Back to the roots at Trade Fair

The most awaited fair of the year is here. So, gear up to shop to your heart’s content at the India International Trade Fair which opened for general visitors on November 19 and is on till 27th.

There’s no doubt that traditional art forms are once again becoming popular with Delhiites and they are opting for handmade crafts to decorate their homes. Exhibitors on the other hand are making all the moolah.

A craftsman selling wooden handicrafts at Khadi and Village Industries Commission pavilion had all the items for a beautiful home decor. “The business is good. We have sofa sets, mirror, a spinning wheel, chess table, pencil boxes, bowl sets all made from sheesham (teak wood). The Khadi Gram Udyog has even bought one spinning wheel from us for their stall,” shares Nitin Bhatia, the proprietor.

Outside the pavilion, there are two ‘weaving stations’ or khadhis (looms) set up - one for silk, the other for cotton. At the silk station, there are silkworm cocoons in big heaps, ready to be boiled, washed, and then used to extract silk threads from. At the cotton weaving set-up, the entire process of weaving - combing, cleaning, paralleling, carding and slivering, fine spinning, and hankering - is shown in separate stages by women artisans.

One of the handicrafts which was really unusual was lamps made from coconut shells. They are beautiful and definitely will throw a different light on your knick-knack collection! M Liyakath Ali Khan from Puducherry and maker of these lamps, says, “We use screw drivers to make the holes in the shells and do not use drilling machines and it breaks them. It take time to make them and turn them into a finished product.”

Apart from live demonstrations outside pavilions, terracotta items are also a hit among buyers. Terracota earrings, neckpieces and various home decor items are attracting a lot of crowds this year.

The West Bengal pavilion which a Durga idol at the entrance is one that you cannot miss. One can find some great deals in hand-woven sarees and earrings at this pavilion. Another handmade item which has attracted many eyeballs are the Ganesha idols made from nine type of grains. To the surprise of many, the idols are unbreakable and cost a cool Rs 150!

The stall from Bangalore in the Karnataka pavilion features wall-hangings made from khus. Also on offer is the khus syrup which controls body temperature and is helpful in blood purification too.

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