All that you see is ‘not’ chanderi silk

Yes, you read that right!

Google the term ‘chanderi saree’ or ‘chanderi silk saree’ and you will find all kinds of sarees listed as chanderi silk sarees, starting at just Rs. 250/-

But is it a silk saree? Is it Chanderi silk?

Let’s come to the basic first, at present the cost of silk fiber is around Rs. 2850 – 4000 per kg and if it’s a pure silk saree it will cover 70-85% of that cost and the rest is zari (in motifs and borders)

 What is pure Chanderi?

Coming to the difference between silk and chanderi silk sarees, handwoven chanderi silk sarees consume degummed and unprocessed silk giving a unique lustre and sheen to this variety. Whereas the Mysore or the Kanjeevaram silk sarees are more solid and soft along with being lustrous and smooth. Chanderi silk sarees have a transparency and shine to it, and are very light weight, weighing not more than 20-50gms.

Kinds of Chanderi silk

In the contemporary times saree lovers prefer the silk cotton variety in chanderis which is widely produced in the powelooms/machines and further blockprinted. Hence 90% of the listing you see listed as chanderi silk sarees are actually silk cottons and not chanderi silk

Wearing/Draping Chanderi silk sarees

While chanderi silk sarees needs an expert hand in draping and careful maintenance due to their delicate texture, the silk cottons are a dream to style effortlessly. Silk cottons are a summery staple and maintenance is minimal.

Coming to another name given to the chanderi silk called ‘organza silk saree’ and ‘organza chanderi saree etc. Organza and katan silk variety of chanderis are very similar but organza sarees are a bit more delicate and slippery when compared to katan silk sarees. But as an identifier, it’s a good starting point.

Chanderi Cotton

Another fact when it comes to Chanderis is that Chanderi cotton doesn’t exist. All that is named as Chanderi cotton are either cotton silk or pure cotton with a prefix of Chanderi. This is because pure cotton is not woven in Chanderi looms. Weavers in Chanderi are skilled to weave silk in the warp and cotton, silk, tissue etc on the weft. The weavers are not skilled to warp cotton on the looms. This has been practiced since the older times as chanderi was only woven for the royal families. The weavers did not have the need to learn weaving cotton on their looms.

Concluding this, Handwoven Chanderi silk is light weight, gossamer texture and shiny. Blockprinted/Batik/Shibori etc are Chanderi silk cottons


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