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'.
The general feature of the Handloom Chettinad cotton sarees has dark backgrounds with plain to lightly adorned motifs. Additionally beautiful naksi borders with floral designs and designer pallu or end piece with fascinating mango bootis in multi-colour thread work or shiny golden zari elevate the appeal of the Chettinadu cotton saree. There is another range of pastels, simple plain and unadorned but with evident self coloured checks weave and a dark contrast border.
Current fashion sees geometrical patterns printed on the cotton base and a zari border and colourful pallu, giving that refreshing change for both traditional occasions and formal trendy corporate wear.
The silk saree with printed checks, embellished with mirrors and sequins is that eye-catcher to be worn for special occasions, as at parties, high-profile weddings or special invitations.
The spread of Chettinad silk sarees online at Unnati Silks have endearing features that capture the rudiments of the Kandanghi Chettinad sarees yet infuse the modern with fusion features. There are silk weaves of the Chettinad sari with fancy block prints and attractive wide zari borders. In fact the zari naksi borders on the designer printed pallu give a royal touch to the Chettinadu silk sarees. You have half half sarees with plain areas and lightly adorned with motifs and complemented by exquisite thread embroidery. Of course you also have thin line zari border running throughout the length of the sari. There are the endearing and engrossing checks pattern sarees where checks are in different colours and in various dimensions. There are also the self coloured checks pattern silk Chettinadu sarees that are always popular and market oriented with neon borders as a beautiful contrast. There is a range of wedding sarees that makes abundant use of zari work on designer pallus that also serves vey well as bridal attire.
Besides these endearing features the Chettinad sarees are backed by the Handloom Mark and Silver Mark, certifications from the Govt. of India, that provide an added assurance to the buying customers that they are getting original handlooms.