Technology now was so advanced that the material masquerading as pure silk in commercial stores was sold for exorbitant rates when it was largely a blend of other substances.

The Gujarat Handicrafts exhibition, organised by the Gujarat Emporium and sponsored by the government of Gujarat, aims to present a market to the craftsmen directly without the involvement of middlemen. Such exhibitions present an opportunity to traditional weavers and artisans to present their rich ware of entirely authentic items, said manager of the emporium K. Arunachalam.

Pointing to a cloth material of silk brought from Bhagalpur, Bihar, Mr. Arunachalam affirmed that the material was completely unadulterated. “Technology now was so advanced that the material masquerading as pure silk in commercial stores was sold for exorbitant rates when it was largely a blend of other substances,” he said, adding that even for experts in the field, it was growing increasingly difficult to discern the quality of cloth.

Intricate work

The ongoing exhibition at Jawahar Balbhavan, which was inaugurated on August 10, has been a big draw, with visitors drawn to intricate hand-made work that adorn much of the clothing exhibits. From block, batik, and vegetable prints to “eternal designs” such as bandhini, phulkari, and chikan embroidery, as labelled by the manager, these products are untainted by chemicals and showcase the rich culture of their respective States, including Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, among others.

“Weavers are now adapting to the times with many of their designs adhering to modern styles,” said Mr. Arunachalam drawing attention to a counter that had on display outfits tailored from traditional cloth but styled fashionably.

The jewellery section is also a crowd-puller with many drawn to the multi-coloured stones and beads laid out and strung up in a couple of booths.

Amit, from Jaipur, explained that many of the stones such as Tiger Eye, Garnet, Pink and Green Jade were brought from different locations to Rajasthan where they were fashioned into jewellery. He added that the Meenakari items, with its bold colours and glossy finish, have proved popular.

Wood products

Wood items, inlaid with brass, serving as coasters, chapatti containers, agarbatti holders, and jewellery boxes, brought from Sarangpur, UP, are among the exhibits.

Mr. Arunachalam said there was great deal of work behind each item, even the seemingly simple plain kurta.

The exhibition will be on till September 2, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.