DELHI fabric designer, Kushma Ram, is coming to Canberra this weekend with a collection of hand woven sarees that capture the traditions of various weaving communities of India.
She has been working with weavers and embroiderers in different regions of India designing sarees and re-creating the traditional ones using centuries-old handloom traditions and techniques.
This exhibition will have a special focus on Chanderi sarees, named after the small town Madhya Pradesh where weaving is the only source of income for some 3500
Woven from fine cotton and silk, the Chanderi saree is described as “a delicate gossamer fabric that epitomizes elegance and grace”.
Chanderi sarees can be of pure cotton, pure silk or a combination of cotton and silk. Traditional motifs of coin, flowers, peacock and geometric designs are woven as additional weft during the weaving process.
It can take over a year to craft a good Chanderi saree. The more complex ‘jaal jungla’ is a good example of this. Some of the motifs and borders are woven through memories passed on within the weaving families.
According to Ms Ram, the Chanderi saree has an organic texture that drapes and makes the wearer feel graceful. It is an essential part of the bridal trousseau.’
Kay Collections exhibitions have become known for showcasing sarees that are original in design and unique in colour. For those with the ‘dhoopchhaon’ effect, a careful selection of dyes for the colours of the warp and the weft yarns are crucial.
The exhibition will also feature sarees that have previously been awarded national recognition by the President of India. Besides Chanderi sarees, the exhibition will also have other handwoven sarees such as Banarasi silks and cottons.
The Charm of Chanderi, Mantra on Northbourne 84 Northbourne Avenue, Civic Sept 18 – 19 (Fri & Sat) 10am – 7pm. Free event. Some of the sarees are for sale.