Rang Mahal, a forum of weavers from Nadia district of West Bengal, has come back to Chennai. The key feature of the 14th edition of its fair of hand-woven saris and dress materials is ‘Going Organic.’ Cotton Kapas is spun with fibres of banana plants and bamboo shoots and the dyes are extracts of fruits, flowers, leaves, and vegetables such as pomegranate, jamun, neem fruits and leaves, basil leaves, turmeric, marigold flowers, mangoes and others.

“We use seasonal fruits and vegetables and this helps in pricing our merchandise at an affordable range. Moreover, organic means of weaving is environment-friendly,” says Sharmistha Das Biswas, exhibition coordinator of the forum.

As many as 5,000 pieces are on display. The collection includes Tangail Nakshi, Jalchuri, Baluchari cotton, Dhakai Jamdani, Dhakai Butadar, Shanthi Niketan, embossed cotton, kota cotton, embroidered cotton, and light-weight cotton. Fabric is available in various bright colours such as scarlet-red, crimson-red, grass-green, bottle-green, sea-blue, and the patterns are longitudinal and vertical stripes, floral, and fauna. Dhaka Bhuta saris are priced at Rs. 640; Tangail Nakshi saris range from Rs. 700 to 1,100; Jamdani saris from Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 5,000; multi-coloured saris range from Rs.1,000 to Rs. 1,200; and jute silk range from Rs. 2,800 to Rs. 8,000. Dress materials with ethnic patterns in bold and earthy colours are also on sale. Plain salwar suits with bright colours are on display.

The collection caters to marriage, festival, formal and casual requirements.

Every year, Rang Mahal organises its exhibition during Onam in Kochi, Dasara in Mumbai, Ugadi in Hyderabad and Deepavali in Chennai. The exhibition-cum-sale is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. including Sundays.

The fair is on till November 11 at Chettiar Hall, Old No: 165, New No: 74, T.T.K. Road, Alwarpet.

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