Kancheepuram silk sarees
|Description||silk sarees weaved in Kancheepuram|
|Area||Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu|
Kancheepuram Silk is a type of silk saree made in the Kancheepuram region in Tamil Nadu, India. Popularly known as Kanjivaram Sarees, the sarees are referred to as South India's answer to Banarasi saris. It has been recognized as a Geographical indication by the Government of India in 2005-06.
According to Hindu mythology, Kanchi silk weavers are the descendants of Sage Markanda, the master weaver of Gods who is supposed to have woven tissue from lotus fiber. Also, while cotton is considered to be the favourite fabric of Lord Shiva, silk was preferred by Lord Vishnu.
The sarees are weaved from pure mulberry silk thread. The pure mulberry silk used in the making of Kanchipuram saris comes from South India and the zari comes from Gujarat. To weave a Kanchipuram sari three shuttles are used. While the weaver works on the right side, his aide works on the left side shuttle. The border color and design are usually quite different from the body. If the pallu (the hanging end of the sari) has to be woven in a different shade, it is first separately woven and then delicately joined to the Sari. The part where the body meets the pallu is often denoted by a zig zag line. In a genuine Kanchipuram Silk Sari, body and border are woven separately and then interlocked together. The joint is woven so strongly that even if the sarees tears, the border will not detach.
Saris are distinguished by their wide contrast borders. Temple borders, checks, stripes and floral (buttas) are traditional designs found on a Kanchipuram sarees. The patterns and designs in the kanchipuram sarees were inspired with images and scriptures in South Indian temples or natural features like leaves, birds and animals. These are sarees with rich woven pallu showing paintings of Raja Ravi Varma and epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Kanchipuram sarees vary widely in cost depending upon the intricacy of work, colors, pattern, material used like zari (gold thread) etc. The silk is also known for its quality and craftsmanship, which has helped earn its name.
Kanchipuram saris woven with heavy silk and gold cloth are considered to be special and are worn on occasions and festivities.
In 2005, the Government of Tamil Nadu applied for Geographical Indication for Kanchipura sarees. The Government of India recognized it as a Geographical indication officially since the year 2005-06.
In popular culture
The Tamil film Kanchivaram released in 2008 depicts the struggles of silk weavers in Kanchipuram.
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