KOCHI:Ma’am, this saree costs around Rs 1.5 lakh,” the weaver was heard saying. “Wow, a lakh rupees, huh,” the woman opposite him replied. “Yes, this is an Uppada silk saree with original gold zari,” he stated. “It is handwoven and it takes almost six months to produce. Because we make only two such sarees a year, it is very rare.” Overhearing a conversation is not good. But when you overhear something as fascinating as this, it immediately piques your interest.
True to this testimony, Weaves of Kerala, an exhibitioncum- sale being held at AJ Hall in Kaloor, is a hub for interesting items. Artisans of the Gramin Hastkala Vikas Samiti have exhibited ethnic handwoven products in pure silk and cotton. Almost 60 artisans from 14 handloom weaving states have brought their wares to the show. “Everything at the exhibition sale is authentic and handcrafted,” says Rajath S Das of Handloom Hyderabad. “The price of the products range from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh. The price depends on the labour and the quality of the product.” The collection includes sarees, churidar materials and dupattas in silk and cotton, fashion jewellery and items for home decor.
The silk materials include Tussar, Uppadas, Banaras, Gadwal, Dharmavaram, Jamdani, Jamawar, Murshidabad and Sambalpuri. More than 1.5 lakh items are on display. Besides this, prints in hand block and Batik on dress materials are also available. Another highlight of the exhibition is the hand-painted dupattas, churidar materials and sarees. The exhibition-cum-sale is on till August 7 from 11 am to 9 pm. It is usually held thrice a year in different occasions. According to the organisers, the aim of the exhibition is to promote weavers and to provide a market for the handloom industry. Since 1997, Gramin Hastkala Vikas Samiti has conducted over 150 exhibitions in 25 cities across India.