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Jaipur prints beckon

Traditional prints from the Pink City wow buyers at a mela


THE COLOURS are bold and the prints depictive of traditional patterns. The colourful block prints, steeped in the rich tribal history of Jaipur, form part of the "Jaipur Mela", on at Pralochna Designs on Nanjappa Road.

For added pizzazz, the time-honoured art has been effectively combined with embroidery, sequins and decorative beads on a variety of exotic fabrics.

The latest arrivals include printed salwar suits in georgette with golden `kadi' work. On display is an entire range of designs that are hand drawn on wood, hand carved and meticulously printed on cotton, busy lizy, kota and Mangalagiri. Block prints on crepe silk and mulmul, reminiscent of the earthy colours of Rajasthan, and set against a dark background are also available. Hand-mixed vegetable, earth and chemical dyes, the formulae for which have been handed down for generations, have been used to lend shape to the designs.


`Dabu' work (multi-layer printing), where the basic spread is done using tie-and-dye method and the prints embossed later, has an authentic and rustic appeal. This series is characterised by blacks and browns.

Every season, artisans in Jaipur experiment with new base fabrics, and this time around, the choice is handlooms, ranging from Kanchi cotton to Mangalagiri. Besides this, ethnic designs on a base of Kanchipuram silk and elaborate works on dupatttas take the pride of place at the mela.

Sudha Chandrasekhar, shopping for cottons at the mela, says the Mangalagiri cottons with hand print designs and dupattas in bright colours are her pick.

The USP of the show is the use of age-old motifs, which draw inspiration from architecture and royalty. Apart from salwar suits, you can also choose from an exhaustive collection of running fabrics in terry voile, cotton, kota and georgette. A limited collection of Maheswari and cotton sarees, quilts and bed covers is also available.

Since each piece is an original, and is worked on individually, there are small variations in the fabric. Everything matters, the artisan's working style and the particular lot of dye. But, these variations, inherent in handcrafted fabrics, only end up lending character and uniqueness to the collection. The range at the mela begins at Rs. 390.

K. JESHI

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