Kanchipuram Sari: (also known as Kanjivaram Sari) is a type of Sari traditionally made by weavers fromKanchipuram located in Tamil Nadu, India. These are woven naturally and are considered to be of the highest quality among Saris. The Kanchipuram Sari is distinguished by its wide contrast borders. A single Kanchipuram Sari can cost anywhere between 2,500 (US$49.88) to 100,000 (US$1,995) or more depending upon the intricacy of work, colors, pattern, material used like zari, gold thread etc. Since 2005, Kanchipuram Saris are protected by a Geographical Indication label, certifying their origin.
Legend and history: According to legends in Hindu mythology, Kanchi silk weavers are the descendants of Sage Markanda, the master weaver of Gods who is supposed to have woven tissue from lotus fibre. Also, while cotton is considered to the be the favorite fabric of Lord Siva while silk was preferred by Lord Vishnu.
Weaving method: To weave a Kanchipuram Sari three shuttles are used. While the weaver works on the right side, his aide works on the left side shuttle. The border color and design are usually quite different from the body. If the pallu (the hanging end of the sari) has to be woven in a different shade, it is first separately woven and then delicately joined to the Sari. The part where the body meets the pallu is often denoted by a zig zag line.
Themes and motifs: Suns, moons, chariots, peacocks, parrots, swans, lions, coins, mangoes, leaves and many such motifs are woven into Kanchipuram patterns. Other common motifs include a jasmine bud within a square or a round frame, locally known as mallinaggu. Another is Thandavalam where parallel lines run across the body of the Sari.
Significance: Kanchipuram Saris with woven with heavy silk and gold cloth are considered to be special and are worn on occasions and festivities only.