Why silk sarees are worn by the brides and attendees to the weddings? That is because there is an aura of positivity that spreads, during the weddings, despite any negativity in the weddings. It is believed that silk sarees absorb the positive vibes, ward off negativity, when it looms.

Tamil Nadu’s Thirubuvanam Silk sari gets GI tag. The Geographical Indications Registry of the Government of India has given Geological Indication GI tag to the traditional Thirubuvanam silk sarees. The registry is likely to hand over the certificate on Wednesday, that is today.

What is a GI?

geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g. a town, region, or country). India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 has come into force with effect from 15 September 2003. GIs have been defined under Article 22(1) of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights(TRIPS) Agreement as: "Indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a member, or a region or a locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographic origin."

The GI tag ensures that none other than those registered as authorised users (or at least those residing inside the geographic territory) are allowed to use the popular product name. Darjeeling tea became the first GI tagged product in India, in 2004-05, since then by October 2018, 321 had been added to the list.

Thirubuvanam silk sarees, which are the traditional silk sarees handwoven, with an elaborate design using pure zari yarn has obtained the Geographical Indication or GI tag seen as a big win for the weavers. Hereafter, they can claim the sole right over the fame of these sarees.

Tamil Nadu has the distinction of at least one unique product from each district, giving the district a significant name. On these lines, silk sarees which are woven by the weavers in Thirubuvanam – a small town located near Kumbakonam in Thanjavur – is quite famous for rich in quality with fine counts of silk. The speciality of Thirubuvanam silk sarees, is that filature silk is used for both warp and weft, resulting in high quality, uniform and high-lustre.

Warp and weft

Warp and weft are the two basic components used in weaving to turn thread or yarn into fabric. The lengthwise or longitudinal warp yarns are held stationary in tension on a frame or loom while the transverse weft is drawn through and inserted over-and-under the warp.

Silk is folded in the saree like an angavasthram, it is also known for intricate border and pallu designs are aesthetically embellished with fine zari. The wide borders in contrast colours with intricate motif patterns are very fascinating. The popular motifs are influenced by temples, flowers, natural leaves, fruits, mayilkann – the peacock’s eye, rudraksham – rudraksha beads and birds like peacock and parrot.

On behalf of the Thirubuvanam Silk Handloom Weavers Co-operative Production and Sale Society Limited, the authorities applied for the GI tag on April 15, 2014, in respect of textile and Textile Goods falling in Class – 24 and 25. After five years of scrutiny, the Geographical Indications Registry of the Government of India has announced Geological Indication GI Tag for Thirubuvanam Silk Sarees.

A total of five societies, including the production and sale society is functioning in Thirubuvanam, where more than 4000 weavers are registered with the societies. All the weavers could benefit and enjoy the special status given to their product, as told by the Managing Director of Thirubuvanam, Sri, K. Mohan, Cholan Silk Handloom Weavers Co-operative Production and Sale Society.

As per the rules, except the members of the Co-operative society, no other weavers would any longer use the brand name or logo, said the president of the Intellectual Property Attorneys Association, Sri. P. Sanjay Gandhi, who was instrumental for getting the GI Tag. Sanjay Gandhi has been working for getting the Tag for unique products for a long time. He had already got GI Tag and authorised user certificates for many products such as Thanjavur Art Plate, Thanjavur Thalayatti Bommai, Natchiayar Koil Brass lamps, Swamimalai Bronze Icon manufacturers.

It is the unique, exquisite, women’s identity to be seen, felt, worn in most of the weddings, religious functions, Poojas, where only silk sarees are “THE THING”. It is every woman’s passion, favoured ethnic wear. A woman and saree are inseparables, especially when it is eyed jealously draped on another woman, logic is the other saree is better than, when worn or selected by another woman.


It is true, a saree is not just a garment. It’s a power, an identity, a language.