New at Unnati – A Pristine Collection of Pure Kanjivaram Silk Pattu Sarees with intricate hand embroidery

A Kanchipuram silk saree is known for its timelessness. There is no period that one can pin it down to. You can have the purely traditional ones with the predictable designs and ornamentations that have remained popular over time. You can have the lighter-in-weight versions that serve better during humid weather. But the Kanjeevaram as a fine weave also incorporates innovative ideas and trendy additions to make it more market-friendly.



The new Kanchipuram silk sarees online at Unnati Silks


Very recently Unnati silks introduced to the market a new and fascinating variety of Kanjeevaram sarees that had the virtues of being hand woven, handcrafted and hand painted in a display of sheer craftsmanship.


The body or field was kept plain to be lightly adorned with uniformly adorned flowery designs with small dot shaped mirrors in the centre and nicely embroidered on the edges and periphery of the motifs. Interspersed with singular dot mirror pieces attached with thread work, the broad expanse of the bright and vivid base of the saree hardly seemed crowded yet begged attention.


An attractive range in the Kanchipuram silk sarees offered


You have the designer patterns like a crown or floral sketch with outline embroidery on the inner portion of a very decorative border. The border flaunts multicolor designs, waves, shapes, pleasing patterns embedded within them suitably and incorporating evenly distributed mirror work. Colors chosen for the thread work for the mirrors to be held in place matches the surrounding fabric color or beautifully contrasts the base of the border it is sewn on.



Then again you could have on a bright and vibrant colored fabric dark and contrasting patterns and designs. Lovely floral design motifs with neatly embedded mirrors within and threaded nicely on the outer, evenly distributed across the plain field interspersed with mirrors dotting in between on the plain body. The reflections from the mirrors sometimes in artificial lighted conditions bounce off nicely and add to the magical appearance of the wearer. Worn with a little care, in a certain manner of wearing, brings out the saree pleats in a neat serial arrangement of the border patterns with their embedded mirrors that make it endearingly eye-catching. The colors chosen are judicious, very pleasing to the eye.


e.g. A deep blue pallu with the motifs and dotted mirror work contrasting with  bright orange plain body lightly but tastefully decorated with floral motifs and simple mirrors evenly and spaced widely on the spread field. An eye catching vision that would leave onlookers enraptured.


Sometimes the pallu has golden zari stripes in different widths across its width. Metalwork or badla work in different created shapes with embedded stones , bordered with lovely dabka, along parallel borders with the outer periphery lined with golden zari and lovely tasseled colorful ends.



Also included is the traditional checks pattern in self colored weave as well as the double shimmer as a stamp of the Kanchipuram magic. The embroidery on the border is over pure hand painted kalamkari saree, which includes badla work, dabka, kundan work.


Awe-inspiring forms of handcrafted embroidery used by traditional craftsmen to adorn sarees and other garments. They consume much more time, are detailed with flawless finishing and naturally such handcrafted embroidered fabrics are priced slightly higher.


The traditional excellence of a Kanjeevaram saree


Kanjeevaram is traditional, its weave magic as good as new any time. Taking about the Kanjeevaram saree is old hat to many where the special appeal is still spoken of as a seemingly royal venture. Known widely with expectations of very intricate designs that are woven into the body in gold threads of human and animal figures of geometric designs with temple towers along the border have become acknowledged facts. Wide borders, temple designs, checks, stripes and floral buttas are traditional designs found on a Kanchipuram saree.



The base material, silk, is also known for its quality and craftsmanship. Good fine count weaves with suitable enhancement, suitable linings and smooth texture, with the special shimmer quality have kept its reputation as a valuable product to be carefully stored and displayed on those special occasions like weddings, grand parties, big festivals, social functions. No wonder its market value has not diminished over time.


 The making of the Kanjeevaram saree 


Take a peek at what is involved in the traditional making of this celebrated fabric. The Kanjeevaram saree has two important fabric materials that it invariably incorporates. One, the pure mulberry silk saree, that is mostly procured from Karnataka, and the other, the shining golden and silver zari threads from Gujarat.



Weaving a Kanchipuram saree involves using three shuttles. The border differs from the body by way of color and design. If the Pallu (the hanging part of the saree or the end-piece) is to be woven in a different shade, it is first separately woven and then attached to the body in many cases.


Popular motifs still include nature, flora and fauna, but of late market tastes are getting included in a manner pleasing to the eye. The costly varieties could have richly woven pallus with paintings of scenes taken from the epics – Mahabharata and Ramayana. There are also the special varieties using heavy silk and gold cloth that are meant for special occasions and sparingly used.



Briefly touching upon the embroidery in the new range


Handcrafted embroidery is exclusive and a treasured art since it is painstaking, time consuming, and a lot of care and dedication is put in by ethnic practitioners into the work, resulting in flawless creations of exquisite beauty. You could have in the current range a mix of some of the following:


Zardozi - metal embroidery done on various fabrics like sarees using gold or silver colour coated copper wire along with a silk thread. Popular since Mughal times , today zari is mostly made from metallic polyester film where a polyester core is covered by gold or silver coloured metallic yarn.



Badla work - a fine traditional Indian art that involves beating gold or silver sheets and cutting fine wires of desired size. These sheets are used to form malleable wires for decorating fabrics. This wire is then inserted into the fabric and beaten into desired shapes with a hammer. Today mostly polished wires of their colours are also used. It has its roots in the North of India, with concentration in places like Bareilly, Delhi and Lucknow and used both in traditional wear as well as fashion wear especially in bridal costumes and wedding dresses.



Kundan work today involves the use of crystals, beads, mirror work, zari thread. Designs having patterns in shapes of squares, diamonds, heart shape, round, mango shaped are employed.  The bridal trousseau generally has kundan work on it to enhance the finery display.  Traditional settings are sought to revive but costs are prohibitive.


Kalamkari work on fabrics are in various colour combinations, and motifs with trees, creepers, flowers, leaves, birds as some of the popular subjects, despite it being hand painted, the results are stupendous. Originally from Andhra Pradesh, today it is a popular art practiced widely.



Mirror Work, also known as shisha (mirror) embroidery, is a traditional art of affixing mirrors onto a fabric. It is known as Shisheh (Persian) or Abhala Bharat embroidery. It involves the fixing of small mirrors or other reflecting metal in different shapes, on clothes or apparel. Mirror work lends a sparkling appearance. It also enhances the look of plain sarees or those with an otherwise dull appearance. Imaginatively used they tend to heighten the appeal of designer fabrics.  Mirrors are fixed to the fabric by placing the mirrors in the desired places and putting cross stitches over them in a pattern. The patterned stitches not only hold the mirrors in place but additionally contribute to the beauty of the saree as designs. Circular shape is most popular, though other shapes like square, triangular, or some other geometrical shape like polygon, hexagon, also figure in the designs. Initially practised only in Gujarat and Rajasthan, it is an art seen in most parts of the country.



Zari or Jari is ornamental metal thread used for adorning fabrics. It is particularly popular in the Indian subcontinent and Iran. Popular since Mughal times, zari thread is employed for zardozi. Real Zari has thread made from gold or silver. Imitation zari uses gold or silver coated copper wire. Today mostly zari is made from metallic polyester film where a polyester core is covered by gold or silver coloured metallic yarn.



Though these constitute the main forms of embroidery used on the fabrics, there could be others also included based upon the imagination and creativity of the handloom weavers.


The new range of Kanchipuram handloom silk sarees introduced to the market by Unnati Silks has the unique distinction of having all three forms of ethnic artistry included in them – hand weaving, hand crafting and hand painting.


A wonderful combination that has been well-received by an expectant market!


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