Weave a Paithani spell

Oct 15, 2011, 09:31 IST | Dhara Vora
Now in its 22nd year, the New Wave Paithani sari exhibition gives Mumbai's sari lovers 250 options of this traditional sari weave to choose from

While South India can boast of its Kanjeevarams, the North has Benarasi silks, and Maharashtra has its Paithani weaves. Apart from splurging on gold, Indian women tend to have a weakness for exquisite sari weaves and take special care, particularly with heirloom weaves. While the cost and time involved in creating these saris is huge, the craftspeople behind these continue to live in  poverty.

A close view of New Wave's most expensive weave, priced at Rs 2,60,000

Late Saroj Dhananjay -- promoter of the Paithani weave, worked hard to change this situation. "Paithanis are worn by Maharashtrian women at various family occasions, especially  for religious ceremonies. For one such occasion, Sarojji tried to buy a sari but was surprised and dejected that she couldn't find the traditional sari of our state in our city," shares Sannidha Bhide, the present organiser of New Wave Paithani.

Being a Maharashtrian, Dhananjay knew the region where these saris were made and decided to head to Yeola and Paithan. Looking at the sad state of the weavers, she provided them with a platform in Mumbai. Owing to the high cost of the sari, these weavers did not find a market for them and hence did not produce them too. Thus, New Wave Paithani was started 21 years ago.

Now in its 22nd year, the exhibition has an impressive display of 250 different pieces of Paithanis. "A simple Paithani takes around fifteen days to be made while an elaborate one can take as long as a year and a half. That tends to increases its cost," informs Bhide. This range of saris can be seen at New Wave where they have Paithanis starting from Rs 6,000 and go all the way up to Rs 2,60,000. Paithanis are also heirloom saris as they are handed down from one generation to the next owing to their cost and intricate beauty.

Look out for some of its popular and familiar motifs including the Narali Kaat (coconut/Marathi), Mor (peacock) pattern, Parinda (dove) pattern, Asawalli (floral designs) and Tota (parrot). Apart from Paithanis one can also shop for Benarasi silk saris, Madhya Pradesh Handloom Saris, Irkal (a region in Karnataka) saris, South silks and cotton saris, Paithani dress material, jewellery and products from Adhar, an association that works for special

Till October 16
At Ravindra Natya Mandir, Prabhadevi
From 11am to 6 pm

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