Phulia weavers dazzle at Kolkata Fashion Week

Phulia weavers dazzle at Kolkata Fashion Week

"The fabric of the saris varied from tant, tussar silk and Bangalore silk to muga," said Ramananda Basak, a weaver whose saris were exhibited at the show.

Phulia, 80 km from Kolkata in the Shantipur belt of West Bengal's Nadia district, is a renowned centre for hand-woven fabrics. After partition, many skilled weavers of Dhaka came and settled in the state around Shantipur and revived their ancestral occupation with government patronage. Many finely woven feather-touch textiles and saris in exotic designs and colours are being produced in the vast weaving belt.

An excited Basak, whose family migrated to India from Tangail district of Bangladesh, said he has 180 looms at his workshop and employs four people for each loom. Talking about the demand for hand woven saris, Basak said: "Demand is very high. I doubt whether I will be able to meet the demand even if I have 1,000 looms".

Overwhelmed after taking part in the first fashion show of his life, Basak said he has  displayed his products in exhibitions across the country. He is now looking forward to upcoming exhibitions in Coimbatore, Bangalore and Mumbai.

The models were draped in saris in modern fashion to make them more alluring to the younger generation. With the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation declaring 2009 as "The International Year of Natural Fibre", the KFW-II has "Earth Couture" as the theme to celebrate India's ethnic roots.

Photo Gallery: Kolkata Fashion Week II