'Silk India 2014’ is an exhibition-cum-sale organised by Hastashilpi Artisans and Weavers Welfare Association at Fortune Pandyan Hotel.

In a unique initiative, weavers from across the country are showcasing silk sarees and various other silk products at the ‘Silk India 2014’ exhibition-cum-sale organised by Hastashilpi Artisans and Weavers Welfare Association at Fortune Pandyan Hotel.

Speaking about the expo, T. Abhinand, managing director of Hastashilpi Welfare Association, said that they were giving weavers from different States opportunities to participate in exhibitions and directly engage with consumers to sell their products.

“This way, the weavers are able to interact with customers and meet retailers and merchants for bulk orders. They are also able to offer products of good quality at competitive prices since there are no middlemen involved,” he noted.

Most of the weavers who had set up stalls at the expo ran units in their villages which supported more than 200 weavers and their families. “As a self-sufficient unit, we are involved in all the processes from the start which involve collecting silk from worms in the forest or in farms and preparing the thread,” said B. Kedarnath from Bhagalpur, who runs Bharath Handlooms.

Bipul Saha, a weaver from West Bengal who manages Shanthinikethan sarees, said that his weaving unit had nearly 200 looms and that most of the ‘Kanta’ work on the sarees he sold were done by hand. “Some of these sarees take anywhere between eight months to one year to complete because of the intricate embroidery done by hand,” he explained.

With the market for silk sarees and dress materials expanding abroad, D. Rajkumar, a weaver from Chhattisgarh, said that Organic Tussar variety was the most popular.

“While the variety lends itself to grand designs and intricate work, it is extremely lightweight which makes it popular and easy to transport,” he pointed out.

The organisers said the expo has on display a variety of silk sarees, scarves, shawls, stoles, salwar materials and silk bedcovers and furnishings. The sale will be on till February 23 and will be open from 10.30 a.m. to 8.30 p.m., they added.

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