When you think of Kanjivarams, what pattern comes to your mind first? If you were to ask your grandmother or great grandmother, they would instantly tell you ‘kattam’ or the checks and ‘vaira oosi’ or the stripes.
These two are one of the oldest and first patterns to be woven in Kanchipuram. It is said that a community of weavers started including zari in the warp to make the stripes. Since the stripes were so delicate and intricate, they named it the ‘oosi’. With time, it was named ‘vaira oosi’ (diamond stripes).
It is one of the first patterns to be conceived of and hence is considered a vintage design. It is valued tremendously for this reason.
Simultaneously, the kattam or the checks were invented. The checks had zari in the weft as well.
We have explored the different types of the kattam and oosi pattern in the market. We have explained this below. Our team has also collaborated with our brands to bring to you these patterns. Click on the link below to see our curated collection of these two vintage designs.
The kattam pattern :
There are many types of kattam designs. Minute checks, checks with motifs, multi coloured checks, zari and silk checks, checks in the pallu, checks in the border, and checks woven in silk threads.
The 'vaira oosi' or stripes pattern :
The oosi design is predominantly saved for bridals since it’s zari heavy. But in the last decade or so, oosi has also come in silk threads, making it very fashionable. While traditional oosi design has closely spaced stripes, again contemporary oosi design is better spaced, in silk and zari.
At Parisera, we love the traditional weaves and hence have a separate section for kattam and striped Kanjivarams here.