South Indian Silk Sarees-Here Tradition Meets Beauty


Silk for Silk Sarees must have rich, vibrant and brilliant hues.Silk Sarees from Kancheepuram are the best in the world. Indian Silk Sarees are admired all over the world – for its pure variety of designs, weaving and superiority. This is principally due to the fact that India has the distinctive characteristic of producing diverse varieties of silk.

Silk is a protein fiber, formed by silkworms for spinning around its cocoon. This fiber (filament) is unwound to obtain the silk. The yarn is produced by twisting the fiber, which is then dyed, wrapped and lastly woven to make the fabric. There are four major varieties of silk produced by each distinct variety of silkworm feeding on a definite host plant. The varieties are Kancheepuram, Bandhni, Ikkat and Patola and Thanchoi.

Silk Sarees are an important part of the South Indian tradition. Now that the world has become a global village, Kanchipuram and other such South Indian Silks are available all around the world. However, the chief manufacture of these beautiful Sarees is still centred in Kanchipuram and other small towns in South India.

The origin of the Indian Silk Saree dates back to centuries ago, when these Sarees used to be woven in temples. The sarees, woven from unadulterated mulberry silk, are found in innumerable colours. These Sarees have borders and ‘pallu’ in contrast colour combinations with weighty gold weaving. Kanchipuram sarees conventionally had designs representing simple gold lines or gold dots. The designs in these south Indian Sarees were motivated by the designs in South Indian temples or natural elements like birds, leaves, etc. Some of the finest known patterns in Kanchipuram saree borders are ‘Rudraksham’ (representing Rudraksha beads), ‘Gopuram’ (representing temples), ‘Mayilkan’ (Peacock eye) and ‘Kuyilkan’ (Nightingale eye). Keeping in view the changing trends, south indian silk sarees have undergone a makeover. Now, even designer silk sarees are obtainable, with embroidery or crystal work done on the traditional silk. One of the newest trends in these sarees is using antique paintings and the images of gods and goddesses in the ‘pallu’.

In an authentic south Indian Silk Saree, the body of the saree and the ‘pallu’ are woven separately and then stitched jointly. The unique weaving technique of a Kanchipuram silk saree or any such South Indian sarees,is by using three single threads of silk yarn alongside a ‘zari’, that is silk threads dipped in liquid gold and silver. The mulberry silk comes from south India itself and the gold ‘zari’ comes from Surat.

The famous towns for the manufacture of such sarees like Kanchipuram are known as the “Silk City” because almost ¾ of its population is dependent upon the silk industry. Trained and expert weavers from neighboring towns like Salem, Arani, Coimbatore and Kumbakonam are also involved in the production of silk sarees.

Three weavers roughly take 7 to 10 days to weave one saree (46″ X 168″), making the manufacture of south Indian silk sarees quite expensive. However,we all know, that beauty always come with a good price tag.

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13 comments

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