Kanchipuram Silk Sarees
Kanchipuram silk sarees
History has it that Kanchipuram rose to eminence during Krishna-Deva Raya's reign 400yrs back, when two weaving communities - the Devangas and the Saligars transmigrated to Kanchipuram from the neighboring state Andhra Pradesh. Primarily because within this seemingly minuscule town there were more than 129 finely crafted temples, and silk was always considered the ceremonial wear at religious rituals and weddings. The Devanga and Saligar weavers were reputed for their silk weaving silks, even today the main profession of the people living in and around Kanchipuram is weaving silk sarees.
Silk sarees are a luxury and hence special. They are an integral part of South Indian weddings and celebrations. The heavy silk saris with rich weave and gold borders are very popular, especially in South India. Be it the simple contrast border sarees or those with gold zari dots and patterns, the sarees are authentic and elegant with their rare and superior color combinations.
A close view...
The first time I wore a Kanchipuram saree was for my high school farewell party. A plain henna green saree with a thin zari border, it was my mother’s, gifted to her by her mother. I got my first set of Kanchipuram sarees for my wedding, some as gifts by my in-laws and some as part of my bridal trousseau by my parents. They make great gifts on festivals and occasions…A single Kanchipuram Sari can cost anywhere between Indian Rupees 2,500 (US $50) to Indian Rupees 100,000 (US $2ooo) or more depending upon the intricacy of work, colors, pattern, material used like zari, gold thread etc.
Kanchipuram sarees are hand woven from pure mulberry silk. The industry here is only made up of Handloom weavers and merchants and does not manufacture silk or any other raw material that goes into the silk saree.
Dyed Silk yarn...
The main raw materials are mulberry silk thread, metallic thread (Zari) and dye. Dipping the silk thread into liquid gold and silver makes the Zari. This enhances the beauty and the value of the silk saree. The mulberry silk thread comes from the neighboring state of Karnataka, the metallic thread which is interwoven with the silk to give the metallic look comes from the state of Gujarat, and the dyes too are not manufactured in Kanchipuram. But all these materials are brought here, and the skilled artisans weave them on handlooms, creating a unique hand-made work of art in each saree.
Getting the yarn ready for the loom....
The saree usually have three parts to it called the body, border and palu (the hanging end of the saree). To weave a saree three shuttles meaning three single threads of silk yarn along with zari are used. This accounts for its durability and luster. 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 has to be woven in a different shade, it is first separately woven and then delicately joined to the saree. The joint is woven so strongly that even if the saree tears, the border would not detach. Since the maximum length on a traditional loom is 18-yard warp, it ensures that not more than 3 silk saris can look alike.
Themes and motifs
Earlier, designs were restricted to conservative stripes or gold dots. However, overtime motifs like Sun, moon, chariots, peacocks, parrots, swans, lions, coins, mangoes, leaves are woven into the saree in patterns.
Other common motifs are jasmine bud within a square or a round frame, locally known as mallimaggu, or Thandavalam where parallel lines run across the body of the Sari. While Today, it keeps pace with modern prints the rich and magnificent grandeur continues to lend a festive touch to any occasion. You can even find wedding sarees with rich woven pallu depicting paintings of Raja Ravi Varma or scenes from the great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Raja Ravi Verma's painting weaved to make this beautiful pallu....
But the industry is facing a serious labor crunch due to industrialization. Factories set up by companies like Ford and Saint Gobain have become a big draw for the next generation. Also, the rising prices of raw materials like gold, silver and raw silk is affecting the wavers. For example, one kg of raw silk used to cost Indian Rupees 1,400 in 2005, which has almost doubled to Rupees 2,700 per kg now. One kg of raw silk can be used to make three sarees. These problems have led to the lowering of shutters for many manufacturers. Around 20 years ago there were 50,000 looms in Kanchipuram, but now, there are less than 20,000 looms.
(Kanchipuram Sarees are also known as Kancheepuram, Kancheevaram or sometimes Kanchivaram Sarees!)
PS….I had to share this, I belong to this ethnic Devanga community, my forefathers were weavers and merchants, they did not migrate to Kanchipuram but lived about 90 kms away…
Sign Up!! for Monthly Ezine with updates, Freebies, Discounts...
Meet Sandhya Manne
Hey there... Glad to see you here!! I am a self-taught Indian Artist living in Chennai, India with my husband, and two little kids. I paint everyday at my home studio. While my predominant medium is oils and Ink drawings, I also enjoy creating mixed media.. Since the start of my art career in 2009, my artworks have been part of private collections in Canada, USA and India. I also have credit exhibiting through juried shows in Dallas-Fort Worth area. Learn More
- 2014 (65)
- September (24)
- Day 22 of 30 Day Sketching Challenge
- Day 21 of 30 Day Sketching Challenge
- Day 20 of 30 Day Sketching Challenge
- Day 19 of 30 Day Sketching Challenge
- Day 18 of 30 Day Sketching Challenge
- Day 17 of 30 Day Sketching Challenge
- Day 16 of 30 Day Sketching Challenge
- Day 15 of 30 Day Sketching Challenge
- Day 14 of 30 Day Sketching Challenge
- Day 13of 30 Day Sketching Challenge
- Day 12 of 30 Day Sketching Challenge
- Day 11 of 30 Day Sketching Challenge
- Day 10 of 30 Day Sketching Challenge
- Day 9 of 3o Day Sketching Challenge
- Pictures from SEP 6 Beginners Zentangle Workshop
- Day 8 of 3o Day Sketching Challenge
- Day 7 of 3o Day Sketching Challenge
- Day 6 of 3o Day Sketching Challenge
- Day 5 of 3o Day Sketching Challenge
- Day 4 of 3o Day Sketching Challenge
- Practice Zentangle Workshop on SEP 20th 2014
- Day 3 of 3o Day Sketching Challenge
- Day 2 of 3o Day Sketching Challenge
- Day 1 of 3o Day Sketching Challenge
- August (4)
- July (3)
- June (1)
- March (1)
- February (1)
- January (31)
- Jan 2014 30-30 at a glance
- In search of
- The Meeting
- The one leg dance
- Light Play
- An Orange Evening
- Fishing Boat
- His Majesty
- On the Run
- Quite Moments
- Can't find Fish
- Water Mirror
- Pole View
- Water meets the Sky
- On to the Right
- Morning Stroll
- The First Light
- Drive by the water
- Still Waters
- Golden Earth
- Come over here
- The Yellow Beak
- On my own
- September (24)
- 2013 (98)
- December (5)
- November (1)
- October (2)
- September (31)
- KalamKari - Hand Painted Fabrics
- Clear Sky
- Gentle Waves
- Morning Breeze
- Dancing to the Beat
- Hide and Seek
- I Found it!!
