Atoot Dor exhibition: Small step to revive weaves of Banaras

By A.Kameshwari

New Delhi, Feb 26 (ANI): Weaves of Banaras are a heritage of India that all of us should be very proud of, but also concerned because with the world’s progress, weaves are moving towards their end.

At some point of time, there were nearly one lakh weavers, but now they have been reduced to thirty thousand or even less in numbers, and the sad part is that none of them has the samples to practice the rich past of this weave.

Last year, Amazon India Fashion Week Spring Summer 2016 saw conscious attempt by various designers to work on the revival of the weaves of Banaras. They even showcased the versatility of the fabric and weave.

And this year, an exhibition curated by Abeer Gupta, Suchitra Balasubramanyam and Dr. Anamika Pathak, at national museum in collaboration with India Foundation for the Arts, Bangalore, has displayed over hundreds of weaves of Banaras under six sections including artifacts from the private collections.

“It is one of the oldest weaving traditions followed in India. Though such kind of weaving no longer exists in other areas where it was followed, Banaras in India is a repository for it. I think it is the most sophisticated fabric ever created. For a designer, it is indeed irreplaceable. In the exhibition, people will see two of my works, one of which is a modern interpretation of Banaras weave while the other is a revival piece, revived from a hundred and twenty year old saree,” said Ritu Kumar, Fashion designer to ANI.

Joyoti Roy, Outreach Consultant, National Museum, said that although this exhibition was a small step but added that it was an important one for the revival of the textile.

“There are large numbers of people working in revival of the textiles in Banaras. This is a very small initiative but also an important one because here we look at starting a conversation about the weavers and their textiles. So, I would say it is a beginning towards the revival of the textile and a focus on the efforts of the weavers who are weaving beauty into the textile,” said Joyoti.

The highlight of the exhibition was an exclusive range of products on display by ace designer Mrs. Ritu Kumar, which included traditional pink brocade sari, choli with gold churidars and lehanga – choli set with brocade work by ‘Banarasi Weaves’ that left the fashion connoisseurs spellbound.

In the time when fashion world is witnessing a change every day, the consciousness and awareness of designers along with their collaboration with master weavers has led to the revival of such disappearing textiles and weaves by adorning a contemporary look to it.

The exhibition, which seems to be a small step towards educating the onlookers more about the weaves of Banaras and a way to save the dying art, was inaugurated on 25th of February.

It will go on till 25th of April. (ANI)

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