TAMIL NADU

This fair's Gujarati

SPICE OF LIFE: Variety makes choice difficult at the Gujarat Emporium exhibition inaugurated at Sankara Hall in Alwarpet on Wednesday. — PHOTO: S. THANTHONI

SPICE OF LIFE: Variety makes choice difficult at the Gujarat Emporium exhibition inaugurated at Sankara Hall in Alwarpet on Wednesday. — PHOTO: S. THANTHONI  

Crafts exhibition runs till October 10

Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: It is an exhibition of artefacts and handicrafts from Gujarat, but the most attractive item comes from Sambhalpur in Orissa.

A Sambhalpuri sari takes 10 days to weave. Every thread is tied and dyed and then woven into the sari. Entire families, including women and children, are involved in making of a sari. But for all the effort, the sari is priced affordably at Rs. 1,400. "Foreigners gave it the name `ikat' and it has stuck," says the sales assistant. "If we were to price our saris higher because of the amount of work that goes into them, we will never be able to sell them."

At the next stall at the exhibition inaugurated on Wednesday at Sankara Hall in Alwarpet, block-printed `ikat' designs in cotton are sold for Rs. 300 upwards.

The Gujarat State Handloom and Industrial Co-operative Federation, established in 1964, documents handicrafts and trains craftspersons to upgrade their skills. Marketing and support for them are provided through a chain of emporia across the country. White metal incense stick holder, lamps with images of Lakshmi and Ganesha, decorative `minakari' prayer plates with lamp, `kumkum' box and cups for sandal paste attract customers.

Silk-edged bamboo mattresses with `zari' work have come from Bangalore. Trendy, handcrafted mobile phone covers in bamboo and cloth, buttons and trinkets embellished with shells and beads, metal showpieces and wood holders are on sale.

Then of course there are imaginative flavours to choose from to freshen your breath: from milk and kesar-cardamom supari to rose-flavoured date pieces and sugar-coated mango and `amla' pieces.

The exhibition, on till October 10, offers 20 per cent discount on handlooms and 10 per cent on handicrafts.

Recommended for you