Flip the pages of history and you are bound to find large scale descriptions of trade between the civilisations of Turkey and India. What better way to celebrate the attempt of Smriti Morarka that aims to preserve and revive the handlooms of Banaras than a platform at the Turkish Embassy?
Talking about the prestigious platform, Morarka who started the initiative of saving the traditional weaves 22-years-ago, shares, “With the Ottoman and Mughal Empire sharing the history of opulence in textile, for us to be received at Turkish embassy is befitting. I hope that the conversations that might evolve out of an evening like this may create a domino effect leading to talks on weavers, textile and hand looms.”
Morarka started her own venture TANTUVI (meaning weaver) in 1998 to uphold the balance in design, colour, texture and quality that handloom stands for. For her, it is not just about business alone, it is a hope that would be a catalyst towards preserving the history. “It was out of sheer compassion and respect for the ones behind the looms that I ventured into this space. Also, I had studied history and was unfamiliar with textiles and designing. The sole idea was to preserve history and make it relevant to the present generation,” she says.
Over the years, the revivalist has tried to ensure that the Banarasi sari becomes the sought after garment. However, with the sudden demand of Banarasi sari in the market, she is afraid that grievous problems have emerged. “Suddenly Banaras is being sought after by every designer. To satiate this crazy demand and the requirements of every designer with immense appetite for fabric, the quality is being compromised. Sadly, rather than an increasing the number of weavers, yarn produced by power-loom is being passed on as hand loom,” shares she.
While many proud themselves of owning a genuine Banarasi sari, the lack of knowledge of the fabric brought has a direct effect on the weavers. Morarka believes that awareness and rules together will make sellers own up to the credibility of the product.
The event is scheduled on November 28, 2018 at the Turkish Embassy.