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Deftness of Indian weavers on display

Staff Reporter

Varanasi spun silk, soft cottons from Imphal and much more

— Photo: S. Thanthoni

Feeling the fabrics: Union Minister of State for Textiles E.V.K.S.Elangovan taking a look at the exhibits at the ‘Tantavi 2008-09’ exhibition on brocade textiles at Lalit Kala Akademi in Chennai on Sunday.

CHENNAI: Intricately woven silk fabrics interlaced with gold yarns radiated sheen along with their cotton counterparts at the ‘Tantavi 2008-09,’ a five-day exhibition on brocade textiles that began here at Lalit Kala Akademi gallery on Sunday.

The fabrics, displayed in over 100 designs, were the masterworks of scores of craftsmen from 24 Weavers’ Service Centres across India, which have been established by the Development Commissioner of Handlooms.

Extensive variety of silks, ranging from Varanasi’s famous silk-and-gold-zari patterns to thick cotton fabrics with elaborate designs from Assam, gave a snapshot of the deftness of Indian weavers. Katan-silk fabric, which is widely used in saris for its extravagant look, is displayed in vibrant colours.

Samples of spun silk with silver zari from Varanasi, kora-katan from Uttar Pradesh, soft cottons from Imphal, reeled muga silks from Assam and spun tassar from Chhattisgarh are showcased on wooden frames, with information on the counts of warp and weft attached to each.

Brocaded yardages, which have raised floral and other eye-catching patterns, dazzled in dark shades. Giving them stiff competition were the fabrics in pastel shades like peach and pink from Chennimalai that drew attention for their subtle gleam. Samples of kurtis and skirts with multi-hued shades laced with brocaded zaris were also on display.

Increasing patronage

Inaugurating the exhibition, Union Minister of State for Textiles E.V.K.S.Elangovan said the quality of export products was being enhanced through optimum use of technology and Indian export industry had been receiving increasing patronage from western countries.

On the Integrated Handloom Development Scheme, he said the scheme attempted to support weavers located in identified handloom clusters. The Centre has sanctioned 370 clusters, including 40 in Tamil Nadu.

Director, Handlooms and Textiles, R. Jaya, General Manager of Handicrafts and Handloom Exports Corporation Beela Rajesh and Director of Weavers’ Service Centre B.B. Paul spoke.

A buyer-seller meet followed the inauguration. The exhibition, being conducted in seven cities, will be held in Hyderabad and Kolkata.

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