The distinguishing features of the Chettinad sari are its seemingly heavy look and the striking colours that are achieved through a deft combination of stripes, checks and colour contrasts. The heaviness is attributed to the historical fact that the saree was worn without other accompaniments and in a different way from what is prevalent today. The saree was also said to be of shorter length than the conventional one, exposing the anklet portion of the wearers.
The modern Chettinadu Cotton Sarees still maintain rudiments of the original version, but have been suitably modified to meet current day needs of the saree-wearers. With the base cotton fabric material and the hallmarks of thickness and huge ‘kandanghi’ borders are merged with trendy colourful designs and embroidery to create the elegant 'Chettinad magic'.