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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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Patola Sarees Cotton and Silk from Gujarat India ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Exquisite craftsmanship, the treasured intensity of colorful art
During olden days these sarees were much in demand and loved by aristocratic and royal families. The traditional double ikat Patola which originates from Patan, small little town which is north of Ahmedabad in Gujarat state. Creating designs by tyeing knots on warp and weft, it takes around three to four months to prepare tie and dyed on warp and weft threads for one saree. Patola saree art was much of labour-intensive, with the combined effort of four weavers, it would take anywere around a six months to a year to weave a masterpiece saree from the scratch, its perseverance in doing it from the time of process of dying that is the reason it was too expensive, and was worn only by the royal and upperclass, who were able to pay for opulence.

Kasuti Embroidery ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Folk art of Karnataka-Kasuti Embroidery, Sarees are my passion
Graceful Mysore silk, traditional Ilkal sarees and one of the intricate hand embroidery called Kasuti embroidery hails from Karnataka, the word Kasuti is split across two words Kai which means hand and Suti meaning cotton, the activity which is done through cotton and hands. It was used on everyday apparels. Kasuti Embroidery is been given Geographical Indications, Karnataka Handicrafts Development Corporation(KHDC) holds a Geographical Indications(GI) protection for Kasuti embroidery.

Bomkai sarees or Sonepuri Sarees ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Immersed in traditional spun
A hint of tradition, one of the classy handloom saree from Odisha state called Bomkai sarees, these sarees are also called by Sonepuri sarees, produced in the village of Bomkai in Ganjam district, India. Bomkai sarees is named after the village Bomkai. The community who is involved in weaving these handloom sarees are 'Bhulia' community of Subarnapur district. GI tag is been provided for 'Bomkai Saree & Fabrics'. People here are very friendly, medium of communication here is Odia.

Parrot Motif ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Parrot motif, the bird of love and fortuneteller, Sarees are my passion
You call them as pet birds, the bird of love, best known for fortune-telling, these small little birds who are extremely friendly, many times repeating people’s words and phrases. As a child, I do recollect when I used to shop, I used to say parrot green not much of shade/tones or hues I knew those days and Parrot are called by varies names such as Tota, Kili, gini, Popata, Chiluka, tatta, shua and so on and it is considered as auspicious symbol having one.
Parrot motifs, many a times often used in couture designed for both brides and grooms and are prominently present in textiles from West Bengal, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. Parrot motifs are widely used in Chanderi sarees, Paithani saree of Maharashtra, Kanchipuram Organza sarees, Kanchipuram silk sarees, Pochampally silk sarees and the art sarees called Kalamkari, this cute bird symbolising passion and courtship.

Molakalmuru Cotton and Silk Sarees ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021

Ancestral Molakalmuru with a modern twist!


Molakalmuru is a village panchayat town in Chitradurga district,Karnataka state, India. Molakalmuru is best known for its hand-woven silk sarees of exquisite design and craftsmanship It is said Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV (Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar) during his visit to the place in 1914, he appreciated the finesse of these sarees. Molakalmuru sarees are available in silk and cotton. It has been granted geographical Indication tag, which add a extra credit to these sarees. The beautiful floral designs and the rich pallu make these sarees attractive and gorgeous. The long border sarees have a contrast border and the traditional touch is their specialty. The weaving is done mainly on pit looms with either fly shuttle or throw shuttle technique.

Baluchari Sarees from West Bengal India ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Invoking the magic of spectacular, Baluchari sarees
This beautiful garment is worn by women across India and Bangladesh. The origin of these sarees and roots dates back in Bengal, later produced in Murshidabad, but currently 'Bishnupur' town of 'Bankura district' and its surrounding places of West Bengal. Baluchar town from where it derives its name as Baluchari sarees. This marvelous place is famous for its exquisite terracotta temples and Malla Shree Krishna Raslilla. Beautifully made 'terracotta craft' is well known in this place. People here predominantly speak Bengali.

