It is all about khadi at the Dastkar Andhra Exhibition
Khadi will be presented in all its glory with yardage, saris and dupattas at the Dastkar Andhra Exhibition at Serenity boutique from June 19 to 23. The yardage in khadi will be of two types — handspun or hand-woven and handloom, but contains mill-spun yarn and is hand woven. Dastkar Andhra uses natural and environmentally friendly dyes for its products.
“It is authentic, it is comfortable,” says Arati Monappa, of Serenity Boutique. “I am a textile designer. I also use it in my line. It is a beautiful product to work with. You don’t have to starch it. You can accessorise it, you can embroider on it, you can make any kind of embellishment. And it has some meaning behind it, and I think that makes a very big difference, apart from the comfort factor.”
Serenity is a not-for-profit venture that focuses on uplifting artisans and selling eco-friendly products. “We support Dastkar Andhra because their whole marketing strategy is democratic, participative and equitable. They guarantee 365 days of work to their weavers. The profits are equitably distributed. They are working with co-operatives. We don’t want to let this industry die; especially that of handwoven khadi.”
Latha Tummuru, who is organizing the event, works with Dastkar Andhra Marketing Association, which works with 22 cooperatives and over 500 weavers across 22 villages in seven districts in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. For her, the importance of the exhibit is in promoting hand woven cloth to the urban customer. “We believe that these people are already skilled. We just need to provide them with employment so that they can use their skills sitting in the village. Otherwise, they migrate to cities and become unskilled. Our organisation intervenes to make sure products come in the form that people can use. The innovations are in the fabric and the dupattas. Traditionally, weavers only make saris and dhotis.”
She believes that the dupattas and the wide variety of yardage will be some of the popular products at the exhibition. The Ponduru Khadi sari is another product that is frequently asked about. “We look forward to popularising handlooms, which I have always been passionate about,” says Arati.