Chennai, Apr 05: Beautiful, sensuous, graceful -- words like these would sound ordinary while describing Kanchi silk but the industry is hopping from one crisis to another.
No major occasion and celebration in South India goes without the traditional Kanchi silk saree but increase in the price of zari used for weaving silk sarees is the latest cup of woe for the industry.
"The silk industry is facing a severe crisis for the last one decade", president of Kanchipuram Silk Sarees Manufacturers Association Y M Narayanasamy said.
The rise in prices of zari has already pushed up the cost of sarees and sales have come down by 40 per cent during the last festival season, he said.
Sale of Kanchi silk sarees was below average during Pongal and Deepavali. The production cost of silk sarees, which has already increased due to rise in wages, is going up further due to increase in prices of zari and raw silk, he said.
Narayanaswamy said weavers staged protests for more than a decade demanding 30 per cent increase in wages. An agreement was signed after several rounds of negotiations between silk manufacturers and weavers.
Adding to this, silk sarees manufactured in other places were being sold as Kanchi silk, he said.