Diversity seems to be the byword at the Gandhi Shilp Bazaar that got underway here on Monday. With an impressive assortment of materials made of terracotta, paper, jute, vegetable dyes and palm leaves, the exhibition makes an eco-friendly fashion statement.

Jute bags, curtains and blinds made of taliput fibre, cane utensils and bamboo trays draw eco-conscious shoppers and admirers of ethnic products. One of the distinct aspects of the annual exhibition is its speciality craft pieces from every State. In a stall featuring Kerala mridangams, an added attraction is that the craftsmen demonstrate and customise mrindangams in all sizes.

From Uttar Pradesh are cloth and wooden dolls, accessories and cotton kurtas, which are spotted at every corner of the venue. Many craftsmen have mounted their masterpieces along the walkways, which demand attention for their intricacy and detailing.

Tamil Nadu has its fair share at the exhibition and stands apart for its variety of display. If Thanjavur paintings and bronze idols are a regular feature, this year's exhibition has sourced in exquisite paper jewellery, designer plates and lacquer ware. Particularly interesting are terracotta accessories and lamps from Cuddalore, wooden educational play kits from Puducherry, and tribal jewellery.

There is an extensive option when it comes to home furnishings. Assam's traditional works such as koyna grass mats, bamboo utilities, cane sofa sets, moorhas and laundry baskets cast a spell on tribal craft lovers.

Wrought iron artefacts from Chhattisgarh, Orissa's appliqué lampshades and shell carvings from Andaman and Nicobar Islands add a touch of vibrancy.

On the textile front, delicate weaves such as Ikat and Chikan come in a blaze of colours along with the ever-in-vogue batik, Chanderi and Benares silks, Gujarat's embroideries and Kashmiri works. A couple of stalls feature Madhubani work from Bihar, which come in a whirl of motifs on silk and cotton fabrics.

Mayor M. Subramanian inaugurated the exhibition. Welfare assistances under various schemes of Ministry of Textiles were distributed to artisans at the inauguration. The exhibition, being organised by the Tamilnadu Handicrafts Development Corporation at Valluvar Kottam, is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. till November 23.