One of the most prized gift to an Indian woman continues to be a richly brocaded handwoven sari, illustrating the central role of the beautiful drape. Over the past 500 years, silks from Kanchipuram have formed a fundamental part of the cultural tradition of the South Indian world. The sheer beauty of the fabulous silks of the South, with jewel toned colours enriched with threads of gold — the Zarigaipattu — has overwhelmed people. When we look at Tanjore paintings, temple murals and paintings of the royalties, we understand how the weavers have adopted and perfected temple art into weaving patterns in textiles. Kanjivarams showcase the beautiful incorporation of golden thread by way of zari — thin strips of metal wound around a fibre core (a red strand of silk). Over the centuries, a range of several patterns has become characteristic of kanjivaram sari designs. These motifs and patterns were not just decorative, but also had strong symbolic connotations, both in mythology and folklore. Motifs play a twin role — of aesthetic appeal, and as a reflection of symbolic meaning.