Weaver’s Colony Karaikudi
On September 27, 2017
Chettinad is one of those rare places that attract people not for its natural beauty but for the culture, the architecture and the food that the place offers. Traditionally the home land of the Nattukottai Chettiars, Chettinad will never disappoint you; the colorful and vibrant culture, the magnificent mansions and the pot-and-pan adventure will all etch deep in your heart even after you have long bid adieu to this vibrant yet soothing hamlet in Southern Tamil Nadu.As the Chettiars were a group of people who loved art, architecture and craft, their way of life is defined through these; from the incredibly large mansions to the beautifully embellished temples and the cuisine, everything is so Chettinad-ish here. However, the houses only look Indian on the outside, once you are inside of these mansions, you will understand it is a confluence of several architectural styles from around the world.Karaikudi is another small village in Chettinad that is famous for the Karaikudi sarees. Four kilometers away from the township centre of Karaikudi is the weaver’s colony which is renowned for making cotton sarees. These sarees adorn different patterns and are colored using local-made red, yellow and black vegetable dyes. The sarees are made of cotton and hence are heavy. Once of the most striking features of the sarees made here is that it is hand-woven.
Though the colony used thrive before with demand from every corner of the country, as the income generated from the profession cannot sustain the needs of the families, many have given up on weaving and taken up other better-paying professions.
Karaikudi sarees used to adorn only wide borders and a boorish texture along with stripes or checked designs. However, understand that such traditional designs limited the appeal of the sarees. As a result, the weavers have started to include a wider color palette and contemporary motifs to improve their business prospects.
The cotton sarees woven here are famous for their quality, durability and unique designer elements. As the sarees are made from pure cotton, along with giving a rich look to the people wearing it, the sarees are said to be good for health as well.
Established in 1976, the colony is home to many traditional weavers who live and breathe saree weaving. Whether you wear sarees or not, visiting the weaver’s colony is one of the must-do activities while visiting Chettinad. The dedication and the care these weavers exhibit while crafting the sarees is definitely laudable.