On the second day of their informal summit at Mamallapuram on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented President Xi Jinping a gold-and-red silk shawl bearing his image.
Watching the event on television in Sirumugai in Coimbatore were M. Dharmaraj and his fellow weavers, Shanmugasundaram and Manoj, of the Sri Ramalinga Sowdambigai Weavers’ Cooperative Society.
The team had designed and woven the special portrait shawl in less than a month. Weighing nearly 550 grams, the silk shawl is 90 inches long and 48 inches wide. The image of the Chinese leader in the centre is flanked by floral designs.
On the palette
Mr. Dharmaraj, who designed the shawl, said, “We chose the colours based on China’s [national] flag.”
Speaking to The Hindu on the telephone, he said the order for the special shawl was placed by the Director of Handlooms and Textiles (DH). The team worked to produce two identical shawls — one for Mr Xi and the other for display at the cooperative society.
The first piece was sent to the DH office on October 7, he said. “We finished the second one on Friday morning,” he said.
Weavers of the cooperative society had earlier produced similar “portrait shawls” of Mr. Modi and former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, Mr. Dharmaraj said.
Watching the presentation on television, Mr. Dharmaraj said he could not attend the event due to stringent security arrangements.
“At least our shawl went there,” he signed off.