Luxurious Collectible Sarees ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
One of the challenging factor when it comes to luxury market is getting the right people on board and targeting specifically for them is a niche. So much of ultra-refined, handcrafted series is required. But the fact is not always all are suited for this. Understanding them takes time and they hate wholesale market stuff. They value their time and they don't waste others time as well. Behind their thought process vintage, classic, collectible is just investments and which might in some times if they need to sell which fetch them back what they have invested!

Ethnic Indian Sarees Art ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021

Kanchi Cotton Sarees ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
A touch of tradition, Heritage cottons from the city of thousand temples
Colorfully yarns woven on a handloom by the weavers of Tamil Nadu, this sarees hails from the temple city 'Kanchipuram', well Known and called by many names Kanchi, Kanjivaram, Kanjeevaram and Conjevaram. Kancheepuram district is situated on the north east coast of Tamil Nadu. Kanchi cottons are distinguished by beautiful motifs woven, handwoven sarees are soft, airy and yet comfortable. Silk and cotton sarees of Kanchipuram are inspired by the temple designs.

Venkatagiri Cotton and Silk Sarees ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Venkatagiri sarees or Rajamatha sarees.
Venkatagiri is a small town situated in Nellore district, Andhra pradesh state, India. History of venkatagiri sarees dates back to 1700s, during the rule of Venkatagiri, the masterweaver handcrafted these sarees, specially curated for queens, royal ladies and zamindaris. These sarees were purchased for such handsome amounts that the weavers could survive with that sum of money for almost a year until they got their next order. Exclusive designs were made by the weavers on special order for the upper class only. Much of a boost and encouragement given to these sarees, by the Velugoti dynasty of Nellore and also by the Bobbili and Pithapuram dynasties, back then.


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Watch on Youtube - [223//0] 62 Textile Business Trends - Kannada ↗

Bandhani Sarees or Bandhej Sarees from Gujarat India ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Meticulously tying the bonds of colorful junction
Bandhani is derived from Sanskrit word, bandh known as to-tie and patterns, colours are limitless. Wondering what are the varies names to Bandhani? called and known by varies names such as Bandhej, Piliya, Ghar Chola, Patori, Bandhni and in Tamil Nadu its known as Sungudi. Khatri of Kutch and Saurashtra community involved in making this colorful art since ages. Places in Rajasthan like Jaipur, Sikar, Bhilwara, Udaipur, Bikaner, Ajmer, Tamil Nadu and Jamnagar in Gujarat are the well known centers producing odhnis, sarees and turbans in Bandhani.

Supernet Sarees ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
When I was eleven years I used to go to a local market shopping for my friends and sometimes relatives as well, I felt unique experience of joy and soul's content while I handpicked sarees for my closed ones. It happened that dreams are unlimited and of course, it's a fantasy world for many, being very young and doing some crazy things. I never knew I would get into textiles for a full time, it was just hobby, so that's how life path takes...

Patteda Anchu Saree ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
I never heard of Patteda Anchu Saree before
Well, many of them are not aware of this weave in the same state, it's an irony. Lack of awareness and less usage leads to this stage. It was in the year 2016 I first saw the Patteda Anchu Saree and I was very impressed at the first glance, for its simplicity and minimalistic weave, no woven designs these characteristics caught my attention towards this weave. Being and brought up in Karnataka, I was just familiar with Ilkal Saree, Molakalmuru Saree, KSIC Mysore Silk, Banahatti Saree, Hubli Saree because my mother had these magnificent weaves, and she wore them very often. When I told her about Patteda Anchu Saree, she was astonished and happy to shop one...

Uppada Jamdani Silk Sarees ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Opulent craftsmanship, Uppada Jamdani saree
The rich and colorful yarns pepping around, splashy Uppada, is a beach town in east Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh state, Indian. Road trip, it just takes thirty minutes drive to reach Kakinada from Uppada town, also known for fishery station for Prawns, fishes here. Fascinating beautifully handwoven sarees known as Uppada sarees are famous and these sarees were named after Uppada village. Handloom industry has retained the age old rich tradition of hand weaving in our country. Padmasali community is the major caste here engaged in the weaving of these wonderful sarees, which are very artistic, a blend of zari work is a add-on to give a charm to the saree. Proud to the state, Uppada Jamdani Sarees, gets geographical indication.

