This month's pick for The Beautiful Drape is a stunning sari from Kanakavalli's much loved Vault collective of heirloom kanjivarams. This classic format sari, with two design variants, stays true to the ancient craft tradition, celebrating its weave techniques, colours and motifs.
The February edition of The Beautiful Drape features traditional and intricate paisley motifs in rich gold zari dotting the body, woven in striking relief on an adai loom. In one variant, the borders are woven completely in zari, with the contrast warp visible where it begins and along the selvedge. A central band of diamond or kann patterns is flanked by two bands of vanki designs,and edged with delicate bhugodi triangles, all in glittering zari. The other version has contrast borders with vanki patterns in silken thread, highlighted with hints of gold. The pallu is simple but striking, with an aramadam pattern in which diamond shapes are half filled with zari, flanked by gold rudrakshas and thuthiripoo bands, as well as rows of elephant motifs, woven either in zari or silk thread. The zari composition of this kanjivaram is 40% silver and 4% gold.
Experiments with varied combinations of zari and thread are reflected in delightful colour play highlighted with gold, all emphasising the bold drama and exquisite detail of the queen of silks.