Explore the Kandaangi sarees of Chettinad

On June 4, 2015

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The Kandaangi saree or the Chettinad saree is renowned for its extensive use of colours, contrasting tints, stripes and bold check patterns. These sarees have long proved to be a prized possession of every south Indian woman. The charm of the Kandaangi saree is its ethnic look and versatility, making it a favourite for any occasion. The saree’s design has evolved over the years, just like how the lifestyle evolved over time, here in south India.

What makes it distinct?

The most distinguishable features of the saree are its striking colours which are brought out by the combination of stripes, colour contrasts and checks. Back in the day, the saree was used as a drape to cover the whole body without having to wear any other garments. Also, the saree was worn in a way different manner and thus the Kandaangi sarees tend to be thicker and more durable.

Traditionally, the Kandaangi sarees were all brick-red, black and mustard in colour, a combination that flatters any type of complexion. Also, originally the width of the saree was 91 cm – much shorter than the current width of 120 cm. It was deliberately so, with the intention of exposing the wearer’s anklet!

The evolution

The modern version still maintains a lot of traits of the former but has been suitably modified to meet the needs of the present day wearers. Presently, both silk and cotton are used as base fabrics and feature the elegant Kandaangi borders have merged beautifully with embroidery designs and chic colourful patterns. The thread count has also increased to make the saree more smooth. The Kandaangi weavers now use synthetic fabrics and machines to be in sync with the latest trends and high demand.

A true Chettinad icon!

Evidently, the Kandaangi saree is evolving. You can visit the authentic Kandaangi saree manufacturing units while staying here at Chidambara Vilas. It also makes quite an experience, just watching how the sarees are spun in the traditional looms by the members of the weaving community.

The Kandaangi saree is truly a Chettinad icon, reflecting the glorious past and the tastes of the present day. Come, visit us at the Chidambara Vilas and take away with you this unique ‘piece’ of Chettinad! ttinad!