The Maheshwari weaving tradition goes back a 1000 years, so the sari you see and buy at a Rehwa exhibition is six yards of beautiful history that needs your help to keep it going
A pearl grey sari with a pink border hangs against the wall at Whispering Stones. It feels weightless and just looking it on a hot sweltering day, is deliciously cooling. But then, this is nothing new. Rehwa Maheshwaris are known to have that effect.
The Dhoop Chaon exhibition offers an amazing colour palette. From cool lime, mint greens and powder blues to striking saffron and purple, the saris are understated, yet so pretty.
What is different this time is that there are printed Maheshwaris as well. Many of them are the patli pallu kinds where the pleats portion of the sari comes in pleasing prints.
The borders are not overpowering. They range from a moderately wide border to the elegant narrow ones. Some of the saris have zari running throughout. This gives them an unexpected glimmer when they catch the light.
Stripes, checks, florals and bootis abound. They are inspired by the trellis work and domes and motifs from the royal forts of Maheshwar.
The saris range anything upwards of Rs 3,500. There are salwar and kurta materials too along with dupattas. They are all priced differently and one can mix and match.
The Rehwa exhibition is on at Whispering Stones today and tomorrow between 10 a.m and 7 p.m.
Credit cards are accepted. For details call 98658-53199/0422-2934151.
A piece of history
The Maheshwari weaving tradition goes back more than a 1000 years. It prospered under the patronage of Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar.
But with Independence, the tradition of Maheshwari weaving dwindled down the years and would have died out altogether but for the setting up of the NGO Rehwa in 1979.
Rehwa’s aim is three fold
Sustain the hand weaving tradition of Maheshwar by contemporarising it
Empower women weavers by providing them employment and an income
Provide housing, healthcare and education to weaver’s families