How much can you spend on a saree? A couple of thousands? May be at the most Hundred thousand? Well now the range will stop at Rupees 40 hundred thousand or $100,000. Behold the most expensive saree in the world! You might be guessing what might have gone inside the saree to claim this gigantic price? Well a grand fabric, exquisite jewels and believe it or not paintings.
Chennai based textile house, ‘The Chennai Silk” has carefully woven a silk saree with 12 valuable metals and stones, imitating 11 renowned paintings of Raja Ravi Verma. This saree has secured a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “world’s most expensive saree.” The handloom weavers of “The Chennai Silks” have replicated Ravi Verma’s highly praised painting “Lady Musicians” on the pallu which exhibits female musicians from different cultural backgrounds. The saree weighs around 8 kilograms.
The talented artist has been given a tribute in the border of the saree as well, which flaunts another 10 paintings of Ravi Verma along with the intricate details of the ladies like curly hair, and the jewelry worn by them.
Some of the precious stones that have gone into the saree are ruby, emerald, gold, diamond sapphire, silver, cat’s eye, yellow sapphire, coral, pearl and platinum. These have been used to beautify the women attributes in the paintings which are carefully hand woven into the saree in convoluted patterns. In order to create this saree, the efforts of 4,680 man-hours and a team of 30 skilled weavers, using a double warp, for seven months were involved. The saree embraces 7,440 jacquard hooks, which are instrumental in fabricating a design and 66,794 cards that are punched to create a precise design using CAD software.
This unique saree was launched in a star-studded occasion in the presence of celebrities like Mani Ratnam, Suhasini, Shobhana and Jeeva.
The proud Director of Chennai Silks proclaims that ‘This is the first time gems and art have been (put) together to make a sari’, and interestingly this saree is up for sale. A creation, which is truly art in itself, can be worn by a bride and is not meant for only creating a record. The Director further states that many have enquired about the saree and they hope to sell it quite soon.