Kanchipuram is one of the substantial production centers of pure silk handlooms. The artisans are sensitive towards the introduction of any new techniques of productions and the entry of power looms. The basis for their continued resistance to modernization is to protect their rich tradition of weaving and to stop the loss of their livelihood. Another reason is that major quality-conscious weavers are worried about the steady fineness of their handloom fabrics.
In Kanchipuram, there are around 65,000 silk weavers, out of whom 55,000 weavers work under the co-operative cave. These cooperative associations serve as a social asset in terms of implementing Government schemes, giving employment, and ensuring a fixed wage. But at present, these weavers face some issues related to their occupation. This detailed report analyses the weaving and history of Kanchipuram, the life of weavers, and how the textile industry has lessened their rich culture.
There are more than 45,000 weavers and 5000 families manufacturing silk sarees in Kanchipuram. But Kanchipuram-style sarees are also interwoven in many areas of Tamil Nadu such as Rasipuram, Mannarkudi, and Kumbakonam. These sarees are pretty lighter in weight.
Popularly known as the City of 1000 temples and the City of Silk, Kanchipuram, is situated 70 km away from Chennai and is popular for its handwoven silk sarees with graceful zari work. Kanchipuram silk sarees are entirely known for their dense fabric, rich gold borders, and traditional designs in contrast colors. The heritage that is more than 150 years old is Zari- a silver silk thread coated in gold color and entirely hand-woven from processed silk yarn.
The narrative of the Kanchipuram silk saree starts in Hindu Mythology. Epic has it that Kanchi weavers are the successor of Sage Marakanda, who was regarded to be the master weaver for the almighty themselves. The primary weavers of Kanchipuram were from two crucial communities of Andhra Pradesh, the Saligars and Devangas, who migrated to the city of Kanchipuram. They utilized their brilliant skills to make sarees that drill the images of the figurines and sculptures found on the temples, around the village.
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