On Monday, 26 November, the famous actor-director Suhasini Maniratnam unveiled a sari created by Chennai Silks. You might wonder what’s so great about a sari to be on the front pages of newspapers, and on TV. Well, this one is different from anything seen so far.
To start with, there is only one piece like it in the world. Made from the finest silk. Twelve precious stones including pearl, diamond, sapphire, topaz and emerald were set into the sari with platinum, gold and silver, using a double-warp. The work took 4680 man-hours involving 7440 jacquard hooks and 66794 cards. That should be world record.
Woven into this masterpiece are eleven (some reports say thirteen) other gems – great paintings of the master, Raja Ravi Varma. Ten of these are depicted on the sari border. And the other, ‘Musicians’ (see the image below) is on the pallu.
This unique sari will be displayed in the Chennai Silks showroom in Chennai. But it is not just an exhibition piece. It can be worn just like other saris. Provided one can meet the price tag of USD100, 100 (about 4 million Indian rupees.)