Threads of legacy: Sarees of Tamil Nadu

Threads of legacy: Sarees of Tamil Nadu

Handloom sarees have woven their way through a rich legacy dating back to ancient India. Unravelling various textiles gives a glimpse of the region’s culture. 

Fabrics and sarees of Tamil Nadu are a handloom lover’s paradise. These world-renowned sarees have evolved over time to become a preferred choice of apparel adorned by women for ceremonies and occasions in India.. Weavers hailing from Tamil Nadu have perfected the art of  weaving, and their brilliance is reflected in the  exquisite sarees they craft. Every weave has a tale to tell, making each saree a masterpiece.. Let us explore the grandeur of textiles in Tamil Nadu in this blog.

Six yards wonders of Kanchipuram : Kanjivaram Sarees

Kanjivaram Sarees

Silk sarees from Kanchipuram are known as Kanjivaram sarees. These  sarees, woven with pure mulberry silk, are a must-have for the quintessential south Indian bride. There is a legend that Kanchipuram’s weavers are descendants of Sage Markanda, who was believed to be the master weaver of the Gods. Mulberry silk, pure gold, and silver zari from Gujarat are used to weave these sarees. Kanjivaram silk sarees have a sturdy feel, as the warp frame used has about 60 holes, in which there are 240 threads in the warp and 250 to 3000 threads in the weft. The pallu, border, and body of a  Kanjivaram saree are woven separately and then interlocked together with much precision, creating a zig-zag pattern, pitni. These GI-tagged sarees have vibrant colours and eye-catching designs inspired by the scriptures and figurines from the temples of Kanchipuram.

Six yard wonders of Karaikudi: Chettinad Cotton Sarees

Chettinad Cotton Sarees

Chettinad sarees are cotton sarees woven in the Karaikudi region of Tamil Nadu and have received GI  status. The bold colours, patterns of checks and stripes in contrasting hues add life to the tone of these sarees. Due to the unique threading length and quality adopted by the weavers, colour of these Chettinad cotton sarees never fade.

Six yard wonders of Thiruvannamalai: Arani Sarees

Arani Sarees

Arani, one of the most significant  silk hubs  in Tamil Nadu, is a small town located in the district of Thiruvannamalai. The GI-tagged Arani sarees have a distinctive feature: they are made with two different bodies and pallus, allowing them to be used as two different saris. Versatile Arani sarees have an interlocking border. One side of the sari is woven in one colour and the other half in another colour. The two ends of the saree will have pallus of different colours.

Six yard wonders of Madurai: Sungudi Sarees

Centuries ago/ History has it that, highly skilled Saurashtrian weavers migrated from Gujarat and settled in Madurai, and they were instrumental in introducing the iconic Sungudi sarees.. By incorporating the tie-and-dye technique, these weavers gave Madurai’s textiles a unique twist. In the pre-colonial era, these sarees were worn by the royal womenfolk of Tamil Nadu.

Sungudi sarees do not have the same colour throughout; the borders and end-pieces are usually of  different colours than the main body. Designs and motifs on Sungudi sarees are inspired by kolams and constellations. Owing to their distinctive designs and weaving technique, these sarees have been granted GI ( Geographical indication ) status.

February 8 is celebrated as Sungudi Day to honour the magnificent work of artisans who are struggling to breathe life into this age-old craft.

ReshaMandi is working with the weavers of our country at every step. By providing them with good-quality yarns, market intelligence through trend forecasts, credit assistance, and competitive pricing for their products, ReshaMandi has organised the unorganised weaving sector. Through its endeavours, ReshaMandi is  nurturing the ancient craft of weaving.

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