The Kanchipuram silk sarees are known for their texture, glimmer, permanence, and refinement and are famous as the queen of silks. The magnificent look and low maintenance of these sarees incite more and more Indians to buy Kanchipuram sarees online and offline. Weaved out of the heavy but low-maintenance silk materials, it is expensive because of its fineness and weight.
WOVEN INTO CULTURE: A HISTORY OF SILK SAREES
The ancient Indian mythology says that the weavers of Kanchi silk are the descendants of Sage Markanda, the master weaver who was talented enough to weave tissues from lotus. According to Indian mythology, cotton was the favorite fabric of Lord Shiva, and Lord Vishnu always chose silk. The town of Kanchipuram, located in South India, is known as Silk city, as the town’s economy is primarily based on the weaving of exquisite silk sarees. The town is known for its handloom industries and temples, and it is said that the ancestors of the present-day weavers settled in Kanchipuram before four hundred years.
These silk sarees have been an integral part of South India’s religious ceremonies, especially Tamil Nadu, from time immemorial, and they continue to be one of the essential elements of traditional Indian weddings. The authentic and dignified look and a wide variety of colours and motifs make the Kanchipuram saree one of India’s most sought-after bridal wear. This article will explain how to identify and purchase genuine and authentic Kanchipuram sarees. The tips provided in the article can help identify pure silk sarees, especially while buying Kanchipuram sarees online.
IDENTIFYING PURE ZARI
Kanchipuram sarees are well known for their perfect texture, craftsmanship, and quality. Though they are usually decorated with broad golden brocade borders, one can also find designs of floral or Indian mythological tales in them. Today’s markets are flooded with tested zari, which comes as a cheaper replacement to the pure zari, which typically constitutes the authentic Kanchipuram saree’s border.
Pure zari is made by weavers by twisting the original silver thread over a silk thread and dipping it in pure gold. Tested Zari, which replaces this pure zari, is made by electroplating silver over copper wire. This decrease in the amount of silver used has played a significant role in the decline in Kanchipuram sarees’ price.
One can notice the difference between pure zari and the tested zari through close examination of the color of zari work. Another method to identify the genuine Kanchipuram saree is pulling out some strings of threads from the saree and light a fire towards the finish of strings. If there is a presence of bundle of cinder that smells of a copied hair, it indicates the presence of pure Zari. Pulling out the string of a saree and examining it is another method to investigate the Kanchipuram saree’s purity.
Pure zari is typically made out of red silk thread twisted with silver thread and dipping it in 22-carat pure gold. If the pulled-out string is not red and some other color, one can ascertain that it is not pure Kanchipuram saree. Other significant options to check the purity of the saree is to check its price and silk mark. If the saree is priced 8000 or less, it is probably not original. Apart from this, India’s silk board has introduced the concept of silk mark-which is given to only pure silk sarees. Check whether the saree has a silk mark to make sure the Saree is original Kanchipuram or not. Buying sarees from authentic, reputable, and reliable shops instead of small retailer shops is one of the other significant methods to ensure the saree’s quality.
THE ECONOMIC SIGNIFICANCE OF SILK SAREES
Apart from that, Tamil Nadu’s government has set up a Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment council for testing the Zari. This amenity is used both by individuals and co-operatives to do zari tests and ensure their silk purity at a very nominal fee. Lately, many changes have been happening in the Kanchipuram silk industry, and changes are being made with the advent of the latest technologies. Even though this has adversely affected the Kanchipuram silk sarees’ reputation, it owns a unique place in the market.
Kanchipuram sarees are exported to different countries like the United States, Sri Lanka, Italy, and Russia since the 1960s. Apart from that, Kanchipuram sarees are one of the eighteen Geographical Indication tagged(GI tagged) products from Tamil Nadu. These factors ensure the originality of the product and keep fraudulent products at bay. With almost six thousand looms in the town and a turnover of nearly Rupees two hundred crores with exports that exceed Rupees three crores, Kanchipuram sarees own a special place in the Garment culture international trade of India, especially Tamil Nadu.
Sarees: Six Yards of Sheer Elegance