HISTORY COMES alive at the ongoing National Handloom Expo at Bhopal Haat, as one gets the opportunity to have a glimpse of Bengal’s exquisite fabrics, reminding of the world-renowned featherweight cotton fabrics - muslin or ‘mulmul’.
Getting closer to it, the participants from West Bengal have come with ‘Murshidabad silk’ saris weighing just 50 gram! Though the 50-gram saris are ‘not for sale’, the ones weighing 65 gram are for a take. Each sari designed exclusively, with block-prints has made it an item of attraction at Bengal’s stalls.
“The USP of it is, though weighing so light, it has a life of five years and discounted price is just Rs 640,” says Gopal Haldar of Stall No 104-105. The other attraction is ‘Bishnupuri silk sari’ weighing 100 gram and having life of 10 years. Citing Muslin saris, Haldar says these saris are now available, with starting price of Rs 35,00 and it can be easily kept inside a matchbox, but due to high price, it could not be kept here.
Rajasthan too, is not far behind Bengal, as it has brought featherweight quilts, weighing just 500 gram. The filings inside the quilt are made of ‘Semal’ cotton found in Bikaner and Badmer, having long fibres processed with sand and mixed with ‘Henna’ extract.
“The idea is to keep the quilt hot, yet light. We’ve supplied it to Indian army and also exporting it,” mentioned Umesh Chandra Patodia, president of a cooperative in Jaipur. The quilts at stall no 91 sold at Rs 275, with discount. “We’ve used vegetable dyed covers and the entire quilt can be washed with liquid detergent but don’t squeeze it to drain water,” he advises.
Assam stall’s USP is its exclusive ‘Moonga silk sari’ and ‘Kaziranga cotton sari’. “Moonga silk is unique product of Assam only and Kaziranga sari has prints of one-horned rhinos on it,” said Padum Chandra Borah of Artfed Jagaran Assam Handloom. Bihar’s stall has silk-based saris and stoles, with famous Madhubani paintings on it, along with jute and khadi-silk fabrics.
Meanwhile, the Haryana participants have made efforts to make life easy for the metro citizens, by introducing eye-catching, colourful readymade curtains, matching the interiors. Along with curtains, there are matching bed-covers and cushion covers.
“The days of buying rolls and get it stitched is passé, and we’re providing it at reasonable prices” adds Tara Handlooms’ Rajendra Chowdhary.
The weavers from Bhadoi in Uttar Pradesh have come up with exquisitely designed, hand-weaved silk carpets. The ones with cotton & silk combination is priced at Rs 3600 after discount, whereas, all-silk carpet (3 ft by 5 ft) is available at Rs 7200.