This project is an attempt at exploring the definition of a ‘kanjivaram pattu’ and the relevance of the expensive handloom sari weaving tradition today. Comparison of the traditional processes used in making the sari with the processes and technologies used today, gives an important insight into how the aesthetic of the craft has evolved. Through an exploratory investigative design process led to the creation of two sari collections sampled through different stakeholders of the handloom industry. The first collection, ‘Malli moggu’, revisits natural dyeing in a market with a high-end product range. ‘Malli moggu’ literally translates to ‘jasmine bud’ in Tamil. It is a centuries-old motif that is still relevant in Kanchipuram today. The second collection is called ‘Navagraha’ and is inspired by a set of paintings by H.N. Suresh. Harnessing opportunities at different organisations allowed the student to truly understand the intricacies involved in the journey of a concept from paper to fabric. The perspectives gained from the different approaches made for an interesting comparison of interactions between the different stakeholders.
Keywords: handloom saris, identity, Kanchipuram, Kanjivaram silks, natural dyeing