The state of Tamil Nadu is famous for its silk weaves and weavers. With their vibrant colours, grand golden borders, traditional and rich designs, the silk sarees weaved here are revered across the world.
Kancheepuram is one of the prime centres producing pure silk handlooms in the country. In fact, Kancheepuram is synonymous with silk sarees. A name popular worldwide, the Kancheepuram silk sarees find a place in every woman's wardrobe and are woven out of pure mulberry silk thread. This six-yard silken wonder produced by the artisans of Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu has a history that traces to over 400 years.
Over 60,000 weavers are involved in this craft of silk weaving in Kancheepuram. It takes between 20-40 days to finish a Kancheepuram saree. This is also dependent on the design. The sarees are crafted in a plethora of colours and a zari (border) made of gold or silk thread. Historical and cultural influences can be seen in the designs.
The region's architecture, animals, birds, and mythological figures are all part of the motifs used in the Kancheepuram sarees. And it is not just the Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu where the silk weaving clusters are functioning. From the land of Kumbakonam comes Koorainadu silk. The Koorainadu silk is also a favourite worn during weddings in various Tamil communities.
While Kancheepuram is regarded as the hub of silk weaving, other weaving clusters in Tamil Nadu also craft handwoven silk sarees. The silk sarees woven by the traditional weavers of Panchukalipatty, Semmandapatty and Chinthamaniyur villages are examples of this.