The Arani Silk Saree Is A Fine Translation Of Innovative Thinking Into A Classic Offering

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Published: 26th June 2015
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The Arani Silk Sarees are part of a great tradition of fine handloom silk weaves. They have a niche carved out for themselves as unique products of excellent quality from innovative experiments.

Arani is a town in Tiruvanamalai district of Tamil Nadu, India, on the banks of the Kamandala Naaga river. It is between Vellore and Thiruvannamalai.

Arani is famous for its handloom silks and an important silk centre of Tamil Nadu. Known for its traditional silk fabrics, Arani Silks have earned a name for the quality of their weaves and the durable colours of their silk fabrics.
A unique feature of this Silk fabric is that there are certain sarees, woven in such a way that they may be used as two or three or four different sarees depending on the permutations and combinations.
A half half Arani Silk Saree means that it would have one colour or design on one half of the saree and the remaining half would have one or more colours, designs, patterns or motifs, border and pallu, with each half adorned differently. In other words they would have border and pallu on opposite ends of one side for the same fabric to be worn on two occasions differently.
Have the other side either also with the entire side containing colours, design, pattern, border and pallu, like a single saree and you have three sarees. Have two half half sides and you have four sarees. However the design and construction of the weave is very complicated and requires painstaking care to get the colours, designs, patterns, borders and pallus (hanging end of saree) right so that the effort is not wasted.
From the dyeing of the yarn to the weaving of the coloured threads into the fabric there are several stages with care exercised at every stage.
The process starts with the colouring of the yarn before it is spun into coloured threads. Silk yarn is put in boiling water to which the desired dye is added. The colour solution with yarn dipped in it is continuously stirred for the colour to mix well and adhesion of colour on the yarn to be uniform.
After the dyed yarn acquires the desired colour shade it is washed and dried in shade. Direct sun is avoided since it could affect the colouring. This partly gives the required adhesion of colour. It is then starched to further improve the fastness of colour and provide gloss to the yarn. This yarn is then spun into coloured thread and readied for weaving as weft.
The warp or horizontal lay of the thread, also known as Pavvu is loaded for four sarees which could take about a week to weave. The weaving is done with the inter-weave of threads from weft across the warp on a frame loom. Patterns are incorporated on the weave through a jacquard arrangement on the loom.
A traditional occupation, it has entire families involved in different stages of the handloom weaving process. Weaving method and skill know-how is passed down from generation to generation. This is reason for the sustenance of this art to the present day.
There are some exquisite creations of Arani Silk Sarees that have entered the market.
Arani pure silk sarees having floral golden zari weaving along with thread weaving border and an elegant designer pallu with zari weaving is an opulent marvel. It is very suitable for wedding ceremonies, parties and traditional occasions.
The multiple inclusions within a saree having different colours on the half half sarees, designer pallus with contrasting colours on the opposite ends of the same side of the saree, combinations reversed on the opposite side of the saree, all make for excellent use on festivals such as Pongal, Makar Sankranthi, Ugadi, Holi, Diwali. They are also very much suitable for parties, grand functions and corporate meets.

The Arani Silk Sarees speak volumes of the daring and innovative spirit of the Arani weavers who have successfully displayed their unique skills on canvas through such marvellous creations. Already appreciated by an enthusiastic market eager for new products they have enthralled the world of fashion fabrics too.

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