That fine line between original and fake

Pricey but pure

That fine line between original and fake
Purity is expensive and this was proved at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas exhibition stalls. The hand-woven pure Pashmina shawls and silk sarees were a big hit among delegates. Each shawl cost nothing less than Rs 65,000 and the price range of hand-woven silk sarees is from Rs 8,000. The cost was so high not only because of the purity, but also the fine hard work that goes into making each piece, realised the delegates.

Buyers made a beeline for live counters of artisans from Jammu and Kashmir, weavers from Gujarat and the Karnataka Weavers’ Association. Though the inquiries were more than the sales, the artisans were happy disseminating information.

Also, many delegates made notes and went back to check the authenticity of products bought elsewhere.

Mallikarjun M J, a weaver from Karnataka Weavers’ Association, Bengaluru, told DH there were many people who asked him about the cost and how the saree was woven.

“When I told them the cost, they stepped back. One customer asked me why the saree was so expensive here as it was almost half the price outside. When I explained to him, he was shocked and realised that he had been fleeced. Pure hand-woven silk sarees are a fine cloth with finer work. It takes us not less than two days to weave a simple silk saree with minimal work. Since production is less, cost is high,” he said.

Shamim, a weaver from Kashmir, has a bigger audience to address. He has taken three days to weave just one inch of Pashmina shawl and this explains the rate of Rs 65,000.

“One delegate told me that he had purchased similar pieces at Rs 10,000 each in Kashmir. She returned to me on day two of the exhibition to show the shawl. It was machine woven. I explained to her the difference and she realised that she was cheated. The delegate said the exhibition was an eye-opener. She purchased a shawl and I gave her a discount,” he said.

Many delegates were enthused by the artworks of Kutch and Kalamkari. Some made bookings for the sarees to be custom made on day two of the exhibition, to be collected on day three.
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