Korvai: Legendary, Laborious Loveliness

  • by Abirami R


You must be having Kanchipuram or silk cotton sarees with borders and pallu in contrast colours. Examine the part where the border meets the body. If it is slightly rough, and on close examination, you can discern the painstakingly woven attachment, it has been created using the specialized Korvai technique.

Korvai in Tamil means joining, in-sync, seamless. And all these meanings apply to the classic korvai technique of weaving colourful and textured borders on a saree. Korvai involves the laborious creation of beautiful contrast borders – silk or cotton - with elaborate motifs on separate shuttles, before interlocking them to the body of the saree.

The process uses three shuttles, with two different weavers working the border and the body, and a third weaver operating the loom. The borders are then interlocked with the body using one of several ways – the straight line, the sharp triangular method, or by using the famous temples that form along the border. The woven parts are interlocked with the pallu using the special interlinking process called petni.

The final result – one continuous breath-taking korvai saree – poetry in six yards!!

The silk cotton korvai border sarees come in beautiful colour combinations and are apt choices for a grand look with a comfortable feel.


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