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TALES 》 Chettinad Cotton Sarees (Kandaangi Sarees)

Land of vibrant colors, handcrafted tiles, majestic architectural mansions, being a food and saree lover nothing is less while I walk you through the journey of ultimate heaven of sarees and foods!

Karaikudi is known as the capital of Chettinad, Chettinad in southern Tamil Nadu is a region of the Sivaganga district that is known for weaving the Chettinad sarees. The people here are very friendly and invite people with a warm smile, the language of communication here is Tamil. Chettinad is the home of the Nattukottai Chettiars(Nagarathar), this community faithfully follow traditions. The major communities involved in weaving Chettinad cotton sarees are Devanga Chettiyars, who are the skilled weavers from ancient days.

Many of residents of Chettinad, emigrated to South and Southeast asia, particularly Ceylon, Burma, Java, Cambodia, Ceylon(Sri Lanka) and Mauritius for there business. Enormous wealth that the Chettiars gained in business was amassed during the early part of last century, was then sent back to their homes, that's how many of the villages of Chettinad were transformed through the constructed extravagant mansions.

Chettiar inherited talent for deal-making, historically Chettiars were traders since the Pallava dynasty during 4th century AD. Chettiars were a sub-caste of bankers and merchants whose business acumen led them into a role as bankers, facilitators of trade for the British and others parties, with an interest in trade in southern India throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, and even used to assisted the British by being elevated as the official money lenders to them. Chettiars are well cultured, disciplined and hard working, they have carved a unique place for themselves among the various groups. They return unfailingly to their ancestral homes for vacations, rituals such as naming ceremony, ear-boring ceremony, marriage and Chettinad weddings are normally conducted in their houses, etc. Chettinad architecture stands outstanding for its large spaces in halls and courtyards, embellishments like Belgian glass-work, intricate woodwork, spectacular ceramic tiles, iron and wooden pillars. Since there houses are verg big, style and houses a significant collection of memorabilia.

Chettinadu sarees are also known by its name Kandaangi sarees. Chettinadu sarees are distinctive palette of colors with earthy tones. Handloom Chettinadu cotton saree comes with cottons, these days pure silk are also incorporated. Traditional designs and rudiments of the original version are given at most respect and importance. The main body of the saree consist of plethora, summer vibrant colors such as yellow with lime green border contrasting shades, traditional vintage combination such as mustard and black color, magenta along with border contrasting shades of peach color, brick red with black color, green avocado color shade with peach few are fresh ones or pastels and simple plain sarees! These sarees are more popular because of their unique qualities like color and authenticity.

The pallu of the sarees were woven with weft stripe, you can see checks, stripes and contrasting color shades are added. Local weavers usually work in simple patterns with bold checks, stripes and contrasting tints and then add motifs while hand making them. Chettinadu sarees are very thick and heavy cotton and are not translucent, these sarees are available throughout the year, now a days the thread count has also increased to make the saree more smooth. These sarees are woven with Pit looms / Raised pit looms with flying shuttle weaving technique. Originally 3 shuttles were used to obtain contrast solid colored borders in both sides of the saree, presently the same is seldom used. The contrast color borders together with the horizontal and vertical stripes gives a very striking look and plus note to the fabric. What is Newly added is elegant Kandaangi borders have merged beautifully with embroidery designs and chic colorful patterns.

Chettinadu sarees are especially versatile when it comes with contemporary designs, as they can be worn comfortably for daily basis, ethnic day celebrations in office, formal occasions or parties, young dynamic speakers, celebrities are making fashion statement complementing with contemporary jewelery, creating a sort of modern twist with a traditional approach Depending on climatic conditions, whether its humid or cold, absorbency and breath-ability is the perfect tag for this saree. Today a few entrepreneurs have undertaken to preserve traditional designs, and have given new life to it by mixing silk with cotton, giving the Chettinad sarees a designer status.

How to identify genuine Chettinad/kandaangi saree:

  • small strips in different color at the joining of the borders in warp way on both sides
  • simple extra warp designs
  • texture of the saree is comparitivey thicker
  • check Patterns and broad stripes
  • pallu with simple patterns and are mostly in stripes
  • main body of the saree do not have extra weft designs

Shopping in Chettinad: Let it drizzle or striking sun, my madness of shopping never goes, waha! I see lots of vibrant colors in sarees, handmade wooden carved items, Palmyra basket(Chettinad kottan), jewellery, silver/brass oil lamps known as kuthu villakku, brass metal work items for household, hand-made Athangudi tiles is maintaining a legacy and grandeur, made from local soil, my pleasant travel to Chettinad diaries will always be cherished. You can find numerous antique shops featuring rich chests, royal wardrobes, old beds, priceless mirrors, wooden chairs, carved tables, silver crockery and others which are over a century old.

