Essential Factors to Identify Authentic Kanchipuram Silk Saree
Kanjivaram sarees is a type of silk saree made in the Kanchipuram region in Tamil Nadu, India. Kanjivaram sarees are well known for their great texture, quality & craftsman ship. It takes a long time and effort to make a single saree. Kanjivaram sarees usually have thick golden border brocade design which is the most popular technique used to decorate expensive sarees. You can find floral or indian mythological tales design on Kanjivaram sarees. Kanjivaram sarees always give you an unmatched royal, ethnic, traditional and rich look. The city has a population of around 164000 and nearly 5000 families living here are today involved in making silk sarees. Kanjivaram silk saree industry is today worth $20 million.
Simple tests to identify pure Kanjivaram silk sarees
Pure zari vs tested zari to identify pure Kanjivaram silk sarees
Kanchipuram Silk Sarees traditionally have a contrasting zari border. This is a feature that distinguishes these sarees from many other types of silk sarees made in India. Weavers take a silk thread and twist a silver thread over this thread and then it is dipped into pure gold to make the zari border. However, nowadays, tested zari is being used. This tested zari is cheaper as copper wire that is electroplated with silver is being used instead of pure silver thread to make the zari. With the amount of silver used in making the saree going down considerably, this reduces the cost of the Kanjivaram silk saree. If you cannot determine the presence of copper, how to identify pure Kanjivaram silk saree remains a difficult task. However, you can note the difference between a pure zari saree and a tested zari saree if you closely examine the colour of the zari work. Tested zari sarees are sold at a cheaper price in general to lure people who want to buy Kanjivaram silk sarees.
Burn test to identify pure Kanjivaram silk saree
Pluck out a few threads from the warp and weft and light a fire at the end of the threads. Once fire has stopped, you will find a ball of ash left behind. Take this ball in your hand and rub it to smell. You will find the smell similar to the smell of burnt hair or burnt leather. If it is so, you are looking at a pure Kanjivaram silk saree. If the saree has been made using artificial fibers, there will be no ash upon burning and you will see a flare that is common upon burning such fibers. There will not be a smell of burning hair in this case.
Zari test to identify pure Kanjivaram silk saree
Look for the loose end of zari in the saree. Pure zari is made of red silk thread that is twisted with a silver thread and then dipped in 22 carat pure gold. If upon pulling the zari, you find that the silk thread is not red but white or any other colour, you can be pretty certain that the saree that you are buying is not a pure Kanjivaram silk saree. How to identify pure Kanjivaram silk saree becomes easy with this visual test.
Look for the Silk Mark label
If the silk saree that you are buying is priced at Rupees 8000 or even less, you can be pretty certain that it is not a pure Kanjivaram silk saree. Do not buy saree from a small shop or store and buy it from a reputable and reliable shop. Silk Board of India has come up with a concept called Silk Mark that is awarded only to pure Kanjivaram silk sarees only. Look for this label on the saree to be sure of its genuineness.
If you have already purchased the saree, you can get its zari tested at Zari test facility established by the government in Kanjivaram . They will test the zari for a nominal fee of Rupees 40 to confirm if the saree is original or not.