Navratna stones, gold embroidery, platinum and silver -- Chennai Silks used all that and more to weave the 'Vivaah Patu', the most expensive silk sari in the world at Rs.40 lakh and entered the Guinness World Records.
"The silk sari is made up of navratna stones like diamond, emerald, ruby, yellow sapphire, sapphire, topaz, pearl, cat's eye and coral. It also has embroidered in metals such as gold, platinum and silver," Ramesh Raja, floor head, silk section, Chennai Silks, told IANS."
Named the 'Vivaah Patu' sari, it features the reproduction of 11 paintings by Indian art icon Raja Ravi Varma and it was designed by the director of Chennai Silks, Sivalingam.
The sari was hand woven using double warp by 36 workers at Chennai Silks mill in Kancheepuram. It weighs 8kg and was completed in 12 months.
"Our director conceptualised the design and it was later taken over and executed by the weaving team. It's a team effort and the credit goes to Chennai Silks," Ramesh said.
The Rs.40 lakh sari was made on a request from a Kuwait-based businessman, who wants to remain anonymous.
Chennai Silks completed the first such sari on 26 November 2007 and sold it on 5 January 2008 to a Bangalore-based businessman, who bought the sari on the occasion of his 10th wedding anniversary.
A year later, a Kuwait-based businessman approached them for Vivaah Patu, which he bought for Rs.40 lakh.
The sari was produced using 7,440 jacquard hooks used for interlacing design and 66,700 cards used for punching design with the help of CAD software.
"The sari is very much wearable. The weight is not a concern because once the sari is draped; one can hardly feel the weight. Our model wore the sari for the TV advertisement," said Ramesh.