Famous Banarasi saree trader of Varanasi Abdul Matin is not disheartened by the cancellation of US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle’s visit to Agra, where Michelle was expected to wear a ‘kadwa’ saree of his warehouse while viewing the Taj Mahal there.
Obama and Michelle were expected to visit the Taj on January 27.
“It does not matter whether Michelle wears my saree in America or in Agra,” said Matin, proprietor of one of the oldest saree and fabric houses of Varanasi – HN Abdul Matin and Company Fabrics Limited.
A cream ‘kadwa’ Banarasi silk saree, handmade by weavers using gold and silver threads, was sent from Abdul Matin’s showroom by a special messenger for Michelle by Varanasi–New Delhi flight on Saturday morning. The saree costing Rs 1.5 lakh and weighing 400 grams would be handed over to Obama’s close aid, Azamgarh-born Frank Fakhrul Islam, a US entrepreneur, who is part of high-level US delegation accompanying Obama.
Debbie Driesman, Frank Islam’s wife, had placed the order with Matin’s company, keeping in mind Michelle’s choice of design and colour.
Driesman had suggested a special colour palette for Michelle’s saree to Matin, who hired an expert designer for giving a ‘royal touch’ to the saree.
“The US first lady wearing a Banarasi saree will not only make a fashion statement all across the world but also give a boost to the much needed Banarasi saree trade,” said Matin. “The saree for Michelle was weaved on a hand loom and not a power loom. The craft used in making such sarees is only possible in a hand loom and not any machine,” he added.
Michelle’s love for Indian silk is no secret. She wears dresses designed by international designers like Tracy Resse, Naeem Khan and Alexander McQueen etc. All these dresses are made from Jacquard silk fabric, for which Varanasi is famous worldwide.