The history of Chanderi is dated back to the times of Lord Krishna. Legends claim that it was discovered by Shishupal, Lord Krishna’s cousin. Chanderi, however, is not just a fabric but a journey of craftsmanship and sheer art that evolved so beautifully. Finding its roots in the Vedic period, Chanderi has made his way to the modern world. Let’s together travel trough time on a journey where heritage, legends, art and culture mingle to conceive a fabric as alluring as the history behind it.
Chanderi is originated and received its name from a town named ‘Chanderi’ located in Madhya Pradesh, India. The popular weaving culture caught its pace during the 2nd century and 7th century, particularly on the border line of two cultural regions of the state, Malwa and Bundelkhand around the habitation of Vindhyachal ranges. It was 11th century when the trade locations Malwa, Medwa, central India and south Gujarat identified the potential of this soft transparent fabric and revolutionized its demand, mainly for sarees.
Post that, the demand of Chanderi increased manifolds; its evolution began in 1890 when the weavers shifted gears from handspun yarn to mill made yarns. The royal family of Scindia brought the Chanderi saree under their patronage in the year 1910. At that time, chanderi weaving received tremendous makeover- gold thread motif were introduced in the major body of the cotton muslin saree for the first time, which led to the introduction of silk yarn. The motifs then included traditional floral, coin, peacock and geometric patterns. This was followed by the evolution of dobby and jacquard, which came into existence in Chanderi sarees. With the changing pace of time and demand in variety, in 1970’s, this weaving got major fabric shift i.e. a convenient mélange of cotton and silk. Since then, Chanderi fabric holds a special position in the Indian handloom industry. And, the traditional and original textile of Chanderi is just hand-woven which gives this weave its signature gentle, glossy and very delicate touch. Traditionally, Chanderi was used to weave the nine yard drapes. Today, with the most celebrated and fascinating motifs Chanderi is undoubtedly an objet d’art and a collector’s priced possession.