Magic of the whole six yards

Crease it, drape it, adore it and don it to give yourself the perfect look. Such is a style statement that a saree makes. It is to complete the look of every woman that Delhi Craft Council recently organised, ‘Sarees of India 2012’ a, three-day long celebration of hand crafted and hand woven sarees at Aga Khan Hall.

The exclusive exhibition brought together twenty artisans and specialised weavers from across the country, who exhibited their art accomplished at the loom and brought smiles to the face of the buyers! Inaugurated by Laila Tyabji, chairperson Dastkar, the exhibition brought to the fore young designers who collaborated with artisans to experiment with the handloom.

Purnima Rai, president DCC, says “This year the focus is on bringing together artisans and weavers with a fresh sense of design who have been working to revive the traditional hand-woven sarees.”

Shivani Modi, joint secretary, DCC adds, “We started this exhibition as an effort to revive the garment, for the children of weavers were leaving the profession. Now, rising sales provides them with a consistant income and the weavers are preferring to stick to their original profession.”

The hall which was overflowing with buyers and admirers, narrated tales of different regions of India.

From the elegant Parsi embroidery in pearls and silk threads to the rich Kanjeevarams and Jamdani work on cotton to silks of Bhagalpur, the exhibition had more than a saree lover could ever imagine.

At the Parsi stall, traditional pearl borders, rose design and jali work with bootis all over caught everyone’s attention. Ashdeen Lilaowala says, “Parsi designs are an amalgamation of Chinese, European, Persian and Indian designs. While the peacocks are taken from Indians, the bows are from British. I have contemporised these designs to suit present buyers.”

But the most popular stall was Karomi from Kolkata. Dominated by bright colours, it became a hot favourite. Mira Sagar, the designer for Karomi says, “I was disappointed to see that a lot of work came from foreign countries when India has such a rich tradition.

The problem is lack of weavers and the popularity of sarees among youth.

“For this exhibition, we worked on a lot of motifs, which the young like and added themes like the tree of life, circles and triangles.” She also used jamdani which is embroidery on the loom.

There were also uppadas from AP and matka silks. Aditi Sharma, a biomedical engineer found it difficult to pick one for herslef: “It is very difficult to select one. I really like Chanderi, Parsi and Bengali sarees. I was here to buy one for my friend's wedding but I think I will end buying much more!” Well, that’s the magic of the whole six yards!

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