Of saris in a palette and weaves that capture the Deepavali spirit
The saris create a riot of colours, matching the festive Deepavali spirit. Tangerine, ultramarine blue, indigo, mehndi green, black, beige, red, maroon and pink saris, woven with distinctive Bengali weave and motif, provide a dazzling spread.
Ancient weaves provide the canvas, but the design language is a mix of the traditional, the innovative and very often, the contemporary, featuring a palette covering everything from the psychedelic to the mellow.
Welcome to Rang Mahal, a conglomeration of weavers from the Nadia district of West Bengal.
The saris on offer include Tangail ‘naksha’ bordered ones, Jalchuri, Jamdani and embossed Balucharis.
The vegetable-dyed exclusive Dhakai Jamdanis in lovely organic oranges, yellows and off-whites with pallus in Jamdani motifs are created by artisans using wooden needles on the handloom with three shuttlecock paddles.
Look for stripes and ‘butties’ on mellow to jewel colours. Jamdani is one of the last intricately sophisticated handloom weaving treasures still being practised. Look out for jute in organic silk or woven with banana and bamboo fibre.
The Rang Mahal collection presents 101 new designs based on the old craft language for Tangail and Baluchari saris. Environmentally sensitive and attractive Bengal cotton fabrics are also part of the collection. Hand-blocked and hand-embroidered Kota saris too are on offer.
(The exhibition is on till November 12 at Chettiar Hall, TTK Road, Alwarpet)