Kanchipuram cotton or more popularly known as Kanchi cotton is undoubtedly one of the glory of Kanchipuram city in Tamil Nadu besides many famous temples such as Kamakshi Amman, Ekambareswarar, Varadarajar Perumal temple and many more. Textiles woven in Kanchipuram is one of the highest quality in the world and the weavers are known as master weavers. Kanchipuram produces both silk, cotton and silk cotton varieties in such a grace and an elegant way that can't be replicated easily.
Let's look at the history now. History records that the Kanchi cotton weavers are descendants of Sage Markanda who used to weave various fabrics for the Gods. Cotton was Lord Shiva’s favourite fabric and silk was preferred by Lord Vishnu. The weavers of Kanchi are the descendants of those who used to weave this fabric using fiber from Lotus for the Lords. Legend has it that this fabric originated during the reign of the Lords on this earth. That is the reason, we can notice impressions of temple motifs finely woven in these sarees.
The Kancheevaram weavers are in this profession by tradition. The very first weavers called by the Chola king, Raja RajaChola I (985–1014 CE), to weave these sarees, were chosen for their sheer talent on a loom. And for centuries now, this skill has been handed down from one generation to the next, with great care and diligence.
The sarees originating from this region are basically plain with colourful borders. They have contrasting colours which brings out the grandness of the sarees. Both the silk and cotton are mostly found with temple motifs. The intricate motif designs are the creativity of the master weavers from Kanchipuram!