72 Km. from Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, is that lovely place called Kanchipuram on the banks of the river Vegavathy. A town akin to a small city, once a seat of great learning, that also spawned the interaction of great cultures like Jainism and Buddhism, is today a textile hub of silk and cotton fabrics that very easily find their way to many a south Indian woman’s wardrobe.
Of great importance to the nation as a heritage site, Kanchipuram has since traditional times been considered as the mecca of fine weaves that have always appealed to the market.
Kanchi cotton salwar suits and Unnati Silks
The line of Kanchi cotton salwar suits at Unnati Silks has special appeal. You have the lustrous fine count handloom Kanchi cotton kameez decorated with flowery motifs, evenly distributed in the centre portion. Elements in the design include dotted lines alternating with prominent motifs and eye-catching zari and other color borders. The salwar is a shiny plain affair, the dupatta with dual colors matching the other two. You also have total designer fare, where the kameez has designs on it, the salwar and dupatta having Kalamkari all over. Then you have total block printed salwar and kameez and dupatta, where each of them have different designs. There are other pleasing combinations in vibrant color mixes. Large bootis, parallel stripes design in multi-color, zari linings or wide borders, color play and many other innovative ideas that strike the minds of the traditional artisans.
The Kanchi cotton fabric is known for being soft, airy and comfortable. A case of typical Kanchi fabric features is the frequent use of check patterns, in self color weave, brilliant color combinations, and captivating borders and motifs with an insistence of shining zari in either silver or golden hue. While flora is the usual choice in designs there are also the lovely shaped birds like peacock and unique prints in various geometric shapes that combine well together in a well-blended intended arrangement.
Recently introduced Kanchi cotton salwar suits from Unnati Silks
One range of 100 % pure cotton salwar suits has the salwar and dupatta beautifully covered in Kalamkari . The Kameez being plain and with lovely flowers as motifs evenly distributed across the expanse, this unstitched material that could be custom stitched on order for that perfect fit. Typical to the Kanchi tradition there is a lot of shining zari in the motifs – silver or golden, depending upon the color contrast of the kameez. The choice of motifs could be simple floral, the likeness of a bird like peacock or even lovely geometrical shape prints. But the allure lies in the judicious blend of prints, shining motifs and a floral scape. Every inch a designer fabric worth exploring!
The missing checks design adorning the dupatta with beautifully tasseled ends with lovely thread work on the motifs, and the plain cotton salwar, blend beautifully to combine with a kameez of vibrant color. The motifs of flowers and leaves are embroidered nicely and distributed evenly across the kameez. A special band of vibrancy is created towards the bottom end of the kameez where special motifs, unique and eye-catching display shine and glitter through the zari thread work on them. The base color of the band contrasts nicely with the rest of the kameez and there is an overall effect of a risen patch through the decorated band portion on the main fabric whereas that is not so. The weave is so homogenous that it is a marvel or wonder created by craftsmen devoted to their skill. And true to their art the choice of colors is just wonderful.
There are other ranges covering different block printed designs combining with floral scapes in scintillating décor. Variation in blends are provided by a host of geometrical patterns here and there in the design. Pure handloom cotton salwar suits that are soft to the touch, colorful to don, extremely pleasing to the eye and one of the best ways to beat the heat, the Kanchi cotton salwar kameez is in many ways sensational.
The Kanchi tradition in weaving is nothing new. Yet every time a host of new arrivals enter the market, the applause is deafening. The reason is obvious. The amazement is that the novelty never wears off and despite expectations being high, the Kanchi creativity never fails to strike a chord in fabric lovers’ hearts each time.