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CCI’s Textile Show in Chennai will celebrate handloom silks and cottons of India

Stories and anecdotes scatter themselves in the folds of textiles, saris, made-ups, and fabrics at the Craft Council of India’s textile show. . Bela Khaleeli, joint treasurer of CCI, Chennai, says that the theme for this year’s edition being “Revive, Revisit, Reimagine — and Innovate”, the focus will be on handloom silk, cotton saris and fabrics. CCI has identified weavers, designers, and craftsmen, who have been meticulously working on the revival of crafts and weaving on the verge of extinction.

A creation by The Far East Studio
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

“ The show normally features 20 plus weavers, but this year we bring in over 40 weavers for the textile show,“ says Bela. The stalls at the event will bring alive creative textile stories of designers and artisans showcasing their saris and made ups. “Benarasi, patola, Odisha tussar and ikkat, bhujodi, muslin, jamdani, paithani, khadi and more, both in their pristine and revived and reimagined forms will be on view,” she says.

A weaver weaving a Paithani sari

A weaver weaving a Paithani sari
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

There are some weavers who are coming to Chennai for the frist time to participate in the show. Sripal Shah, from Ahmedabad, will be displaying his naturally dyed khadi and handloom under the brand name Asal. Sripal has spent four years reviving the ‘kinkhwab’ brocade in his village using the ‘jala’ loom which requires two weavers to work together simultaneously. “This type of weaving gives the appearance of a weave that looks like embroidery. Kinkhwab is made from Ahimsa (a method of non-violent silk breeding and harvesting) mulberry silkyarn, pure silver zari and gold plated kasab from Gujarat,” says Bela.

A creation by Vimor

A creation by Vimor
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Anagha Ghaisas of Saudamini Handlooms, Pune, will be showcasing their revival of Maharashtrian paithanis (in silk and cotton). “We have 150 looms dedicated to our revival project. Our reference point is the ancient saris in the two museums in Pune. We get one sari at a time which is studied and then recreated carefully,” says Anagha, adding, “these saris last for generations.” She says that it takes three to 15 months to recreate a sari, depending on the intricacy of the designs. Paithani saris in cotton start at ₹10,000 upwards and they have silks starting at ₹25,000 up to ₹4.5 lakh.

You can meet the representatives of Yogic Poshak, from Odisha, whose revival saris and kurtas with pattachitra hand paintings, is sure to leave an impression. Jitendra Kumar Behara, who is a master weaver and founder of Yogic Poshak, says, “These saris are a perfect amalgamation of historic folk art of pattachitra and the heritage craft of handloom weaving.” ,

A Yogic Poshak creation with Patta Chitra paining on handloom sari

A Yogic Poshak creation with Patta Chitra paining on handloom sari
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

You won’t miss Ramkumar Haldar’s innovative 250 count Khadi muslin jamdani with flowers intricately woven into it. Bengaluru-based Vimor has done remarkable work in the revival of the time-honoured art of designing unique and rare handloom saris . Established in 1974 by Chimy Nanjappa, Vimor works with small-town weavers to work on revival saris. All their revival saris in cotton are based on either Vimor’s collection or from their customers’ saris. At Vimor, they document the designs, techniques, and stories associated with the heritage designs. . For Rajeswari Sengupta, the founder of The Far East Art Studio (launched in 2016), the mission is to revive and recreate the handcrafted Balucharis and heritage Dhakai Jamdanis. They work with artisan weavers from Sonargaon and Rupganj in the Narayanganj district in Bangladesh and the Naqshabands of Benaras. They source their heritage designs from museums and recreate them.

A Rema Kumar creation, Linen silk with Lambani embroidery

A Rema Kumar creation, Linen silk with Lambani embroidery
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Woven Fables and Printed Narratives by designer Rema Kumar brings together hand-woven weaving traditions such as Tussar, linen, and Uttara cotton with detailing using Batik, Ajarakh, Ari and Lambani embroidery. She will present her creations in saris, dupattas, and blouses.

Bela says that the show will be a spectacular one as the customers would be spoilt for choice. Some of the other first time participants of the show are: Noor handloom by Zafar Ansari who will bring his Chanderi collections; Aparna Patel’s Arshi will bring textiles from Gujarat with embroidery, Farah Khan from West Bengal whose brand Kantha presents finest kantha work from the region, Paresh Patel will showcase his his latest in Bandhani. “You must not miss Saleem Kachara’s Kota collections under the brand name Taana Bana,” says Bela.

National handloom day is celebrated in India on August 7

National handloom day is celebrated in India on August 7
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

“This time around we have ensured that products are affordable. Prices start from ₹300. We are trying to break the myth that CCI is expensive and out of reach,” says Bela. The show will not only present saris in silk and cotton but also salwar kurta ensembles, dresses, stoles, dupattas and jewellery.

CCI textile show @ MRC Centre, R.A. Puram. On August 4 and 5, 10 am to 8 pm. Entry is free. For details, call: 8754471980

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