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The Benarasi touch

Thursday, October 11, 2018

An exhibition showcasing authentic Benarasi textiles opens in the city today

Even with the influx of designer wear, sarees have remained irreplaceable. When one speaks of Indian sarees, Benarasi, Kanjeevaram, and Paithani have the longest history and tradition. However, there are certain notions about Benarasi sarees that western India might have. Pause for a Cause, in an exhibition organised by Secure Giving Events, is showcasing true and authentic Benarasi textiles and supporting the art of hand-crafted textile. Tasneem Mehta, managing trustee, Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, Dr. Saryu Doshi, founder-director, National Gallery of Modern Art and Sangita Kathiwada of Melange are among the supporters of Benaras Kash and Pause for a Cause. They will be inaugurating the event today, October 11.

Madhu Vijh Sood, Director, Secure Giving and the visionary behind Benaras Kash, shared her insights and vision behind this initiative.

Conceptualisation of Benaras Kash Benaras Kash is a specialised show and this is our second exhibition after the one in Delhi last year. The idea is to highlight the true and authentic range of Benarasi textiles. The usual image of Benarasi textiles or sarees is that they are in silk and with very heavy work. It is still unknown that the textile industry in Benaras was among the first to use cotton. This exhibition will feature finely woven brocades, mashrus, rangkats, suti banarasi, ganga jamuna and more. Typical Benarasi motifs abound – pattidars, jaals, konia, butidaar – adorning the saris, stoles, dupattas and garments with their grace and style. We will have the weavers as well as the designers at the exhibition. The idea is also to present fabrics and attire that is not commonly associated with Benarasi textile, such as ghararas and lehengas.

How to differentiate between handloom and powerloom Unfortunately, today we have many places which sell powerloom products as handloom, including some of the biggest designer houses. The easiest way to differentiate is the flow of the fabric. The softer the flow and fall, the more authentic the fabric it is. Handloom is never stiff or stretched; this is a hallmark of a perfect handloom product. Powerloom products have their motifs stretched, due to the machine work.

The current scenario and demand for Indian fabrics A few years ago, I was very worried about the Indian textiles and its sustenance. However, there is a sudden change among youngsters and thus in some way, it is revived. The younger generation is willing to buy both the less exorbitantly priced sarees as well as those that are beautifully handcrafted, but more expensive. Our textile and fabric is so varied and offers many options. At Benaras Kash, we have not permitted anything that is not Indian.

Women wearing sarees the best according to her: There are many in India. I personally like Shobha De, Vidya Balan and Jaya Bachchan.

PAUSE for a CAUSE’s Benaras Kash  

Where Coomarswamy Hall, CSMVS

When October 11 and 12, 11.00 to 7.30pm

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