A six-yard wonder at Rs 1.94 lakh

The saree is not just a fine example of the enduring power of a piece of cloth, it is also an object of desire. But when one sells for Rs 1.94 lakh, it surely assumes an image of extravagant luxury, if not gracefulness.

A measure of the delicate craft and the attendant richness of handmade craftsmanship that goes behind manufacturing haute sarees could be gauged from price tag each of the 60 pieces put up for sale by the Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation (KSIC) as part of its
‘Threads of Gold’ collection here recently.

The sarees were priced between Rs 1.94 lakh and Rs 1.43 lakh.Of the 60, only 17 remain unsold, an indication that the global economic slowdown has not been a dampener on sale ahead of Dasara.

The ‘Threads of Gold’ sarees, introduced in December 2007, are made with 750 gm of gold lace and 470 gm of silk yarn.  They also  contain 0.65 per cent of pure gold and 65 per cent pure silver. In order to enhance their beauty, the sarees are embellished with Swarovski crystals and are priced at Rs 1.94 lakh. But those without the crystals were sold for Rs 1.43 lakh.

Expensive sarees too fly off the shelves: KSIC

Bangalore, Sep 22, DHNS:

Of the 60 sarees produced under the ‘Threads of Gold’ collection, the Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation (KSIC) had already sold 43, indicating that despite the heavy price tag, there are takers for expensive sarees. KSIC has also produced six customised sarees, KSIC Manager (Sales) Philomena Raj said. 

KSIC has registered an annual turn over of Rs 60.70 crore for the 2008-09 and has an operating profit Rs 4.70 crore, said Raj. Mysore Silk sarees are a household favourite in Karnataka and other parts of the country. However, with stiff competition from Kanjeevaram and Dharmavaram saree industries of Chennai, especially of wedding collections, it was inevitable for KSIC to go in for a change, said Raj.

The ‘Threads of Gold’ sarees were designed by well-known Bangalore-based designer Deepika Govind, who provided the magic touch with rich pallus embroidered with pure gold threads. Such a design was unheard of for typical Mysore silk sarees, but Govind maintained the essence of the silk yarn. 

“The sarees under this category weigh 1.25 kg and the ‘Threads of Gold’ collection could well be the answer to Kanjeevaram and Dharmavaram,” said Raj. These sarees have found takers among some politicians who found it expedient to splurge on their spouses. Inquiries revealed that the a former chief minister and two ministers have purchased the sarees.

Along with exclusive collection, vintage sarees have also been displayed at the exhibition as part of Dasara celebrations at the factory outlet on Manandavadi Road here. The exhibition is attracting good crowd.

Although gold prices are soaring, KSIC is in no mood to alter its price range for the ‘Threads of Gold’ collection. Raj said that the prices for both categories of sarees — ‘Threads of Gold’ and pure Mysore silk — have been frozen. All pieces will have to be sold out. However, the corporation would modify the price depending upon the current gold rate and this will also apply to the customised sarees, he informed. Apart from this, sarees with Korean diamonds, priced at Rs 22,000 each, were launched by District-In-Charge Minister Shobha Karandlaje in Mysore recently.

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