The Chettinad cotton sarees are quite versatile as they can be worn comfortably for office or on a daily basis as well as for formal occasions or parties. Depending on climatic conditions, whether its humid or cold, absorbency and breathability is the perfect tag for this saree.



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The irresistible Handloom saree, that drapes like a dream
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Chettinad Cotton Sarees (Kandaangi Sarees) ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Land of vibrant colors, handcrafted tiles, majestic architectural mansions, being a food and saree lover nothing is less while I walk you through the journey of ultimate heaven of sarees and foods!
Karaikudi is known as the capital of Chettinad, Chettinad in southern Tamil Nadu is a region of the Sivaganga district that is known for weaving the Chettinad sarees. The people here are very friendly and invite people with a warm smile, the language of communication here is Tamil. Chettinad is the home of the Nattukottai Chettiars(Nagarathar), this community faithfully follow traditions. The major communities involved in weaving Chettinad cotton sarees are Devanga Chettiyars, who are the skilled weavers from ancient days.

Tant Sarees from West Bengal India (also popularly known as Bengali Cotton Sarees) ↗
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Traditional flawlessness crispy weaves to flaunt
What reminds everyone when I says Bengali is mouth watering and luscious dessert 'Rasgulla' and 'Mishti doi' to name the most popular ones in the list and of course Bengali cotton sarees. The medium of communication here is Bengali. The traditional attire of Bengali women is simple forms of these Tant sarees takes around two days to weave and more intricate designs could even take five to six days to complete a saree. Generally Tant saree comes in pastel shades with beautiful thick borders.

Chirala Cotton and Silk Sarees ↗
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A Coastal town, situated in Prakasam District in the state of Andhra Pradesh called Chirala, this town was also known as 'Kshirapuri'. Chirala town is renowned for handlooms. Years passed by, the town gained popularity for its excellent handloom sarees known for the softness and durability. The name Chirala means Saree in Telugu and so eventually the name of the town got transformed to Chirala. Main occupation of this village is handloom weaving and paddy cultivation.

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Top 5 Sarees from Karnataka
One packed video which showcases top 5 collections from heritage Karnataka state. Each and every handwoven saree has its own uniqueness and charm, I respect each and every handcrafted saree. All these five sarees are neatly presented in the video below, Let us see now what are these fascinating ones!
Blue Blue Blue oh my crazy blue tints I can say this is a simplistic weave from Udupi handloom cotton saree, down to earth, simplistic weave, traditionally woven checkered no designs no motifs what a way to drape this saree for a humid climate and look rustic, I fell in love with this beauty at a first look.

Ilkal Silk Sarees ↗
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Decoding the traditional handloom of Ilkal
Remote corner in the state of south India is famous for its traditional handloom attire called Ilkal silk sarees and Ilkal cotton sarees, named after after the town Ilkal, in Bagalkot district of Karnataka state, these traditional handwoven sarees are GI protected craft of India. Ilkal is famous for red granite stone and traditional Ilkal sarees. Localites out here are very friendly and they speak Kannada(regional language of the state), one of the main source income of this place is weaving these handwoven evergreen classic sarees. If one happens to peep around in this place, almost all house are engaged in weaving these sarees, their is no discrimination done, both men and woven are engaged in weaving to make their livelihood. Major centres of weaving is from villages of Ilkal, Kolhar, Kamatgi and Nidagundi at the Bijapur district and many of them have their own loom at home.


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No border (without border or borderless) designer Kanchipuram Saree ↗
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Blue Blue Blue oh my crazy blue tints I can say this is a simplistic weave from Udupi handloom cotton saree, down to earth, simplistic weave, traditionally woven checkered no designs no motifs what a way to drape this saree for a humid climate and look rustic, I fell in love with this beauty at a first look.

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Maheshwari Sarees ↗
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The Royal grace, Maheshwari
Floating boats, taking a holy dip in 'Narmada river' and cleansing mind, body and soul, I feel rejuvenated, moving ahead to Omkareshwar(deity Shiva) temple, how blessed I'm. This is a religious town and beautiful city lies on the north bank of Narmada river, Maheshwar is a city in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh state, in central India. The word Maheshwar in Hindi means 'Great God'. People here speak Hindi and it's official language. The climatic conditions here, is hot dry summer and cool or relatively dry during winter. This beautiful city is known for it's finest handloom fabric. Maheshwar has been a centre of handloom weaving since the 5th century.

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Shantipuri or Santipore Cotton Saree ↗
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Soaked in handloom tradition, deeprooted weaves
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