Madurai is known for its high quality and durable cotton textiles. Located in Tamil Nadu's textile valley, the city is a major cotton exporter. Madurai has been a textile hub of the state with streets lined with shops selling locally weaved cotton and silk sarees. It is best known for its chungidi and sungudi textiles. While chungidi is a cotton fabric available in several forms of merchandise like sarees, dress materials and bed sheets, sungudi textile is exclusively used to make sarees. The chungidi saree is basically a two coloured saree with patterns inspired from geometrical prints called kolam and rangoli prints. They are made using the common technique of tie and dye. Chungidi sarees are mostly available in red, black, blue and purple colours, and are draped in fisherwomen style. The colour of the border of a chungidi saree is in contrast to the main colour of the saree, which adds to its appeal.

The sungudi, a typically longer saree, has been around for more than a century. These sarees are eco-friendly sarees as they are made using dyes that have been extracted from leaves. The sungudi sarees are made out of cotton threads embellished with tiny dots all over the main drape and have an intricate embroidery over their borders. These sarees also have a contrasting body and border but what really sets them apart from the chungidi sarees is their thin and light fabric, which makes them a perfect choice for summers. The sungudi sarees can be hand washed and are easy to maintain. Rajmahal, Sundaram Textiles, Sri Aashapura Saree Center, MM Lakshmi Saree Centre, Sri Sakthi Sarees and Smk Murugan Sarees are some of the best shops you can buy chungidi and sungudi sarees. You can also visit the Handloom House where you will find a huge variety of sarees. The Prithu Mandapam Market near the eastern entrance of the Meenakshi Amman temple is also a must visit if you want to buy sarees in Madurai.