From printed carpets to saris from across India, the Chennai Santhe has it all
Chennai's winter spell is about to end and it won't be long before the scorching summer hits the city. The Chennai Santhe comes at a perfect time of the year when there's just a slight nip in the air. With its pivotal objective to promote art and culture of rural India, the 16th edition of Santhe will feature over 80 exhibitors and stalls with the best of the country's finest handcrafted textiles, accessories and decor. The exhibition will bring together artisans as well as those who are struggling to survive due to lack of awareness of their art.
Jayanth Nazre, President of Manya Art and Kraft Association who is organising the exhibition says that the Santhe will boast finest handcrafted decor textiles and accessories. "It is a brand name for quality craft from genuine producers and our main focus remains the Indian urban retail market," says Jayanth. "We offer a wide range of sarees, crafts, organics, books and a curated list of craft people from across the country." The association set shop in 2010 with an aim to bring established artisans to the front and help them survive in the face of change.
The Santhe will be home to 50 textile stalls, 20 craft stalls and 10 traditional art stalls. There's something for everybody from all over India. Kanta embroidery products from West Bengal, ceramics and pottery from Rajasthan, chanderi and maheshwari from Madhya Pradesh, Benarasi weaves, chikan embroidery from Uttar Pradesh and silver jewellery from Odisha. "There's also ajrak print from Gujarat, coir mats from Kerala, eri silk from Assam, shibori silk from Rajasthan and earthern pots, candles and carpets from Badhohi in Uttar Pradesh," says Jayanth. If you thought that was the end of the list, you're quite mistaken. They also have bhagalpuri Shantiniketan bags, kalamkari kanta worked leather bags, mehendi painting on pots and block printed embroidery.
Sarees of India
We ask Jayanth what are are the unique stalls that one can look out for and he says that it's the sarees. "Banarasi sarees made in Varanasi are the finest sarees in India and are known for their gold and silver brocade or zari, fine silk and opulent embroidery," says the President of Manya. "The sarees are made of fine woven silk and decorated with an intricate design and is relatively heavy. Pure cotton hand block sarees from Jaipur is another addition to the exhibition. The lovely shade of blue are sure to wash away your blues," he says with a smile. For those who prefer sustainable fabric, there are fresh and vibrant organic sarees from Kutch available.
At Kalakshetra Foundation
Till January 14. Free entry.