Hands of India, an expo, has now brought to Chennai the varied treasures. Beautiful garments, made by artisans across the country, are on display and all the varieties are unique in its own way.

104-year-old, black-coloured chanderi saris are on display and it has been revived now using a technique ‘do-naali’. Heavy-to-wear Mekala’ chadors are now woven with cotton threads, which suits Chennai weather. Highly expensive Meenakari, a form of ‘aari’ work done with zari threads, adds to the customers’ delight. Visitors could have a sneak peek in to hand-embroidered kurtis, pulkari, chaikanakari, kantha, sujani, aari, sozni, hand-painted saris, western-wear, home furnishings and dhabla from Gujarat. The expo was started in 2005 by two sisters – Ramya and Malyada – from Uttar Pradesh. Right from their first expo in 2010, they introduce a new form of embroidery every year. Now, it is ‘phool-patti’, an appliqué from Aligarh, UP, done by using tissue, instead of organdy. The sale began on December 5 ends on December 9.

Hands of India is all about sourcing beautiful garments worked on by artisans spread across the length and breadth of the country. It This was started in 2005 by two sisters who grew up in Vrindavan , Uttar Pradesh. They have now brought to Chennai their treasures that are priceless and varied in nature.

Saris, salwars, blouses , jackets, shirts, blouse pieces are on display .The collection promises to entice the customer in more ways than one. Each piece is unique in its own way and the colour combinations are pleasing and bright to suit individual tastes. Speaking to Malyada who is very enthusiastic and willing to go into how it all started says that ‘Artisans are initially identified and trained , provided with all the necessary raw materials after which they start work on the product’. ‘With the export market opening up sourcing yarn for the cotton to be hand spun has been tough indeed’ she says. Ramya, who makes up the sister duo was with the IAF and Malyada was with the IT sector before they decided to put their knowledge about the rich heritage of India to use. They used to be in charge of the ‘clothes room ‘ at the temple and handled woven wonders which were more than a century old.

Each year , from their very first exhibiton in 2010, they introduce a new form of embroidery . This year it is the ‘ phool –patti’, this kind of appliqué is done in Aligarh , UP. They have done it for the first time using tissue instead of organdy. This form lends a festive look to the apparel retaining its subtlity. Chanderi sarees are on display a spectacular black piece , which is a 104 year old piece, has been revived used a complex technique’ do- naali’. Adding to the customer delight are the ‘Mekala’ chadors from Assam which are originally woven with acrylic threads , making them heavy to wear everyday. A new technique has been used to make cotton chadors which are are more viable option for Chennai

Meenakari which is a form of ‘ aari’ work done with zari threads instead of zari itself which is becoming highly expensive, adds a touch of class to the clothes sale. Other than this there are mulberry silk dupattas, which are hand painted before being dyed. Kota sarees with fine block prints have been bought to the limelight after having brought to life some very old block prints.

A sneak peek in what to expect : hand embroidered kurtis, pulkari, chaikanakari, kantha, sujani, aari, sozni, hand painted sarees, western wear , home furnishings, dhabla from Gujarat.

They have a changing and spot alteration which will make shopping a happy and satisfying experience. The sale which began on Dec 5 ends today.

Keywords: Hands of India

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