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On the bookshelves this week

books Updated: Mar 27, 2010 12:27 IST
Hindustan Times
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SarisSaris: Tradition and Beyond

Edited by Martand Singh and Rta Kapur Chishti

Roli Books Rs 3,500

Pages 275

Let there be no ruffles about this — Saris: Tradition and Beyond is the most well-researched book on the Indian woman’s archetypal apparel till date. And it certainly is the most well-produced publication too.

Edited by Martand Singh of the Indian National Trust for Art and Culture Heritage, Britain, and Rta Kapur Chishti, writer on crafts and craftsmen, along with photography editor Renula Kelkar, this encyclopediac volume unravels every aspect of the sari.

It delves deep into the world of wefts, folds, patterns, texture and wearing styles — 108 to be precise.

Apart from writing about all 14 sari-producing Indian states (including the hundreds of districts and villages), the book is also rich with trivia that acts as perfect embroidery. (Did you know that the modern ‘urban’ style of draping the garment was first adopted and popularised by Rabindranath Tagore’s sister-in-law?)

Here’s the bottomline: whether you are an everyday wearer or a special-occasion wearer, or even someone who sees the sari as a work of tactile art, this more-than-a-coffee-table book with its numerous illustrative photographs and in-depth research is a must-have this summer