A six-metre-long sari can be shrunk to appear like a handkerchief and even packed inside a matchbox. Gujjari and Bandhini clothing style, having roots in the Kutch region of Gujarat, is one of the eye-catching attractions at the Lepakshi handloom and handicrafts mela currently on at Sindhura Hall here.
Women are already making a beeline for the stalls selling these saris and dress materials. The traditional tie-and-dye method employs the technique of making small knots all over the cloth. When dyed, the colour spreads all over the cloth except the knotted area, which retains its original hue. “This way, several colours can be used by dyeing multiple times,” explains V.S. Pradeep, who hails from Surendranagar in Gujarat. It takes two to three months to make a sari, from the knotting stage to its packing, he adds.
The sari is available at less than Rs. 5,000 at the expo. The authentic Gujarati style is palpable, be it in Kutch design, Gujjari cool cotton material, the Bandhani work or the Kantha work.
Similarly, the exuberant Kashmiri stitching style is on display at the stall on Kashmiri products ranging from saris with elegant needle work, Pashmina saris and linen dress materials.
“The needle work on a sari requires five full months,” says the seller, Javed Hussain, from Srinagar.
Notwithstanding the huge demand for Bhagalpuri saris, Jaipuri bedsheets, Lucknow chikan work, Bengali cotton saris, Banaras tops, the stalls representing the south such as Pochampally tops, Banjara embroidery work, Pedana Kalamkari, Mangalagiri and Venkatagiri saris also expect good business. The event is timed to coincide with Ashada Masam, ahead of the festival season. “Our idea is to let people scatter festive-eve purchases over two months,” says Lepakshi senior manager K. Venkateswara Rao. The expo ends on July 17.
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