding Sari from Bangalore with Zari-Woven Lotuses All-Over
Concurring to a recent study, buying a Kanchipuram saree is not an expenditure but an investment. As time is moving fast, every day the number of designs and themes increasing as well as changing. Although Kanjivaram sarees are made in silk, kora silk, or cotton silk as well as cotton (known as Kanchi cotton sarees), it is the glistering, pure silk variety that takes the cake for its grandeur and undying appeal.
The flawless craftsmanship in making this silk saree has been mesmerizing the female populace for 400 years. The average length is 9 yards but also available in 6-yard lengths. The vibrant colors and unique designs ranging from checks to sparkling borders coupled with adorable motifs like peacocks, Kalash, leaves, etc—make these sarees sovereign.
Over the years, this manufactured article has grown amazingly, keeping its soul intact. Due to its high cost, middle-class families face teething troubles. People nowadays are using a little version of this saree – made of synthetic yarn. To make it budget-friendly, synthetic or other metallic yarn like copper, etc are used in borders instead of silver or golden ones. Also, the designs and motifs on the border are now influenced by a lot of other considerations. This synthetic saree is less in weight as well as cost. The durability, charm, and love remain unharmed as the real kanjivaram.
Kanjivaram sari is a prized possession in a woman’s trousseau as it can be worn for years and even passed down to younger generations. Explore our unique collection of Kanjivaram Sarees.
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