Kanchipuram silk sarees are believed to be the most superior silk sarees in the world. They are not only very beautiful and resplendent, they are also very expensive. There are all sorts of silk sarees being sold in the market. If you do not know how to identify pure Kanchipuram silk saree, you can easily be duped by the seller. This article can help you to verify the authenticity of a Kanchipuram silk saree.
Kanchipuram is a small city close to Chennai in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is famous all over the world for its unique silk saree called Kanchipuram saree. The city has a population of around 164000 and nearly 5000 families living here are today involved in making silk sarees. Kanchipuram silk saree industry is today worth $20 million.
Simple tests to identify pure Kanchipuram silk saree
Pure zari vs tested zari to identify pure Kanchipuram silk saree
Kanchipuram 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 Kanchipuram silk saree. If you cannot determine the presence of copper, how to identify pure Kanchipuram 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 Kanchipuram silk sarees.
Burn test to identify pure Kanchipuram 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 Kanchipuram 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 Kanchipuram 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 Kanchipuram silk saree. How to identify pure Kanchipuram 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 Kanchipuram 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 Kanchipuram 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 Kanchipuram. They will test the zari for a nominal fee of Rupees 40 to confirm if the saree is original or not.
How to identify pure Kanchipuram silk saree becomes easy with all this information.