The world's longest and most expensive silk saree measuring 486 metre and depicting India's cultural heritage handwoven is to be auctioned in Sharjah.
"We expect it to be sold to a prestigious buyer or a museum," said Beena Kannan, CEO of Kerala-based Seematti Textiles, which has designed the traditional Indian attire.
The kancheepuram red silk saree will be on display at the Ansar Mall in Sharjah, from Thursday until May 30.
"It took 80 weavers under the supervision of our master weaver, Thiru Selvan, working round the clock for two months and 18 days to complete the saree," Kannan said.
The silk and the golden zari embroidery work alone cost more than Dh180,000, she added.
The saree, which has registered itself in the Guinness Book of World Records, weighs a mammoth 72 kg with the embroidery weighing nearly 15 kg. The total weight of the silk used in crafting this masterpiece is 57 kg.
The fabric appears to be an ensemble of India's cultural integration with images of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa depicted on it. It also carries patterns of architectural marvels such as Taj Mahal, Qutab Minar, traditional dance forms, musical instruments and festivals.
A special motorised machine had to be made to roll the saree around two huge rods on an iron stand.
"The rods were then placed in a wooden case and all together it weighed more than 600 kg. We had to have the case transported by air cargo," Kannan said.
For her next project, Kannan would like to weave the family tree of Dubai's rulers in pure silk.