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Kanchipuram sari

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Title: Kanchipuram sari  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Kanchipuram district, Saris, Sari diplomacy, Pasapali Sari
Collection: Articles Created or Expanded During Women's History Month (India) - 2015, Kanchipuram District, Saris, Tamil Clothing
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Kanchipuram sari

Kanchipuram sari
Type Sari
Material Silk

A Kanchipuram sari (also known as a Kanjivaram sari) is a type of sari traditionally made by weavers from Kanchipuram located in Tamil Nadu, India. These are woven naturally. The Kanchipuram sari is distinguished by its wide contrast borders.[1]

A single Kanchipuram sari can cost anywhere between 2500 (US$41) to 100000 (US$1,600) or more depending upon the intricacy of work, colors, pattern, material used like zari, gold thread etc.[2]

Since 2005, Kanchipuram saris are protected by a Geographical Indication label, certifying their origin.[3][4]


  • Legend and history 1
  • Weaving method 2
  • Themes and motifs 3
  • Significance 4
  • Social Culture 5
  • External links 6
  • References 7

Legend and history

According to legends in [Hindu mythology] Kanchi silk weavers are the descendants of Sage Markanda, the master weaver of Gods who is supposed to have woven tissue from lotus fibre. Also, while cotton is considered to be the favourite fabric of Lord Shiva silk was preferred by Lord Vishnu.[5]

Weaving method

To weave a Kanchipuram sari three shuttles are used. 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 (the hanging end of the sari) has to be woven in a different shade, it is first separately woven and then delicately joined to the Sari.[6] The part where the body meets the pallu is often denoted by a zig zag line.[1]

Themes and motifs

Suns, moons, chariots, peacocks, parrots, swans, lions, coins, mangoes, leaves and many such motifs are woven into Kanchipuram patterns. Other common motifs include a jasmine bud within a square or a round frame, locally known as mallinaggu. Another is Thandavalam where parallel lines run across the body of the Sari.[1]


Kanchipuram saris woven with heavy silk and gold cloth are considered to be special and are worn on occasions and festivities only.[7]

Social Culture

Tamil movie named Kanchivaram was released in the year 2008. It is a period movie set in the pre-independence era in a small town of Kanchivaram in Tamil nadu. The movie depicts the pitiable state of the silk weavers in the town of Kanchipuram as they were unorganized and marginalized to live a perpetual ‘hand-to-mouth’ existence. The movie depicts their struggles and ends with a comment about the cooperative movement that emerged to take care of the interests of the workers.

External links

  • Kanchivaram Bridal Wear Saree


  1. ^ a b c Sajnani, Manohar (2001). Encyclopaedia of tourism resources in India. New Delhi: Kalpaz Pub.  
  2. ^ de Bruyn, Pippa; Keith Bain; David Allardice; Shonar Joshi (2010). Frommer's India (4th ed. ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing.  
  3. ^ SANGEETHA KANDAVEL, SANJAY VIJAYAKUMAR (27 December 2011). "Government eases norms for gold-silver mix in Kanchipuram sarees". Chennai: The Economic Times. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "GI tag: TN trails Karnataka with 18 products". Chennai:  
  5. ^ Narasimha Rao, P.V.L. Kanchipuram – Land of Legends, Saints & Temples. Readworthy.  
  6. ^ "Kanchipuram Sari – Tamilnadu". 16 October 2012. 
  7. ^ Henderson, Carol E. (2002). Culture and customs of India. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.  
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