WeaverStory, an organisation dedicated to promoting Indian handlooms and handcrafted products from skilled artisans across India, recently inaugurated a series of events called CraftTales to showcase the incredible craftsmanship of Indian weavers. Following the inauguration on 29th March, the exhibition will stay live for 20 days, and this time, the focus is on Chanderi, a traditionally ethnic fabric woven using cotton and silk yarn, and characterised by its lightweight and luxurious appearance and subtle sheer.
Smt Naseem Bano, a weaver from the town in Madhya Pradesh after which the fabric is named, Chanderi, presented an array of gorgeous sarees, dupattas, suits, and more, in a variety of dynamic colours and designs. Smt Bano belongs to a generational family of weavers, having taught weaving to her sons and daughters-in-law, and now teaches young girls from her community. In smaller towns and communities, women are rarely encouraged to pursue entrepreneurship. As such, Smt Bano was also presented with the Kala Nishth award and an honorarium for her commitment to the craft, and invaluable contribution towards empowering the women of her community.
The Chief Guest for the evening was Smt Satwant Atwal, Joint Secretary NATGRID, ADGP Police, and the first Lady IPS officer from Himachal Pradesh, and Sharon Lowen, a renowned Odissi dancer, taught by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, since 1975. There was also a Kathputli presentation by Shri Bhagwan Das, a senior folk artist who has also performed at the White House for ex-US President Barack Obama.
Co-founder of WeaverStory, Nishant Malhotra, said, “Craftales offers a unique opportunity to both Indian traditional weavers and prospective customers to interact, helping shine a spotlight on several kinds of rich and extravagant Indian craftsmanship. This is a celebration of generational ways of life, as well, as evident from the incredible work done by Smt Naseem Bano. We at WeaverStory hope to continue working to support India’s weavers, and empower the community, just like her.”
The evening promises to be a mix of experiences, presenting ample opportunity to browse through or purchase some of the finest fabric creations from India’s weavers. With artisans and weavers having been hit badly because of the pandemic, WeaverStory works to support them through a specialised online marketplace for their products at reasonable prices, so that customers can buy different products from across India and abroad as well. Through this, it works to help the weavers sell their products to sustain themselves during these difficult times.