Exhibition / SAREE 2009

Blue, yellow, red, made of silk, cashmere, cotton or wool… more than thousands of saris from every colour and every material were lying on craftsmen’s stalls. From the 8th to the 10th of October the Delhi Crafts Council honoured the traditional Indian dress. “Saris need to be boosted because the new generation don’t wear them anymore,” says Shivani Modi, member of the executive committee of the Crafts Council of India.


From West Bengal to Tamil-Nadu, craftsmen from all over India are showcasing and selling their work. “Each state has its own style and patterns,” remains Shivani. Traditional silk saris from Varanasi and eco-friendly ones from the jungle, here old savoir-faire meets new processes. This centuries old traditional craft is compatible to modern concerns, such as environmental issues. Sneetal Larhia has been in the business of eco-friendly saris for five years. A friend of his elaborates plants-based dye. So, the yellow is made with sunflower petals; the dark red with onionskins; the red with pomegranate; etc…



For professionals, the issue at stake in such exhibitions is to acquire notoriety. “In the garment business you need first and foremost to build your name,” recognises Neetika Swarup a young designer from Kolkata. Neetika only designs saris. After having been graduated from an art college, she decided to go into the designs of Sari. “It is an unstitched type of cloth, so it was more in my field of competences than modern fashion,” she tells. For Neetika, these kind of showcases are really helpful. As most of the craftsmen exhibition, Neetika has no shop. So they really need these events to showcase their work and build up a clientele.




The Delhi Crafts Council provides the infrastructure and takes care of the organisation. In exchange exhibitors pay a fee of 15% of their sales to the council. The Crafts Council’s considerations come more under the representation of the art of looming than under money, even though the exhibitors acknowledge easily that they make decent money. “This exhibition has been taking place for many years and aims at preserving the craft and assuring craftsmen a sustainable living,” explains Shivani wearing a beautiful red sari. Accounting for women’s enthusiasm, saris and the craftsmen have still good days ahead.

– Carole


~ by delhidecidela on October 17, 2009.

3 Responses to “Exhibition / SAREE 2009”

  1. good work Carole….really like the pictures, especially the 1st and the one with the man. generally the pictures of such events are drab and boring but ur story has become alive through these!

  2. nice photos 🙂

  3. I liked it with the fact in mind that it would have been all alien for you. Cheers.

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