The Ultimate Guide to Timeless Kanjivaram Sarees : Queen of Silks

An Indian woman’s wardrobe or her wedding trousseau is incomplete without one very important element- the quintessential  Kanjivaram Silk Saree. WeaverStory brings you the new range of Kanjivaram sarees, shaped through the beauty of our handcrafted tradition and curated through a contemporary lens to suit women from all over the world. 

The Kanjivaram, celebrated as the queen of silks, is a favoured choice for significant, life-changing occasions. These events often mark transitions, growth, and the beginning of new phases in life's journey. Be it the most affluent leaders to the simplest of households, a wide variety of silk sarees are adorned by women at all functions and celebrations. All Indian festivities and main occasions such as Diwali, Dussehra, Navratri or Eid, Silk sarees are worn, gifted, treasured and loved by all generations. Silk sarees have a deep cultural significance in India. They are offered to the revered Goddesses and family elders as a mark of respect and love.

Another important cultural belief ingrained in Indian tradition is that gold possesses the ability to purify anything it touches. To them, gold is a valuable metal symbolising power and wealth. This is evident in weddings, where gold is seen in everything from the décor and attire to jewellery and sweets. A notable example of gold and silk combined is the Kanjivaram.

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The Elegance of Kanjivaram

Kanjivaram is not just a piece of cloth but a Saree that weaves together emotions and silhouettes. Owing to the rich and lustrous fabric and deep colours mixed with hints of gold, it is the one of the most precious investments in an Indian women’s wardrobe. Also known as the queen of silks, the  Kanjivaram saree is made up of iridescent weaves that amalgamate tradition and  modernity. 

The pure mulberry silk sourced from across India and popularly known as pattu silk saree and the elegance of pure Zari from Gujarat can give you the feeling of uniting the entire country. On wearing this aristocratic piece of cloth, you are sure to make heads turn and melt hearts in all your festivities and occasions.  


Origin and History  

The story of the  Kanjivaram silk saree begins in early Hindu mythology. It is said that the Kanchi silk weavers are descendants of Sage Markanda, who was considered to be the master weaver of the Gods. The timeless weave gets its name from the Silk city of Kanchipuram, in Tamil Nadu where two major weaving communities of Andhra Pradesh, had migrated to make the silk saree. They created a 9-yard philosophy that bore images of mythological scriptures and temple figurines found around the village, which came to be known as the Kanjivaram. The British translated the Kanchipuram silks to Conjeevaram silks, also known as Kanjeevarum silks.


Identifying Authentic Kanjivaram Sarees: Key Hallmarks

  • Wide Contrast Borders and Colors

While most Indian textile genres are woven with a single warp – the  Kanjivaram Saree is typified by its use of two or three warps that are dyed in distinct colors and are woven together by the most painstaking interlocking technique. The technique is locally known as the Korvai weave. This technique permits the play of colors that is a signature of this genre and elevates each  Kanjivaram Saree to a work of art. The joint is woven so strongly that even if the sarees tears, the border will not detach. This is a hallmark for Kanjivaram weaving.

Apart from the traditional reds and golds, they also come in a plethora of hues and shades like bold purple, modern mauves, subtle peach and fresh tangerines

  • The Golden Sheen – Zari

    The silk thread (resham) that is used to weave the saree is dipped in rice water and sun-dried before it is used to increase both its thickness and stiffness. The silk thread is then interlocked with a thin silver wire and woven through after which a golden thread is used to complete the procedure. 

    So, if you have been wondering why Kanjivaram silk has that golden sheen even in garments that do not have a gold colour base, this is the reason! The thread itself has a metallic tinge which lends its character to this wonderful saree. 

    • Traditional Motifs and Design Elements of Kanjivaram Sarees

    Temple borders, checks, stripes, and floral motifs are classic designs featured on Kanjivaram sarees. These designs draw inspiration from South Indian temple imagery and scriptures, as well as natural elements like leaves, birds, and animals. As a result, Kanjivaram sarees come in a diverse range of styles, varying in intricacy, colours, patterns, and materials such as Zari (gold thread).

    • Durability and Legacy of Kanjivaram Saree

    The six-yard wonder weave of a Kanjivaram saree is created using 240 warps and 250 wefts, making it nearly indestructible. The Zari is crafted from three silk threads twisted with a silver wire, enhancing the strength of the weave. This intricate process can also add to the weight, making Kanjivaram sarees heavier than other silk sarees.

                                  Important Facts & Information    

    • In order to safeguard the radiance of the  Kanjivaram silk sarees, the Indian Government has recognized it as a Geographical Indication in 2006. You’ll find a Silk Mark on them (like the hallmark that’s given to real diamonds) that indicates its authenticity. 
    • As per the legends, silk was considered to be Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu’s favourite fabric.
    • The Kanjivaram is such an important part of our Indian heritage that it finds its place in Indian Pop culture also. A Tamil film called Kanchivaram was created to depict the struggles of silk weavers in the town of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu. The movie was released in 2008. 



    Care Tips and Maintenance 

    • Professional dry cleaning of the sari is always recommended. If you are comfortable with spacing the cleaning intervals to once in 2-3 uses, please do so.
    • Air the sari as much as possible after every use and dry clean followed by a roller iron to restore the folds. Also keep changing the crease of the saree every now and then to keep your saree from getting a permanent fold mark.
    • For stain removal, use spot cleaning technique but we always recommend professional dry-cleaning.
    • Never brush, beat or twist your saree. Avoid airing it in direct sunlight
    • Use silica gel bags to absorb extra moisture so that there is no fungal growth on the sarees.

      Proper Storage Instructions

    • Wrap it in a sheet of muslin cloth and store away from light and heat (from indirect sources like a window or heater).
    • Keep the saree separately to avoid friction with other fabrics, which will damage the silk, leading to tears.
    • These sarees must never be hung from metal hangers like your other clothes. Doing this can leave marks that may never go away.
    • Never use a brush to remove dust particles from a silk saree.
    • Do not store weight on top of your precious silk sarees.

     Ironing Instructions

    • Use low heat while ironing silk sarees and always cover the saree with a fine muslin or cotton cloth in order to not burn the saree.
    • Steam iron is best suited for Silk sarees as it removes all kinds of creases and lends a clean look to it.
    • Keep changing the crease of the saree every now and then to keep your saree from getting a permanent fold mark.