Chennai, famous for its Kanjivaram silks, is a city that can offer far more, in terms of textiles. It’s a city brimming with heritage textiles, patterns, and designs for the discerning, sari-enthusiast. From Rasipuram silks to Madurai cottons, interwoven with fine zari borders, Chennai is just the place to discover diverse, traditional saris of the South. We’re counting down 9 of our favourite, highly-rated sari stores in the city.
Best stores where you can buy traditional saris in Chennai –
House Of Ayana is a boutique with a focus on textile, tradition, and craftsmanship. Their store, located in Haddows Lane, offers an exquisite collection of saris, ready-made blouses, as well as other ready-to-wear. But, since their focus is on textile and curation, their saree collection is a treasure. One look at their Instagram will show you Kanjeevaram silks in pearl whites, ombré shades, Benaras saris with traditional motifs, and more. A whole lot of handloom!
Kanakavalli is all about curation at various prices. While they’re known for their selection of kanjivarams, they also feature gorgeous, softer silks, South Indian cottons, and a variety of handlooms from across the country. Their showrooms, like their sarees, are stunning! Tucked away in a bungalow, amid the city’s hustle-bustle, lies their flagship store: A heritage-style bungalow that sells these handloom, saris, showpieces, jewellery, and more.
With multiple stores across the city, Nalli’s is an iconic saree story in Madras. The brand, established in 1928, has expanded into a sari house that features linen, cotton, Ikat-prints, georgettes, chanderis, and a whole range of sarees from Kanchipuram – the famed kanjivaram series. From their vintage edit to their wedding edit, across several price ranges, you’re sure to find a little something that works for you.
Several brides, sari-enthusiasts, and regular wearers flock to this popular destination for all their silk saree shopping needs. Another classic sari-shopping chain, Pothy’s is super popular in Chennai and most of the South. They can source whatever you’re looking for and offer a wide variety of south saris, nine yards and all!
Sundari Silks, another brand that is strewn all across the city, and they deliver! It’s a go-to choice for connoisseurs of the craft because the variety of handlooms they offer is unparalleled. From a range of Kerala Tussars to Kanjivaram silks, Sundari’s selection goes above and beyond, highlighting all kind of Indian handlooms from across the country.
This upscale boutique, located in RA Puram, shares space with one of Chennai’s iconic cafes: Amethyst. Upstairs at Amethyst is known for its handloom, indie, unique selection of clothing and accessories. Far from the mainstream, but trendy and expensive, they often feature sari collections from designers across India. Their saris are carefully selected, highlighting handiwork, craftsmanship, and marrying contemporary with traditional.
Another well-known and circulated café, Chamiers, also has a multi-designer store on the ground floor, The Amethyst Room. Like Upstairs @ Amethyst, they also feature several hand-made clothes and accessories from fresh designers across India. It’s another great place to stumble upon sari edits, curated to perfection. For the fashion lover, you may find something traditional, but cool at this store!
Collage, also a multi-designer store, is one of the most popular designer stores in the city. Their edit changes on the regular, and they’re known for their seasonal curations. Often this includes saris from Raw Mango, Eka, and several more designers, with styles ranging from north to south. Their selection truly makes it easy to shop.
If you’re looking for modern, young, and quirky interpretations of the saree, then Maal Gaadi is your place. This funky boutique has clothes, saris, and accessories. They feature contemporary adaptations of great quality saris in dhoti-style and more.
All images: Courtesy brands. Featured and hero image: Nalli Silks