The National Handloom Expo offers the best of the country's weaves in exquisite display of saris, garments and house-hold décor needs. Check out the exhibition, which is on till October 27 at the Exhibition Grounds, Nampally.
CHOICE GALORE: The richness of traditional fabrics is in full display.
THE ONGOING festival season offers many occasions and opportunities to shop. And those who are yet to shop for clothes can head straight to the National Handloom Expo currently on at the exhibition grounds. The handloom extravaganza has remarkable merchandise to offer - especially for women.
The expo with an aim to bridge the gap between the weaver and customer has now expanded into a sleekly designed window displaying various weaves of the country. It is put up in an area of 45,650 sq ft with 96 stalls displaying exquisite fabrics from various states. And for those who are interested in knowing a little more about the handloom fabric they can visit the theme pavilion where the process of weaving is demonstrated.
The richness of the Indian traditional fabrics is on full display with the Banarasi silks, Tanchois, Jamdani, Patola, Varkalam, Tussars, Kosa, Chanderi, Bandhini taking the centre-stage followed by the Kota, Bandhej, Madurai, Mangalagiri and Kanchi cottons.
Besides saris there are salwar suits, scarves, embroidered short tops to go on pants, vests, kurta pyjama sets for men. The expo also has cushion covers, bedspreads, shawls, diwan sets, quilts, wall hangings, bags and many more. And for those who want to be more up-to-date in the traditional weaves, then head straight to stall no 36, which is offering Chandramukhi and Parvathi saris with patterns straight from the film Devdas.
With 96 stalls displaying their wares it is needless to say that the range is mind-boggling but the initial response to the expo appears to be lukewarm. The participants' visit to the metropolis in the year 2000 turned out to be quite lucrative but this time round they are sceptical. However a section of them is hopeful that sales would pick up as the expo is on till October 27.
The reason for low sale, the participants point out, is the sari mela at Shilparamam. "How come the state government is organising almost similar exhibitions at the same time," questions Mohd Firdaus of stall 57. Amid the weaves on display runs an undercurrent of discontent regarding the positioning of stalls. A participant on anonymity says that there is partiality in allotting the space. The genuine weaver who is not in a position to please the powers that be is dumped into a corner while the affluent are given prime positions. However the official line is that the stalls are allotted on a lottery system and hence there should be no room for complaints.
While on complaints, the most common complaint is the amount of bargaining the Hyderabadis do. "The prices are fixed by the government and the margin is very low and this not the first time that we are displaying the merchandise. Yet customers ask a sari for 50 per cent the price quoted. This is a bad trend,'' says Jayashree Kabra. But Hyderabadis are "adat se majboor''. They are used to bargaining at fifty per cent the price quoted at the annual industrial exhibition held at the same ground so there is a bit of confusion prevailing in the minds of at least a section of the visitors. As Satish Sharma of stall No 64 points out "there are customers who don't bargain at all as they know the worth of the goods on display."
The general opinion is that the regulars to such exhibitions need no explanation about the richness of the fabrics. However the visitors should bear in mind that it takes at least five days to weave a sari and that the weaver does not make much profit out of it and, hence it is necessary for us to encourage this industry and keep it alive.
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