Maqsood Khan of Chanderi, weaver by hereditary begins the process of weaving the exquisite Chanderi sari, famous for its ethereal loveliness. Tiny ‘butties’ in silver and gold will be inserted by weaving them into the fabric which is cotton in the weft and silk in the warp. Pointing at a stunning brocade Chanderi he says, “In this sari one yarn is silk, while the other is zari in the ‘tana’ or warp. The beautiful border has the typical ‘rangoli’ like pattern found in the Chanderi fort and whose replica in the border is the distinguishing mark of the Chanderi sari. After the process of weaving the sari I gave it to be block printed. This is a fusion like many of my creations where I have experimented with large sized motifs, the mingling of crafts such as blocks prints, different motifs and the use of zari in the texture of the fabric as well as the introduction of shot colours.”

The colour range of Maqsood saris evokes bright jewel colours as well as soft pasted lines with evocative reference to nature – fruit, flower, leaves and birds. The colour palette has names like ‘Kesri’ or Saffron, ‘Angoori’ or grape colour, the alluring ‘badami’ or almond hued or ‘morgandini’ representing the colour of the feathers in a peacock’s neck. Maqsood has worked with geometrical zig zag blocks as well, along with dabu resist block prints, or a delicate sprinkling of ‘butties’ and leaves which complement the delicacy of the fabric itself. A few Chanderi Salwar kurta yardages are also on display. The Chanderi Mela has been brought to the city by Mrignayanee and is on view at 180, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai – 4 till February 29.

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