- Sharing the Road
- Its Me Time!!
- Meeting Point
- Morning Walk
- The Blue Green Sea
- City through Backwaters
- Sweet Tender Coconuts
- Yellow Lorry
- The day after rains
- The Orange Guy
- By the Road
- Fantastic Four
- On a quiet day
- The Holy Cow
- The Orange Cloud
- Following your footsteps
- The Wet Beach
- The Purple sky
- The Pillion Rider
- One pleasant day
- Yellow Skates
- August (5)
- July (1)
- May (4)
- April (3)
- March (8)
- February (9)
- January (29)
- Ho Hey!!
- Na NanaNana
- Not me..
- Why Pink??
- No Way!!
- Hey You!!
- That is right!!
- Not really...
- Ad Girl
- Stephanie-The Dog Walker
- There we go!!
- There you go!!
- Pamela-The Godmother
- I see
- How do I know
- Look there!!
- Kim-The Imposter
- Hey there!!
- 3rd ANNUAL ZENTANGLE-INSPIRED ART EXHIBIT - Pictures
- Mugshot 6 Cindy-The Nurturer
- Mugshot # 5 Regula “Babyface”
- Mugshot 4 Brenda "The Designer"
- Mugshot 3 Kim "The Scoop"
- Mugshot2-Laurie"Smooth as Silk"
- Mugshot1-Karin “Quickdraw”
- 2012 (106)
- December (16)
- 3rd ANNUAL ZENTANGLE-INSPIRED ART EXHIBIT
- Bhimbetka - Cave Paintings
- Bike Ride
- The Team
- Nap Time
- I am up!!
- Collin College Nov-Dec Zentangle Workshop Pictures
- 2013 Zentangle at Rowlett Community Center
- 2013- 4 week Zentangle at Collin College
- 2012 Winter Zentangle Class at Huffhines
- The Barn
- HiltonHead Workshop 2012
- The Grass
- The lonely road
- November (3)
- October (4)
- September (8)
- August (8)
- July (6)
- June (15)
- May (23)
- Kanchipuram Silk Sarees
- MAY 2012 Ezine - Kanchipuram Silk Sarees
- Daily Oils #15
- Daily Oils #14
- Daily Oils #13
- Daily Oils #12
- Daily Oils #11
- Daily Oils #10
- Daily Oils #9
- Daily Oils #8
- Daily Oils #7
- Daily Oils #6
- Daily Oils 5
- Meena Bazaar in Dallas..
- In different light
- Cherry Red Daily Oils 3
- Daily Oils 2
- Values - Daily Oils 1
- FIRST ANNIVERSARY GIVEAWAY --- WINNER
- FIRST ANNIVERSARY GIVEAWAY !!!!
- April 2012 Ezine - Madhubani Paintings
- MADHUBANI Paintings
- Kids Summer ART CAMP 2012
- April (4)
- March (5)
- February (9)
- March Zentangle Advance - White on Black Workshop
- Febraury 2012 Ezine - Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple of Madurai
- Madurai Meenakshi Temple
- Pictures of "WITH LOVE" A Special Valentine's Experience art fair
- Febraury Zentangle Basics Workshop Pictures
- Pictures of OXIDE Gallery Night
- Invitation to "WITH LOVE" A Special Valentine's Experience
- February Zentangle Basics Workshop
- Invitation to OXIDE's February Gallery Night
- January (5)
- December (16)
- 2011 (57)
- December (4)
- November (7)
- October (6)
- September (7)
- Art Journaling - First Page of First Journal...
- Zentangle studio scoop Sep week 4
- Invitation for the Gallery Night at OXIDE Gallery...
- PAA Multicultural Exhibit 2011 and Opening Art Reception
- Zentangle studio scoop Sep Week 2
- September 2011 Ezine - "Ganesh Chaturthi" celebrating Lord Ganesha's Birthday...
- Weekend at Lakewood Summer Arts Faire 2011
- August (11)
- July (7)
- June (7)
- May (8)
- The 56th Annual Juied Members Show Receiption
- Guest post on Balancing Art and Motherhood
- 3 of my Artworks at 56th Annual Juried Members Show 2011
- 5 Reasons why my ART is Unique
- February 2011 Ezine
- March 2011 Ezine
- Art Exhibition at The Courtyard Theater, Plano TX
- All about the new series "Padma - The Lotus"
Tangle Art from Zentempletangles
Recent Postes form zentempletangles.com
Sandhya is a very talented artist, her artworks are truly amazing. The color schemes and the designs that she uses is very unique and is kind to the eyes and happy at heart. All her paintings and artwork reflect a...