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Royal weave



Yards of splendour: one of the Chanderi saris on display

CINNAMON IS presenting an exhibition of Chanderi saris, kurtas and dupattas from today, 11.30 a.m. till July 31. Chanderi the fabric woven in the past only for the royal families of Western India has now been recreated for the discerning Chennai-ite. Historically, in Chanderi, a locally grown variety of cotton was once spun by the Katiya community in such a fine count that the fabric could go through a ring.

The Chanderi cottons are said to have competed with the Dhaka muslins and it was only with the import of yarn from Manchester in the 17th Century that the popularity of Chanderi declined. As the dyed-in-vat colours were expensive, these saris were beyond the reach of the masses. The saris were famous for their soft colours. The buti or motif was introduced around 80 or 90 years ago. Chanderi saris and veils were given a calendering finish which made the warp and weft compact with the surface acquiring a sheen. Sometimes, fine gold, silver or mica dust was added at this stage. Some of the pieces on display at Cinnamon have been woven by master weavers from Chanderi not only in keeping with the traditional patterns that were once popular with Indian royalty but also adapting them to suit contemporary preferences.

Besides there are ceramic vases in a variety of shades and sizes, inspired by the Orient and the East. The exhibition features the hammered, wood, combed, dash and white Zen collections, each standing out for their craftsmanship.

Cinnamon is located at 27, Shafee Mohammed Road, Nungambakkam, ph: 28291159.

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