Traditional Molakalmuru Saree from Karnataka by Sarees are my passion ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Roots of Karnataka 'Molakalmuru', Connecting Old is Gold
Living in the world of fast-moving fashion, where designer Ruffle Sarees takes a runway show stopper pace, I see the 'contrast' the traditional and the modern world. In India, especially when you focus on South India, Karnataka when we take a slice of the pie, the elder generation(mothers or grandmothers) still wear evergreen beauties like Ilkal, Udupi, Banhatti cotton sarees on a day to day bases, depending on the cultural belief system and comfort zone.

Shantipuri or Santipore Cotton Saree ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Soaked in handloom tradition, deeprooted weaves
A small town called Shantipur, also called by Santipur, Nadia district in the Indian state of West Bengal. Santipur is famous for handloom sarees from ancient times, this place and surrounding region has been famous for handloom sarees. Shantipur sarees are also called by name Santipore saree. This place is famous for handloom sarees from ancient times and elegant designs inspired from nature and especially known for its superfine dhoti and handloom saree with jacquard design. In this place, they generally use 'fly shuttle' frame looms filted with jacquard invariably used in Shantipur. Graceful looking sarees have been granted and awarded GI tag(Santipore Saree). To weave double-sided design they use Do-Rookha technique, the front and the reverse side of the saree looks extractly the same.

Understanding the choice of 50 year and above Women in Saree Business ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
In India local market I heard shop owners saying that we have Best Quality Saree, Best Price Saree, Wholesale Sarees. I always wonder, the educated crowd are they going to shop around on this? definitely, they say no please. The sophisticated group understand what is a plastic made recycled saree(synthetic versions) and authentic ones! They are always towards the art and crafts part end of the day, they read and update themselves.

Kasaragod sarees ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Land of shrines, beaches, rivers, hills and forts
Kasaragod district is a small town situated in Malabar Region of Kerala–God's Own Country, India. The traditional Hand-loom Kasargode sarees are manufactured in this region, these Handwoven sarees is inexpensive and can be wearable daily. These traditional ethnic sarees are specially treasured and worn by every keralite during any traditional occasions and are known for 'quality', 'colour pattern on borders', 'durability' and 'traditional designs'. Kasaragod sarees are best known for cotton sarees of fine count like 60s, 80s, and 100s , recent versions have made available for a blend of artificial silk saree. Kasaragod sarees is registered and recognized under Geographical indication tag (GI tag), under the geographical indication Act- 1999. The weaving community who are involved in weaving these traditional sarees are 'Shaliya community' is also known by various names such as 'Saliya' or 'Chaliyan'.

Bangalore Handloom Silk Saree by Sarees are my passion ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Forgotten bespoke weaves from Bangalore city
In Indian textiles, the heirloom weaves were much given influential value, the deep understanding was to appreciate inherent skill which was passed several generations.
Here is a sample of a traditional Handloom Bangalore silk saree which adds the loop for its artistically woven checks, fine mulberry silk which is a featherweight. Royal purple with a blend of Manjal shot adds the traditional lookbook, the aged designs and motifs are been inspired from nature and from ancient temples Hindu architecture. Experience this magnificent saree.

Baluchari Sarees from West Bengal India ↗
Saturday' 13-Mar-2021
Invoking the magic of spectacular, Baluchari sarees
This beautiful garment is worn by women across India and Bangladesh. The origin of these sarees and roots dates back in Bengal, later produced in Murshidabad, but currently 'Bishnupur' town of 'Bankura district' and its surrounding places of West Bengal. Baluchar town from where it derives its name as Baluchari sarees. This marvelous place is famous for its exquisite terracotta temples and Malla Shree Krishna Raslilla. Beautifully made 'terracotta craft' is well known in this place. People here predominantly speak Bengali.