Chandigarh, Feb. 12 – 25th Surajkund Crafts Mela showcased some of the most exquisite handlooms with intricate designs and bewitching colours. Hand made fabrics soaked in flamboyant and effervescent colours made an exotic display for the visitors of the Mela. Theme State Andhra Pradesh presented an impressive display of many such internationally acclaimed handlooms. Their distinct arts made by skilful craftspersons shaped up some elaborately designed fabrics which adorned the feminity of women who visited the Mela. These heavily designed fabrics were an unusual presentation of threads which were done painstakingly by the traditional craftspersons. They were, interestingly, not a stock reprint with prosaic mundane themes but hand made crafts where each design was crafted with studied details. The popularity of the Mela could be gauged by the rising footfall this weekend which has surpassed every number this year.
One such distinctive handloom of Andhra Pradesh was the Mangalagiri saris. Mangalagiri is a town of Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. Heavy zari borders with simple mono-striped pallu of solid or striped zari threads form the unique characteristics of these saris. The field colours are often very vibrant shot weaves or small checks that are weaved in perfect harmony with the rich zari. The cloth is super finely woven with a crisp finish to add to the glitter of each sari. Double reeds, proper sizing and lower speed of weaving make the handloom cloth stronger than similar mill-made cloth. Every piece of the fabric is unique and different from the other since bits of yarn made into warp are woven inch by inch with skilled strokes,
Work Hut no. 635 of Shri Udatha Dhanlakshmi displayed some of the most exclusive display of Mangalagiri saris and dress materials. He stated that the fabric was pure cotton or silk and the zari was weaved in 100*100 counts. A National Award winner, he has also exported these saris and exclusively uses natural colours which were made by him. Work hut no. 563 of Hari Babu also displayed these exquisitely designed zari saris which were an instant hit among the visitors. He commented that all the colours used were anti allergic and each design was skillfully crafted with counted number of strokes. He also added that he was more than happy to be a part of Surajkund Crafts Mela as it gave him an opportunity to innovate his art so as to suit the modern sensibilities. Work huts 503 and 559 also displayed many of such hand made saris.
Gadwal saris of Andhra Pradesh are famous for their fascinating cotton field with heavy silk border and pallu. There is complicated joinery involved which gives the silk/cotton sari its charm and is a mark of hand woven authenticity. The traditional technique of weaving the Gadwal saris involves, an interlocked-woof art, known as Kupadam, therefore, the Gadwal saris are locally known as Kudapam sari. The fabric of the silk borders is composed of tussar or mulberry silk. The cotton-body these days are embellished often with silk checks. This fabulous mix of silk and cotton makes for the recent trend of sico saris which are 50% cotton and 50% silk.
Work Hut no. 521 displayed extensively hand woven Gadwal saris. He stated that the entire family was involved in making these dress materials and saris and was the only source of livelihood for them. He was excited to display his handlooms for the Mela and added that more such endeavours should take place in the country. Work Hut no. 504 also displayed some of these famous Gadwal saris. He commented that the real Zari, gold and silver threads, which were interleaved into the base-material to give an ornate look, was exclusively brought from Surat. His stall was a hot favourite among the visitors and one could see it packed with customers throughout the day.
The winners of lucky draw held on 11th February (Afternoon) were Coupon No. 158215 which won the first prize, second prize was won by Coupon No. 182727 and third prize was won by Coupon No. 180445. The results of lucky draw held on 11th February (Evening) were: Coupon No. 191016 won the first prize; second prize was won by Coupon No. 191302 and third prize was won by Coupon No. 013457.