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Kalamkari back in demand

Staff Reporter

The Lepakshi expo has different varieties of traditional artwork

— Photo: K.V. Poornachandra Kumar

Riot of colours:A woman looks at a Kalamkari patchwork at the Lepakshi handloom and craft exhibition at Sindhura Kalyana Mandapam in Tirupati.

TIRUPATI: The Srikalahasti Kalamkari, which enjoys immense support from connoisseurs of art, has now become a household name among womenfolk, thanks to its adaptability to changing times.

Earlier used extensively as wall hangings and decorative draperies, the work has silently sneaked into wardrobes, especially in the form of ‘art patchwork'.

While Machilipatnam Kalamkari work consists of vegetable dyed block paintings all over the cloth, the Srikalahasti variety has its centre of attention only on the borders and pallu areas of a sari.

The extensively ornate designs leave a spell-binding aura around the sari and add up its antique value. “All that one has to do is purchase the patches, stitch them fast on a sari and pep it up with zari, lace or designer work to lend a touch of exuberance and grandeur,”, K. Sreehari, Manager of Lepakshi Handicrafts Emporium told The Hindu.

Lepakshi's Handicrafts and Handloom (both silk and cotton) exhibition currently on at Sindhura Kalyana Mandapam near Ramanuja Circle in the city is drawing good crowds, with master weavers converging from places as far as Rajasthan, Bengal and Madurai. Womenfolk have little doubt over their choice and converge in large numbers at the Kalamkari stall, thanks to the cloth's ethnic and traditional look.

The saris from Uppada (near Kakinada) are up for grabs, which are priced between Rs.7000 and Rs.25000, while Gadwal, Chirala and Mangalagiri and Warangal varieties are also out to woo the women. The antique jewellery section and the brassware stall, with puja materials and icons of religious deities, are also drawing crowds. The expo ends on Nov 3 (Wednesday).

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