Bundles of neatly stacked fabrics in various hues will greet you at the Dastkar Andhra Marketing Association's (DAMA) annual sale and exhibition of Andhra handlooms. "This year, the focus is on showcasing a variety of kalamkari prints. We have stocked more sarees in the traditional Andhra print as well," says Durga Venkataswamy, member of the marketing team at DAMA.
Sarees, dupattas and yardage will be on sale at the exhibition
The three styles of Kalamkari -- Kalahasti, Golconda and Machilipatnam -- have evolved over the years based on the ever-changing fashion trends and demands of customers. So, it has led to innovations where the original Kalamkari work that depicted scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata is now available in floral and abstract patterns as well. "The aim of the exhibition is to promote handicrafts from Andhra Pradesh.
Splurge on Kalamkari sarees
The weavers have excellent craftsmanship and their products are authentic. We want to provide a platform for them to showcase their work and for the customers to come and purchase authentic products at a reasonable price," says Venkataswamy.
The fabrics displayed at the exhibition are dyed with eco-friendly vegetable dyes and azo-free chemical dyes. Here are the best buys from the exhibition:
Nine yards of happiness
Stock up for the summer with sarees made from light fabrics. There are plain cotton sarees with borders which are priced between Rs 700 and Rs 1,000. The sarees printed with natural dyes are priced between Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,700 depending upon the intricacy of the print whereas the kalamkari sarees are priced at Rs 2,000 for the Khadi version and Rs 1,100 for the handloom variety.
An exclusive range of Zari sarees are put on display. The fabrics are soft and easy to wear all day long. Teamed up with accessories the Kalamkari sarees can be apt for a formal evening or a social function as well. The handloom sarees have the right bit of shine on the borders and the pallu which balances out with the plain coloured body.
Mix 'n' match dupattas
Handloom dupattas are available in a variety of colours and are reasonably priced between Rs 200 to Rs 400. You can team a coloured dupatta with a plain black, white, beige or grey kurta. The dupattas also have a one-inch border which adds an element of glamour required to spark up plain outfits. They also have Kalamkari dupattas which can be used as a multipurpose piece. Team it up with a basic T-shirt and skirts or demins or even with a kurta to work wonders.
Shape shifting yardage
If your inner designer is inspired by the wonderful sarees and dupattas around but you are not in the mood to dress up in a nine yarder, the yardage is there for your rescue. Swindles of fun fabric is piled up for you to choose and tailor for your ensemble. The yardage can then be used to stitch a Kalamkari dress, skirt or even a pair of funky pants. Let your imagination go fashionably wild and feel free to experiment.
Till February 5, 10.30 am to 8 pm
At Tilak Smarak Mandir, Sadashiv Peth.