Popularly known as the queen of silk sarees, Kanjivaram Silk Sarees are one of the most sought-after Indian sarees and are a matter of tremendous pride for most Indians. Hailing from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu's town of Kanchipuram, Kanjivaram sarees are renowned for their fine quality of silk, intricate designs and the grandeur that they exude. Their iridescent weaves are infused with emotions and cultural sentiments, making them a preferred garment of choice for all landmark occasions in a woman's life.
History & Origins
The origins of Kanjivaram Silk Sarees go back to the 7th century during the reign of the Chola dynasty. Kanchipuram, a village in Tamil Nadu, was well recognized for its talented silk weavers who could produce high-quality silk fabrics. The sarees, which were customarily worn by the women of the royal family during important rituals and occasions, were renowned for their exquisite designs and fine silk. If history serves us right, the traditional silk saree weavers nearly went extinct as a result of the British colonial government's monopoly on Indian silk manufacturing and export during the 19th century. But Kanchipuram's artisans preserved their trade, and the wealthy and aristocratic classes continued to wear these fine silk sarees. According to Hindu mythology, the Markanda Silk Weavers, who were reputed to have woven garments for the Gods themselves, are said to be the ancestors of the Kanjivaram Silk Weavers. It is believed that the two main weaving communities, the Devangas and the Saligars, relocated from Andhra Pradesh and established themselves in the village of Kanchipuram. Using their weaving skills, they began creating intricate designs of the figures they saw in the temples surrounding the town on Kanjivaram Silk Sarees.
An objet d’art, each Kanjivaram Silk Sarees is made purely from the finest silk. After meticulous extraction, the silk yarn is dyed in rich hues and woven with the Zari. The yarn is first washed and soaked in rice water and dried in the sun before use to maintain the fabric’s durability. It is then, manually, dyed in vibrant colors in a continuous spinning motion to ensure that the color is uniformly distributed throughout the fabric. Real zari is produced using silver or gold thread that has been drawn from silver or gold government-mandated alloys and flattened using rollers. Most of the Zari used today is sourced from Gujarat while the silk comes from Tamil Nadu.Before being sent to the weaving room, coloured threads and zari are painstakingly sorted with great care to avoid any tangles that could result in uneven surfaces on the end product. Individual strands are fastened to the weaving loom from one end to the other. Here, the laborious process of physically drawing the warp ends and joining them to the previous warp on the loom begins. The design is woven onto the fabric by hand and this technique has been passed down from one generation to the next. Completing a single Kanjivaram Silk Saree can take up to several weeks, or even months, depending on the complexity of the design.
Admiration & Popularity
Kanjivaram Silk Sarees have become increasingly popular among women from all walks of life and are, now, often, regarded as status symbols. Valued for their fine craftsmanship, these silk sarees are a cultural representation of festivities, weddings and various other auspicious occasions. Despite how expensive they are, they often make for beautiful family treasures that are passed down through generations as presents of love and blessings. Women of all age groups - from grandmas to young girls - adore this saree because of its timeless elegance and fine weave. Kanjivaram Silk Sarees stand out among the sea of other drapes due to their vivid colors, distinctive designs ranging from recognizable checks to sparkling broad borders, and stunning woven motifs like peacocks, kalash, leaves, etc. Even when they are rather basic, authentic silk Kanjivarams outshine any other weave in the market and leave you captivated the minute you set your eyes on them.
It’s not very hard to understand why every woman dreams to own at least one Kanjivaram Silk Saree in her collection, if not more. The pureness of silk coupled with the use of precious metals in this craft's weaving is a reflection of symbolism and has been a popular choice amongst aristocratic women across the globe. Its origins can be found in the sacred texts of the Rig-Veda, the Mahabharata, and the Ramayana, which speak of a garment woven of pure gold. The historical textiles from all over the world, including European brocades, Persian and Iranian velvet weaves, and Southeast Asian silks, all used metallic gold yarn. It attracted the patronage of royalty and aristocrats since it was seen as a representation of purity and dignity.
Have a look at a few Kanjivaram Silk Sarees from our collection to own a beautiful symbol of elegance and heritage -
Handloom Pink Pure Zari and Pure Silk Kanjivaram Saree
A beautifully made traditional classic saree with contemporary checks and stripes is the ideal addition to your closet.
Green Handloom Pure Silk Kanjivaram Saree With Blue Borders
Exotic blue and green, handwoven with great care and attention to detail by our best weavers, this Kanjivaram saree comes with a brilliant blue blouse piece that matches the border.
Author - Aditi Bapna