Woven into History: What Makes an Authentic & Exclusive Kanchipuram Silk Saree?

The Kanchipuram Silk Saree, often known as the ‘queen of sarees’, is credited to have been first crafted in the bylanes of the ancient town of Kanchipuram. It is silk of the highest quality that is hand-woven to create a beautiful visual symphony with zari (gold and silver threads). But what’s the history behind these sarees? 

History of Kanchipuram Sarees

Around 400 years ago, the famous weaving groups of Saligars and Davangas settled in the district of Kanchipuram and brought with them their flair for silk weaving. They set off the Kanchipuram silk sarees production, and gained momentum over the decades. 

Types of Kanchipuram Sarees

  • Pure Zari and Pure Silk: Original and most exclusive Kanchipuram silk sarees as they use authentic zari and silk. 
  • Polyester Mix/Pure Zari & Silk: Weigh and cost less than the original, and made of artificial silk rather than pure. 
  • Pure Silk and Half-Fine Zari: Most ubiquitous, and comes in vibrant colors. This is the most economical option available to everyone. 

How to Spot an Authentic Kanchipuram Saree?

Kanchipuram Silk Sarees are worn on special occasions and happy moments - so before investing in one, it is important to ensure that its an authentic Kanchipuram silk. Here are a few things you can check for:

  • Zari Test: Gently scratch your saree’s zari from a corner. If red threads appear, it is a pure gold zari. If white threads show up, it is a fake Kanchipuram saree. 
  • Softness Test: If you rub your palm on a pure Kanchipuram, you will feel its softness within a few seconds. 
  • Silk Hallmark Certification: Look for the Silk Mark Organization of India’s seal of authenticity to ensure the exclusive Kanchipuram silk saree you’re buying is of authentic quality. 
  • Distinct Weave Patterns: Genuine Kanchipuram sarees showcase intricate, wider borders with precisely woven motifs like peacocks, temple designs, or checks.
  • Weight and Texture: Authentic Kanchipuram sarees are heavier due to high-quality silk and have a coarse, rich texture compared to synthetic ones, which feel smoother.
The legacy of exclusive Kanchipuram Silk Sarees is a testament to centuries of craftsmanship and tradition, originating from the skilled hands of weavers in the historic town of Kanchipuram. By recognizing the distinctive weave, texture, zari authenticity, and intricate designs, one can unveil the true elegance of an authentic Kanchipuram saree, making it a cherished ensemble for every special occasion.