How to identify a pure Kanjivaram silk saree? Experts share insights

Sep 10, 2023 01:39 PM IST

Kanjivaram silk sarees stands as a timeless masterpiece. Here are some expert tips to help you identify the authenticity of these luxurious silk drapes.

The festive season in India is upon us with Ganesh Chaturthi, Dussehra, Durga Ashtami and other festivals just around the corner. With the aroma of traditional sweets, the sparkle of beautiful clothes and the glow of happy faces, festivals are all about joy, positive vibes and excitement. It is the perfect opportunity to take out all those heavy traditional suits and sarees that have been lying around in your wardrobe and give yourself a stunning makeover. When it comes to ethnic outfits, there is nothing that can compete with the charm and allure of a silk saree.

Distinguished by its rich textures and vibrant colours, identifying an authentic Kanjivaram silk saree requires a keen eye and expert knowledge.(Instagram)
Distinguished by its rich textures and vibrant colours, identifying an authentic Kanjivaram silk saree requires a keen eye and expert knowledge.(Instagram)

They represent the historic grandeur and grace of India. Kanjivaram silk sarees are known for their rich texture, intricate patterns and vibrant colours as they are handmade from pure mulberry silk by skilled craftsmen. However, the market has been flooded with cheap copies of these sarees that often fetch exorbitant prices due to the increasing demand for these garments. Therefore, it is imperative to know how to identify a pure Kanjivaram silk saree to avoid being scammed. (Also read: From Banarasi to Kanjeevaram: 7 most beautiful Indian silk sarees you must have in your wardrobe )

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Tips and tricks to identify a pure silk kanjivaram saree

"Identifying a pure Kanjivaram silk saree is truly a skill that requires a keen eye and distinguishing it from imitations can be both intriguing and challenging. First, they are notably heavy and have a distinctive, grainy texture due to the high-grade silk used in weaving. A simple touch can often reveal the difference between real and fake sarees. Look closely, and you will find intricate zari work that's nothing short of a masterpiece. These sarees feature pure gold or silver threads, meticulously woven into the fabric. Genuine zari exhibits a bright, metallic sheen and resists tarnishing. But what truly captivates the eye are the colours. Kanjivaram sarees are known for their striking, vibrant hues, often paired with contrasting borders," says Shweta Kapur, Fashion Designer.

She further shared with HT Lifestyle, "The pallu is the beautifully adorned end of the saree. It's where the magic often reaches its peak. The designs here tell stories of tradition and artistry. It's said that the pallu should feel heavier than the rest of the saree. For the ultimate seal of authenticity, look for the Silk Mark symbol, a mark of quality issued by the Silk Mark Organization of India. It's a symbol that assures you that you are holding a genuine Kanjivaram silk saree, a true work of art. They are relatively expensive, and rightly so as each one is a labour of love, handwoven to perfection. But the joy they bring, the stories they carry, and the heritage they represent are absolutely priceless."

Manoj Kapoor, who has indulged in the silk saree business for more than 30 years shared with HT Lifestyle his top five expert tips and tricks to identify a pure silk Kanjivraam saree.

1. The zari test is one of the easiest techniques to find out if your Kanjivaram silk saree is genuine. Scratch the zari on your saree to see if it is authentic; if crimson threads show, the zari is real gold. Fake Kanchipuram sarees, on the other hand, may have white threads that show when you scratch them.

2. Cut a few stray threads from your saree, bunch them together and light them to do the burn test. Smell the smoke as it comes out. If you smell something like sulphur and see some ash, your sari is probably made of real silk.

3. Pure mulberry silk, which is used to make genuine Kanchipuram sarees, has a different texture than duplicates. Within a few seconds of rubbing a pure Kanchipuram saree with your palm, you will feel its softness. On the other hand, fake Kanchipuram sarees won't feel the same and the temperature won't shift.

4. Looking at a Kanjeevaram saree in the sunlight is another way to judge its authenticity. The saree would shine brighter than any synthetic or man-made material. Before claiming that a saree is genuine or fake, look at it carefully from all angles to see how it shines.

5. Mulberry silk, which is smooth and can easily glide through rings, is the material used to make Kanjivaram silk sarees. Ring tests are simple and can be used to determine whether a saree made of Kanjivaram silk is genuine. Try passing a Kanjivaram saree through a ring that is not too small; if it goes through without difficulty, you can be certain that the saree is authentic.

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Monday, December 11, 2023
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