The story of revival of korvai silk saris

These eighth era Thanjavur-based weavers have been actively concerned in revival and rejuvenation of korvai silk saris since 2009

SR Vejay Ganesh, 35, and his brother SR Vishwanath, 40, have been relentlessly striving to revive the korvai, a prized textile weaving method of Tamil Nadu for the previous 12 years. The brothers belong to the eighth era of heritage silk weaving Sourastrian group, and the loom was based in 1885 in Thanjavur by their ancestors. They learnt weaving from their father SV Rajarathinam (71) as youngsters, and it was in 2008 that they shifted their focus to revival of korvai.

“An historic weaving method, korvai is labour-intensive and requires two weavers to deal with the shuttles on the loom. Years in the past, most weavers give up weaving and took odd jobs because the earnings from weaving was meagre. As a outcome, this extremely specialised method languished and was on the verge of extinction,” say Vejay. In 2007, he met textile researcher and revivalist Sabita Radhakrishna by way of the Crafts Council of India, who mentored him to revive the korvai. Today, Vejay has developed over 300 korvai designs and skilled scores of weavers on this method.

During the lockdown, the brothers continued to interact weavers, as that they had their common demand from clients, particularly through their on-line retailer ( “We ensured that weavers had the mask on and had the environment sanitised. As the looms are six to eight feet apart, physical distancing was not an issue,” he says.

Vejay has tailored to the instances and sells his merchandise (silk and cotton saris) on-line. He used to make month-to-month visits along with his newest assortment to the houses of his 600-plus clients in Chennai. But now this technique has been paused as a result of lockdown, which is why, adapting to the brand new regular, he’s specializing in social media to succeed in clients.

The brothers, each grasp weavers, have 10 looms within the terrace of their home in Thanjavur and make use of weavers to weave conventional silk saris. “I had come throughout an previous loom during which korvai dhotis had been woven. I refitted and remodelled it to weave a korvai sari. With this innovation in 2011, I may weave a korvai with a 10-inch border,” he says.

The story of revival of korvai silk saris

Once this improvised loom concept caught on, the weavers may comfortably weave 4 saris in a month, and what was even higher was it didn’t require two weavers to deal with the shuttle however one. “There was a boost in productivity and more weavers started showing interest in this technique.”

What is Korvai?

  • Korvai is an heritage weaving method. The physique of the sari is in a special color contrasting with the border which is in a single strong color the place the weft of the physique color doesn’t interlock with the warp threads of the border making it a double shade.
  • In this method the physique of the sari is woven individually and the border individually on the identical loom and the 2 interlocked by skilful weaving.

“Using my very own funding, I’ve prior to now few years skilled 45 younger weavers in Thanjavur area in korvai weaving methods, of which about 5 of them are displaying excellence within the artwork. Technology has largely enabled and empowered us and I feel it’s important,” says Vejay.

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