Have you ever marvelled at the designs on silk or cotton saris? The way the thread work or zari creates exquisite patterns of flowers within flowers, florets within a bird on six yards of cloth?A few decades ago, when women predominantly wore only saris, they would seek out some motifs such as peacock, swan, mango and the Rudraksha. For the untrained eye, the motifs do not hold much value. But artists among the weavers bring exclusivity to their product by introducing new designs.

B. Krishnamoorthy, a third generation silk weaver in Kancheepuram, is known for introducing novel designs in the saris he wove. He began developing a brochure of the intricate designs he has woven several years ago. The traditional weaver has created a brochure with around 200 designs that can be incorporated while weaving a garment. Many of the motifs are from the repertoire left to him by his grandfather and father. He would visit temples in the town and recreate motifs he found on the pillars and in the temple. His children have not followed in his footsteps, though.

Each motif has taken several hours to sketch, the more intricate a design the more is the time he has spent. Each of the designs he has created have a unique name. “These motifs were created painstakingly by weavers from earlier generations. Now, we have technology and it can be incorporated from a computer. I want the students of fashion design to benefit. These designs should not die, that is my aim,” said Mr. Krishnamoorthy, a national award-winner who has created over 10,000 unique designs. His designs are routinely used by the government weaver cooperative societies and by private weaving centres in Kancheepuram.