The Tantavi exhibition showcases designs created by skilled weavers from across the country

Magic from the loom is what the Tantavi exhibition is all about. The ongoing event at Hotel Chaithram, Thampanoor, is a travelling exhibition meant to promote India's rich handloom industry by showcasing new designs on fabric.

What is heartbreaking is that there is no sale. But here is an opportunity to see, learn and understand India's wealth of handlooms so that you know what to look for the next sale you go to.

One hundred and twenty six designs, created by skilled artisans, embellish saris, stoles, shawls and furnishing that have been showcased here. The target crowd comprises designers, manufacturers, exporters and the like. It is the fifth in the series of exhibitions organised by the National Centre of Textile Design (NCTD) under the brand name Tantavi (a Sanskrit word meaning ‘of the loom'), its registered trademark.

Each exhibition is thematic and primarily aims at showcasing the exquisite work of skilled artisans spread across NCTD's Weavers' Service Centres. The current series has ‘silk' as its theme, based on the feel of the fabric. Designs in silk, mercerise, cotton and zari yarns are a feast for the eyes.

“Tantavi comes to the city for the second time. The exhibition is an opportunity for buyers, exporters, textile designers, manufacturers and handloom weavers to have a look at the new designs created in different parts of the country,” says C. Muthusamy, Deputy Director, Weavers' Service Centre, Kannur, which has joined hands with NCTD to hold the exhibition.

The weaves

There are samples from Varanasi, Jaipur, Guwahati, Dhatrigram (West Bengal), Bhagalpur (Bihar), Bargarh and Sonpur (Orissa), Chennai, Kanchipuram, Molakamuru (Karnataka), Bangalore, Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Paithan (Maharashtra), Nagpur, Surendranagar and Patan (Gujarat), Maheswar (Madhya Pradesh), Raigarh (Chattisgarh), Delhi, Panipat and Beelna (Uttar Pradesh).

Innovative designs

Innovations hold the key. And Varanasi takes the lead in this case, with 19 samples. It is an extra weft of real gold and silver zari (which makes it light-weight), or silver zari or katan and zari that make a difference to the Banarasi sarees. The evergreen Kanchipuram collection has some 13 samples; the Raigarh centre has done experimentations on tussar silk, by using an extra weft and warp of spun tussar in many samples, and traditional motifs used on the pallu. The Patolas, Jamdanis and Maheswaris are there, along with fabric from the North East (especially eri spun silk fabric from Guwahati).

The furnishing samples are equally appealing on account of the eye-catching patterns and designs. Kerala makes its presence with samples from the Kannur centre (for instance, with shawls made in cotton-silk combination and home furnishings).

A sale, better display and promotion would've tremendously helped, we thought. “We know, since last time we had conducted a sale. But being a government organisation, we've our limitations,” an official says.

The exhibition concludes on January 8. Timing: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.


MetroplusJune 28, 2012