A festival of Benaras Weaves for sari lovers

It’s that time of the year when most of us like to dress up in traditional saris to celebrate the festive spirit of Diwali. In keeping with the festive mood, a festival of Benaras Weaves, is being held at the Cottage Emporium, where enthusiasts can not only buy the masterpieces but also interact with the weavers and get to know the story behind each weave.

“The handlooms of Varanasi are evergreen and often form part of the heirloom that is handed over from one generation to another. The exhibition is an attempt to re-connect the youth with the rich textiles of India,” says Alka Arora of the Central Cottage Industries Corporation.

Eight master weavers from Varanasi who have received national awards for their contribution to the textile industry will be showcasing their creations and interacting with the youngsters, explaining to them the minute details including the weave, the skill and time taken to create each sari. “It takes us anywhere from one to three months to create a single sari like the Kadwa style, where two weavers have to work in perfect synchrony for 30-35 days. The Butidar silk sari or Sona-rupa that is traditionally made from pure gold and silver zari take about three months and could cost anywhere from `50,000-80,000,” says Maqbool Hasan, whose creations have been showcased in various exhibitions for over 50 years.
The exhibition has traditional weaves such as Shwetambari, Raktambari, Neelambari sarees in pure zari to silk jamdani. There are also innovations like fusion of Gheecha silk from Bhagalpur with Benaras brocade border and even Assam Monga woven in Banarasi silk, and chiffon sari with Neem zari. “The exhibition is helping us understand the changing needs of young people and adapt our designs accordingly,” says Rais Ahmad, another master weaver from Varanasi.

Catch it live
What: Benaras Weaves
On Till: November 2
Timing: 10am to 7pm
Where: Central Cottage Emporium, Jawahar Vyapar Bhawan, Janpath 

Nearest Metro Station: Rajiv Chowk


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