Kanchipuram Silk - God's Own Silk
More than the actual wedding - the feeling, relishing and finalizing the wedding saree is the most exciting and thrilling part of Indian weddings. Days and hours are spent to research and buy the wedding saree as it is such a prestigious possession for every Indian woman. In a typical South Indian wedding, the most preferred choice for the wedding is the traditional, hand woven Kanchipuram silk saree.
Though predominantly woven in the city Kanchipuram in Tamilnadu, a Kanchipuram silk saree is now available almost anywhere. The sarees are made with traditional motifs and patterns and are visibly distinct in it's richness and grandeur, so much so that it is declared as a Geographical indication by the Government of India.
Silk is commonly known to be produced from silkworms but according to Hindu Mythology, Sage Markanda is said to have woven silk from lotus fibre. Sage Markanda is known as the master weaver of Gods and the legend goes on that silk is preferred by Lord Vishnu. Even today in temples, the deities are adorned with silk costumes and offering silk costumes to temples is considered a way of gratitude by devotees. The silk costumes used for deities are usually long with heavy zari in attractive colours overall giving a festive feel and majestic look. It is hence not of any wonder that Kanchipuram silk sarees make the women feel very divine and special when worn, especially on important occasions like weddings.
Sage Markanda is said to have woven silk from lotus fibre. Sage Markanda is known as the master weaver of Gods and the legend goes on that silk is preferred by Lord Vishnu.
A Kanchipuram silk is traditionally woven using three shuttles and two people weave it together. Mostly, the pallu is made in a contrast colour and hence woven separately and then joined with the main saree using a method called korvai. The interlocking of the body and pallu is so strong that it will not separate even if voluntarily torn. The pallu of a Kanchipuram Silk saree is made with elaborate drawings of temples, flowers and patterns and sometimes with the images of the bride and groom, if specially ordered.
Kanchipuram silk sarees are extremely soft and supple as they are woven from pure mulberry silk . The most attractive feature of a Kanchipuram Silk Saree is the shine and glitter in the zari. It is to be noted that the silk is made in South India, however the pure gold and silver zari comes from Gujarat. The silk thread needs to be in a certain thickness and stiffness and to attain the same, the saree is dipped in rice water and sun-dried, a time-tested practice to increase the lifetime of the saree.
It is interesting to see how long the tradition and richness of a Kanchipuram saree has traveled and is still relevant and yearned by youngsters, a credit to the dedication of the craftsmen who spend hours and days to weave just one saree. Also, it is rightly said that Kanchipuram Silk is a weave of the Gods, as it is difficult to not yield to the absolute devotion and exquisite craftsmanship exhibited in every saree.