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The Ekavalli Foundation : A Kanakavalli Initiative


 Recognising the revivalist and regenerative nature of much of Kanakavalli’s work, and acknowledging the need to chronicle these efforts, the Ekavalli Foundation was born. Towards the preservation of the detail and heritage of the kanjivaram sari and the sustainability of the craft for the community, the foundation engages in research and revival, contemporising the craft while retaining its authenticity. 

Literally meaning a beautiful necklace of a single string, the Ekavalli vision is to weave together the many strands of the kanjivaram as a tradition and a way of life; to construct new platforms and possibilities, and to inspire a more nuanced appreciation of and engagement with the craft.


The foundation aims to extend the provenance of ancient saris and designs into a contemporary space and setting. It celebrates the kanjivaram and all that goes into its creation, not only paying homage to its heritage, but working to reinvigorate the craft, ensuring that the classic remains contemporary. Within the ambit of the Ekavalli Foundation is the regeneration of older designs that are out of commission, with a view to revive a certain kind of aesthetic that has dwindled within the weaving community; due, perhaps, to the inability of weavers to afford the investment of time, or to the laborious intricacy of the work. The Ekavalli Foundation encourages curiosity about the kanjivaram, and enquiry into its provenance to understand the ways in which it can be interpreted – through its many mythologies, motifs, techniques and traditions.

It enables newer audiences to access the craft and attempt to make it a part of their lives. Ekavalli creates a space to appreciate and study the textile tradition in its entirety, in order to make the craft relevant, meaningful and valued.

Spanning the past and the present, Ekavalli’s focus is on what goes into the making of the kanjivaram; drawing on beautiful stories of provenance, skill and symbolism to educate audiences, and to curate initiatives, products and experiences that offer intriguing new perspectives into an ancient textile.

Through varied media engagements, documentation and curation, Ekavalli aspires to be a rich and in-depth resource, immersing its audience in a multi-dimensional world that brings the kanjivaram to life.

Visit the Ekavalli Foundation website to learn more.