Kanakavalli's April pick for The Beautiful Drape is an exquisite kanjivaram from the Vault collective of heirloom saris that are exclusive to the brand. These classic format kanjivarams revive tradition in colour, motif and weave technique, thus immortalising the queen of silks.
This month's Beautiful Drape is woven in the adai technique, entirely by hand on a loom without the use of jacquard. As a result, the motifs and patterns are striking in their size and relief.
This kanjivaram has twill checks in zari or silken yarn on the body, highlighted with contrasting silk thread and enclosing four different buttasin gold zari - yalis, elephants, peacocks and chakarams. It is unusual for four strong motifs to appear so close together, and yet here they are perfectly balanced in dimension and detail, complementing one another beautifully.
The borders of the sari are adorned with moplah lines in a contrast or complementary hue, alongside salangai or anklet patterns, muthu seeru and a band of mayil kann between two rows of thuthiripoo motifs, all in gold zari or silken yarn. The pallu is woven in classic adai style, featuring a row of mann kuthirai (a particular form of the horse motif) and a row of yalis. Between these motifs is a band of large diamonds shapes, known as periya kann.
This sari is available in several colour ways, and three versions - one with ultra fine zari containing 90% silver and 0.4% gold, one with zari comprising of 35% silver and 0.4% gold, and a third woven with fine silken thread in place of zari.
While the beauty of this sari lies in the stunning detail and relief of the traditional motifs and patterns woven in the laborious adai technique, the subtle interplay of colour adds emphasis to the drama of the weave.