Mudra - Magic of Motifs


Stories that inspire

Mudra - Magic of Motifs

A motif is that brush stroke that defines a painting when it comes to Kanchipuram Silk sarees. They're just not symbols but souvenirs of nature and culture.

As we go back in time and try understanding, art architecture and textile history, we can observe a pattern. A pattern of seeing motifs, carvings and paintings of living beings that existed back in time. Every single motif we see on a Kanchipuram, even today, is a representation of what was there in the past.

The best example to explain this concept is Yali, a hybrid animal, a mythical character that is said to have existed centuries ago, and Iruthalai Pakshi, a two-headed bird that has gone extinct with time. And it was not just motifs, but also the colours of the sarees, that were highly influenced by nature's colour palette spread in front of us. A Mayil Kazhuthu inspired by the colour shade of peacock's neck or a nagapazham, inspired by the Jamun fruit is the best example of how Kanchipuram Silk Sarees were paintings that represented a culture and an era.

To us, these motifs are simple elements that accentuate the drape, but in reality, they are characters woven into a traditional drape that narrate several stories from mythology and the past.

Times have changed, and so has the art of weaving, with several changes in the world, the art of creating motifs also evolved. People of the past took design inspiration from trees, flowers, animals and plants around them, similarly, we tend to do the same. We look around us, to find those little elements that would inspire us to design a motif.

Even today, we haven't left behind the traditional motifs as they are and continue to be a cultural representation that is passed on from one generation to the other.