Inspired by the 18th-century royal tradition and designs, the Chennai-based RmKV has introduced the Revival Silk Saree collection for the present day brides on Kanchipuram weave.

Last year, the company introduced the natural dye silk saree collection. The Revival collection is a continuation of that, said Shankar Kumaraswamy, Director, RmKV Silks. “We travelled throughout India and to various museums looking out for unique designs. The latest collection is an effort to revive the traditions handwoven by our master weavers,” he said.

The inspiration is from the rich silk heritage of the country and the beautiful designs and motifs of architectural wonders, temple walls, nature, and royal impressions giving the saree a touch of grandeur. “The Revival silk sarees are dyed naturally without any chemicals with the hues of nature, making the saree sustainable and eco-friendly,” he said.

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On the designs, Kumaraswamy said the Kodali Karuppur saree, for example, was inspired by the 18th century Tanjore Royals. This was a blend of jamdani woven in cotton with zari, kalamkari painting with natural dyes, and black printed (border).

The origin of the saree can be attributed to Raja Serfoji of Thanjavur (1798-1832) who announced that a contest would take place to choose the best-woven saree to be given as a present to his queen for her birthday. RmKV has created the saree costing ₹70,000 that is adorned with betel leaf motifs in a rich forest green colour extracted from indigo overdyed with mulberry leaves. The crimson border has been dyed using lac-cross section of okra and okra plants.

Similarly, the Paitahani Pallu, a paithani-inspired Kancheepuram saree costing ₹70,000, brocaded with pure golden zari on a naturally-dyed body with rudraksha motifs is enclosed with a honeycomb pattern. The Mughal-inspired motifs give a unique look to the pallu and border. The saree is displayed in the Delhi National Museum and dates back to the 18th-century Mughal era, he said.

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The Meenakari Patihani saree pallu with mangoes and peacocks is inspired by Mughal designs and woven with a Paithani effect in a Kancheepuram weave. It was inspired by a wardrobe piece of Maratha King Sivaji and his wife Saitamba Bai who ruled Tanjore during the 18th century, he said.

The Udal Pettu silk saree costing ₹96,000 showcases the fine craftsmanship of weaving with silver and gold zari. It was inspired by the lost art of Bhujodi weaving of the 18th Century. The rust colour in the saree’s body is naturally dyed using Indian Madder, he said.

The present day brides are conscious of the environment and are seeking unique designs, said Kumaraswamy. “With a blend of traditions and modern techniques, the Revival silk sarees make a unique offering for the wedding wardrobe,” he added.