Borders of Kanjeevaram Sarees
Kanjeevaram sarees are perhaps the most desired sarees. Every woman who loves sarees wants to have one kanjeevaram in her collection. And what makes them so desirable? The reasons are more than one. They are beautiful, elegant, handwoven; they are made with the finest quality of silk, they are grand owing to the use of pure silk and gold threads, and are designed keeping in mind the aesthetics and sensibilities that give meaning to every motif in the saree. These aspects make it a luxurious, desirable and superior textile that can be kept and worn forever.
Apart from the many reasons why kanjeevaram sarees are so special, the different individual features of the saree are good enough reasons that draw saree lovers. The borders are one of the main features that distinguish kanjeevaram sarees from other silk sarees. Kanjeevaram sarees are known as korvai pattu (saree with attached border).
Kanjeevaram sarees have borders on both the sides. Most kanjeevarams have borders that highly contrast to the pallu and the main body of the saree. Most often these borders are broad and designed with silver and gold that make them stand out. The borders are also the part of the saree that allow ample space to the weavers and designers to create designs with the help of intricate motifs.
Weaving the borders
The weaving process of kanjeevaram sarees is the most important in determining the look of the final saree. Contrasting colours are used for the borders, body, and pallu, which are woven separately and joined later. This technique is called the korvai method. The process of joining the different parts is called petni.
In fact, one way to know if a kanjeevaram saree is genuine is through the way the main body of the saree is interlocked with the borders. The interlocking will never detach in a genuine kanjeevaram, even if the saree tears.
Like the pallu, the borders of kanjeevaram sarees are also a feature that determines the finesse and skill of the craftsman. How well a weaver weaves in the motifs and interlocks the borders with the main body shows how skilled a craftsman is.
Heavily embellished borders would have rows of motifs such as rudraksha, mango, teardrop, and leaf among others, parallel to elaborate designs that could be narrative figures, architectural patterns from temples, figures inspired from temple sculptures, and mythological depictions.
Kanjeevaram sarees with plain borders have either abroad or a medium-sized plain gold border. Often times these plain borders are seen in the combination of a row of motifs above it. Motifs such as lotus, Surya or the Sun, raindrop, peacock, and yali among others.
Temple borders feature patterns that resemble and are inspired from the structure of the temple. A row of geometric temple gopuram pattern in contrast or complementary colours, different layers of a temple, patterns found on temple walls, and motifs packed in between the lines are common in temple borders.
Kanjeevaram saree borders have seen constant experimentation with colours, patterns, designs, and motifs over the years. Technology and different techniques have added new dimensions to its visual appeal. Whereas many weavers still prefer and continue to weave traditional patterns, some experiment and innovate, meeting demands of a new generation of customers. Whatever the changes, they remain true to and respect the threads, colours, and weaves, creating the most magnificent of all sarees.