120 artisans showcase traditional handlooms

From the colourful Kantha embroidery in Tussar silk to the earthy reds of the Kalamkari fabric, the Cottonfab 2017 exhibition features 120 artisans from 14 states, showcasing splendid handloom fabrics, saris, kurtas and home furnishings.
A steady stream of visitors shopped at the exhibition (Photos: Justin George)
A steady stream of visitors shopped at the exhibition (Photos: Justin George)

Chennai

Connoisseurs of handloom and handwoven fashion can appreciate the intricate ari and needle work on chikan fabric from Lucknow or the vivid bursts of colour in Chanderi or the old-world charm of traditional block prints at this exhibition, which will go on till January 30 at the Co-optex Ground on Pantheon Road. 
Javed Alam, Secretary of the Awadh Hathkargha Hastshilp Evan Gramodyog Samiti said the products are pure handloom products, sourced from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha and many others. “The exhibition aims to provide direct access to handloom weavers, who operate in rural areas. Though there is a lot of government incentives and initiatives to promote our handloom, there is a need for more spaces for weavers to sell directly. We are providing a platform where the weavers can market their product directly, without the middleman,” said Alam, adding that the response has been great in Chennai. 
The price of saris start from Rs 300 and depending on the quality and workmanship, go up to Rs 5,000 while dress materials are priced between Rs 400 and Rs 6,000. A wide range of home furnishings such as mats, rugs and quilts as well as ethnic jewellery are also on sale. In view of the recent demonetisation, card-swipe machines have been arranged to enable smooth transactions. 
Abrar, a weaver who visits the city regularly, said he has always received a good response from the patrons here. “People in Chennai really appreciate the handloom fabrics. There has always been a demand for Bhagalpuri silk, a specialty of Bihar, which has found many takers here. We make good sales in Chennai,” added the weaver.
Revathy K, a city-based IT professional, who visited the exhibition said she started wearing more handloom fabrics recently. “There are more than 30 stalls from states across India and each one represents the unique textiles and craftsmanship of that particular state. I couldn’t help but treat myself to these intricately made sarees and dress material. The best part is they are affordable and with our purchase, we are helping them carry on a tradition,” she said.

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