The Paithani Sarees Festival at Shivaji Park

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With an aim to educate people on the arduous hours and attention to detail that goes into weaving a Paithani saree, New Wave Paithani Festival was hosted in Shivaji Park, Dadar few months back where artists from Yeola that is famed for its paithani sarees weaving demonstrated their talent live by exhibiting over 250 sarees on the occasion.

Considered to be amongst the costliest traditional paithani sarees in India, each and every design in a Paithani saree has a symbolic meaning and is done to the minutest detail. Talking about the symbols, a third generation Yeola-based artist Vinayak Thakkur said, “A Paithani is incomplete without a peacock on it. The variations are vis-à-vis the designs, such as, a peacock in a park, or flying parrots etc. Since attention to detail is foremost in making these sarees, newcomers are given at least six months of training.”

Vinayak while sharing the nuances of weaving Paithani sarees such as the time consumed, the technicalities involved, the challenges faced and most of all, the effort required, said that the demand for handloom paithani sarees has been on a decline in the last few years due to availability of duplicate and power loom made sarees. Speaking about the demand for handwoven pure Paithani sarees in the market today, he said, “Earlier there was no particular season for the demand of our sarees, but for the last five to six years, we have good sales only during festive seasons. The major damage in demand is caused by the duplicate sarees available in the market, which are less costly. Even the power loom paithani sarees have taken away majority of our customers.”

The making of pure handloom Paithani silk sarees that range anywhere from rs.8,000/- to rs.2.5 lakhs,is a time consuming and back breaking process where weaving even a simple saree takes up to two months, while the one with in tricate complicated designs take at least one and half years with a weaver putting in an average of eight hours a day!

It is for this reason that the number of artists are decreasing in Yeola. For a decent income and a better standard of living, youth there today is moving to cities in look out for more lucrative and high paying jobs.

Speaking about the Paithani Festival held in Mumbai, SannidhaBhide, festival director, said: “The aim of hosting this festival was to make people realise the hard work put in by the artists to weave the silk thread. It is a major source of livelihood. We should value their hard work. Due to high prices we prefer buying power loom sarees, although the original, traditional weaves are only available with these artists.”

Shatika is proud to present an exclusive collection of pure handloom Paithani Sarees from Yeola and Paithan that are woven specially by the master weavers. We are happy to contribute in a small way towards encouraging this incredible talent and preventing letting it die a silent death.

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