Breathtaking architecture, bylanes full of rich history and the city of 1000 temples— Yes, I’m talking about Kanchipuram! Once a capital of the Pallava dynasty, it stands testament to the glorious Dravidian Heritage and its powerful rulers. Its history begins with the Vijayanagara Emperor, Krishnaddevaraya, with his love for all things finesse, including the classic Kanjivaram silk saree. He brought silk weavers from all over the country to settle in his community and weave sarees.
Muhurth’s Tryst with the Kanjivaram
The story of Muhurth is a captivating tale that traces its roots back to the migration of our ancestors from Saurashtra. They are known as the 'Pattu Nool Karar' or the 'Silk Thread People'. It was during this period that they crafted a magnificent 9-yard masterpiece, adorned with intricate images of mythological scriptures and temple figurines found in and around the village. This exquisite creation came to be known as the Kanjivaram saree.
The art of weaving these sarees became the livelihood of our ancestors, and they dedicated themselves wholeheartedly to this craft. Through thick and thin, they protected and nurtured their skills, passing them down through the generations. Today, Muhurth is proudly run by a family of 6th generation weavers, carrying forward the legacy of centuries-old expertise in silk weaving.
What is Kanjivaram Saree?
The Kanjivaram saree, once the pride of royals, stands as an ethnic masterpiece that embodies the rich cultural heritage of South India. Crafted with the purest mulberry silks sourced from the region, it is often hailed as the South Indian counterpart to the renowned Banarasi saree. The silk used in Kanjivaram sarees is further enhanced with the addition of pure gold and silver zaris from Gujarat, adding a touch of opulence and grandeur.
What truly sets the Kanjivaram saree apart is the intricate storytelling woven into its patterns. These sarees feature beautiful mythical tales, with exquisite temple figures adorning their fabric. The borders of these garments showcase breathtaking artwork, while the bodies are adorned with flowery buttas, stripes, and temple motifs. Each design element is meticulously crafted, creating a visual symphony that captures the essence of South Indian culture.
The allure of the Kanjivaram saree lies not only in its craftsmanship but also in its rich and vibrant colors, often accentuated with hints of gold. This combination of lustrous fabric and deep hues makes it a prized possession in every Indian woman's wardrobe. It is reserved for the most significant and auspicious occasions, symbolizing grace, elegance, and tradition.
How is Kanjivaram Made?
Ah, the art of weaving! It truly is a fascinating process, isn't it? When it comes to creating a magnificent saree, every step is carefully orchestrated to ensure the utmost quality and beauty. Allow me to take you on a journey through the intricate steps involved in crafting this exquisite piece.
To begin with, the journey of a saree starts with the search for the finest raw Kora silk, sourced all the way from the enchanting state of Karnataka. These silks possess a certain allure and elegance that set them apart. Once these precious threads are acquired, they undergo a transformative process.
One silk thread is twisted together with another, and tied together to form a ply which lends strength and durability to the fabric. This unique combination not only adds to the saree's longevity but also gives it a distinct character that sets it apart.
Dyeing the threads with vibrant colours and using the right quality of water gives it the desired softness and lustrous shine. This simple act is very important, as the quality of the water helps to enhance the silk's natural qualities, making it even more shiny and luxurious to the touch. After this refreshing bath, the threads are left to bask in the warm embrace of the sun, allowing them to dry naturally.
Now comes the time-consuming part. The dried threads, along with the shimmering gold zari, are carefully arranged and warped onto the loom. This meticulous process ensures that every thread is in its rightful place, ready to be woven into a masterpiece. The weft silk and zari are then skillfully intertwined, creating intricate patterns and designs that will adorn the saree.
And let's not forget about the weight! An authentic piece, with its intricate craftsmanship and luxurious materials, carries a weight that ranges between 800g to 950g. This weight is a testament to the quality and richness of the saree, showcasing the dedication and effort poured into its creation.
What are Some Unique Features of the Kanjivaram Saree?
One aspect that truly captivates the eye is its pallu, which is intricately woven to create a vibrant and eye-catching display. The body and the pallu are crafted separately, and then skillfully merged together in a mesmerizing zig-zag pattern, known as Pitni or Kattusaayam. This technique adds a unique touch to the saree, setting it apart from other Indian textiles.
But like I said before, what makes the Kanjivaram saree even more remarkable is the usage of techniques like Korvai, Meenakari, Oosi Punaippu, Veldhari, and various others that are very secrets of Muhurth's Production House. The intricate execution of these techniques result in a distinctive features. For example, in korvai technique, the weft of body and border interwine to give that rich and solid colour feel which makes the border look like it was woven and attached separately. This technique takes 1.5X the effort of a normal Kanjivaram saree. Though laborious, it produces a variety of designs, ranging from straight line interlocks to sharp-edged triangles and elaborate gopuram forms inspired by temples. This technique being the simplest of all the ones that we do, in today's world, our presence and our workmanship has lead us to produce the most technically difficult ones and it has made us stand out in the Industry and offer only the exclusives that one can't imagine that such sarees even existed.
In the past, these exquisite sarees were reserved for the elite and royal families due to their exorbitant cost. They were seen as a symbol of status and were treasured as heirlooms, passed down through generations. The use of real gold and silver in the weaving process further elevates their significance, making them akin to precious ornaments. The Kanjivaram saree's allure lies not only in its opulent appearance but also in its texture, shimmer, permanence, and refinement.
Why Kanjivaram Saree is Expensive?
Indeed, Kanjivaram sarees are renowned for their exquisite craftsmanship and luxurious materials, which undoubtedly contribute to their high price tag. These sarees are created using the purest form of raw materials, including pure gold, and are meticulously handcrafted by skilled artisans. Kanjivaram sarees owes it’s sturdity to 3 ply threads, compared to the soft silk sarees which are of a single/ double ply. The amount of time, effort, and skill invested in each piece is truly remarkable, resulting in a unique work of art.
The cost of manufacturing the silk itself, along with the need for highly skilled craftsmen, adds to the expenses involved in creating these sarees. Even a basic Patterned Kanjivaram saree without a border design is priced at no less than Rs.10,000, and as the intricacy and grandeur of the design increase, so does the price. It is not uncommon for a more elaborate Kanjivaram saree to cost upwards of Rs.2,00,000.
Here at Muhurth, we take pride in producing and offering only pure silk Kanjivaram sarees that boast exclusivity in both craft and design. Each saree is a true masterpiece, reflecting the rich heritage and artistry of this traditional attire. So, if you're looking to adorn yourself with a stunning Kanjivaram saree that exudes elegance and sophistication, look no further. Explore our collection and embrace the beauty of these timeless creations today!
Muhurth and it’s Influence
Muhurth’s Kanjivarams are well-adorned by many esteemed and beautiful people, as witnessed in these pictures below!