Market: South Extension
Peacocks, mangoes, temples (pyramidical), buttas… welcome to the grandiose world of Kanjivaram silks. Nalli is a traditional silk saree chain of shops. What began as small discount-dictated business in sarees in 1928, is now a saree and fabric behemoth with branches across the country. You will find silks from every corner of the country, but if you go to Nalli, you must buy a Kanjivaram, especially if you don’t own one. Kanjivaram is a small village where weavers spend at least 10-30 days to weave a saree in silk, depending on the intricacy of design.
The 500-year-old cottage industry produces stiff heavy-weight mulberry silk sarees, woven with three ply high denier threads. The silk thread is dipped in rice water and dried, and for the borders with heavy jari (gold),the thread is dipped in liquid gold or silver before giving shape to motifs like rudrakshams (rosary beads), malli moggu (jasmine bud) and gopuram (temple top), mayilkan (peacock eye) and koyilkan (nightingale eye). The double warp and weft stands out clear in the texture which lends itself to bright shades and strong designs. You will not find the peacock blues, Rani (princess) pinks, parrot greens, scarlet reds, mustard yellows, turquoise blues, and regal purples on any other silk in the world. Prices range from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 1,00,000. The ground floor and the first floor sell different varieties of sarees and dress materials. Silk and brocade material for blouses, readymade suits and unstitched fabric for suits are available. Suits are priced from Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 45,000, while dress material such as georgette with gota-work will cost you Rs. 800 to Rs. 1000 a meter, whereas plain silk may cost Rs. 400 – Rs. 600, a meter.