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  • Revival of Paithani Saree, through the book ‘Jartari Paithani’ unveiled at 30th edition of New Wave Paithani Festival

    Published on October 12, 2019

    Mumbai: The New Wave Paithani Festival, an annual event that has been celebrating the colourful tradition of the Paithani sari for the past 30 years is back this year from 9th to 13th Oct 2019 at Ravindra Natya Mandir, Prabhadevi.  For close to three decades now, the festival has been creating awareness of the hard work that goes into the making of an authentic Paithani sari, which derives its name from the town of yeola, near Nashik. The highlight this year was a launch of an informative book titled “Jartari Paithani”, co-written by Sannidha Bhide, Festival Director, New Wave Paithani and Sandeep Kokane, a reputed weaver from Yeola having his roots in weaving a Paithani Saree since generations. The book was unveiled today in the presence of author, columnist and social entrepreneur Nisha Jamvwal alongwith Marathi filmmaker Kiran Shantaram.

    Way back in year 1989 the ‘New Wave Paithani’ was founded by Late. Mrs. Saroj Dhananjay, a visionary who envisioned to bring a change by hosting an Exhibition on annual basis in Mumbai to create a clean direct market for “Paithani Sarees” for weavers in Yeola. Since then, the show has emerged from just being an exhibition to a festival of different hues, colours, intricate work and designs. Today, this annual event is a huge festival of 5 days where thousands throng to have a glimpse of these traditional weaves in Mumbai.

    Traditional weaves of India are endangered, the book “Jartari Paithani” shows real situation of weavers, I think it’s most important to get together and promote such arts. This exhibition promoting revival of Paithani Saree is the need of the hour to get masses back to roots, our culture and heritage. Influencers should come forward and appeal people to buy real paithani directly from the weaver and not fall prey to machine-made or fake products”, shared author, columnist and social entrepreneur Nisha Jamvwal at the book launch of ‘Jartari Paithani’.

    “My father V Shantaram has always shown the rich aura of a Paithani Saree in yesteryear movies. People in Mumbai get to see a real paithani only at this annuual fair and I must say every year the trends are changing new designs are coming across which shows that the Saree is much in demand. The festival in a humble way has been popularizing and sustaining the traditional weave since last 30years and I am happy that the book will add to the literature on Paithani saree and it’s evolution”, shared noted Marathi filmmaker Kiran Shantaram who has also rendered the foreword to the book.

    “An authentic intricate handmade Paithani sari could be bought for Rs 8,000 to Rs 5, 00,000 plus. Fakes, machine-made but looking similar can be had for Rs 5,000 onwards. Today, on an average a Paithani sari is made of 200 to 350 gm of zari, 700 gm of silk and weighs between

    800 and 900 gm. The silk yarn is woven in such a way that the sari gives the kaleidoscope effects as it catches the light. It usually takes a master weaver an entire day to weave just an inch of this material and sometimes a single Saree is completed after a year-and-half! However, it’s seen in the recent past, though it’s said the demand for Paithani Saree has gone up, the life of local artisans, who actually weave the Saree putting in a lot of effort, isn’t flourishing. This is because traders bring machine-made products from other states and sell as products from Yeola, thus ruining the original art of traditional weavers from Yeola”, shared  Sannidha Bhide on throwing light on the informative book “Jartari Paithani”, she has been compiling since last 2 years to educate the masses and create awareness on preserving the true essence of a Paithani Saree. Many insights about the evolution of a Paithani Saree, life of a weaver family, vintage paithanis and the gold intricacy to latest designs, to how to identify a real, handmade paithani from a machine-made, substandard paithani will be unveiled through the book, co-authored by Kokane, a noted weaver whose family have been into making of Paithani sarees since last century. The festival this year also debuted the ‘Cotton Paithani’ designs for the first time.

    Bollywood weddings, craze amongst foreign diplomats and the love of Indian designers on the ramp walk has made the weavers experiment with trendy hues and patterns.  Earlier one could find traditional colours like ochre, red, lavender, violet, purple, magenta, peacock blue and parrot green but lately some have experimented with off-white, pearl pink, Grey’s, pastels and black, too. The saris are known for their intricate and well-laid-out embroidery with liberal use of motifs which have local names such as bangdi-mor (peacock in ring), popat-maina (parrot-mynah), huma-parinda (pheasant), tara (star), anarvel (pomegranate creeper flower), pankha (fan), rui-phool (cotton bud), kalaspakli (petal), chandrakor (moon), narli (coconut) and Ajanta lotus.

    Overall the exhibition houses more than 250 novel, exclusive traditional and designer Paithani Sarees. These hi-end pure silk Paithani Sarees are embroidered with threads of pure Gold and Silver if needed customized.

    “Artisans work all throughout the year on the collection which houses intricate designs, novel works, pastel colours& patterns, unique motifs like Lotus, Matka, Geometry print by going beyond the peacock design & parrot design. Creating a Paithani saree not only requires skilled labour but also the expertise of artisans with in-depth knowledge of fabrics, threads and dyes. The time taken to weave a Paithani can range from two months to 20 months depending on the intricate designs on the pallu and the border. It can cost between ₹60,000 and ₹5 lakh”, shared Kokane.

    The five-day New Wave Paithani Festival will see around 25 exhibitors who will be offering different varieties of Jewellery, Dress Material, Party Gowns, Kurties, Mirror Work articles, Jaipuri Bedsheets and different Handloom Sarees like Real Kanjivaram, Udisa, Dhaka, kantha, Karnataki Kashida, Kolkata, Lakhanavi, Bhagalpuri, Banarasi, South Silk, Chanderi, and Maheshwari Sarees. One of the main highlights of the paithani festival were authentic Kashmiri carpets with intricate weaves and designs. There are also 2 stalls for Ngo’s like Aadhar, which is working with PWD’s and their parents to provide them with a better

     life. This year the festival  also haa the celebrated Mirgnayanee Emporium, of MP government which housed traditional Maheshwari, Chanderi sarees from the state.