Vastrabharana will feature neem-dyed fabrics,  jamdanis and Ilkals   

The Crafts Council of Karnataka's annual festival is now in its 25th year

Rashmi Rajagopal Lobo Published :  22nd September 2017 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  22nd September 2017 12:00 AM


IN 1991, 25 years ago, the Crafts Council of Karnataka held its first annual exhibition, Vastrabharana. Inaugurated by the iconic actress and dancer, Vyjayanthimala Bali, then 56, the event was a modest one, to put it lightly. Today, two and a half decades later, the actress is all set to open the exhibition for the second time, to connoisseurs and sari enthusiasts, to mark Vastrabharana’s silver jubilee.

“The event has truly gone from strength to strength. We opened with barely any vendors, but over the years we have been playing host to over 50 weavers and artisans, from across the country,” shares Bharti Govindraj, the chairperson of The Crafts Council of Karnataka. “As per usual, the focus continues to be on hand-woven fabrics and saris. The aim is to make the sari as widely used as the kimono is in Japan,” she adds. 

Apart from regular fixtures like Gamthiwala, Ahmedabad (handblock print and tie-dyed textiles), Pracheen (known for its mehendi-, neem- and eucalyptus-dyed fabrics) and Santosh Saha (jamdani and muslin khadi), the fundraising event, which benefits weavers and crafts communities, will also have some unfamiliar names amongst its list of exhibitors this year. 

“Kale Nele by Jhanvi Kulkarni is among the new brands participating. Jhanvi will bring Ilkal saris from Ilkal, Gadag and Bagalkot,” reveals Bharti. Also making its Vastrabharana debut is Mahodari, a Pune-based label that creates intricate embroidery on fine fabrics. 

In addition, the council is also in the process of putting together an exhibition that will be an ode to Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, the freedom fighter and social reformer, who set up the Crafts Council of India in 1964. 

Rs.1,500 upwards. October 1-5. At Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat, Kumara Krupa Road. Details: 22261816