What makes Chanderi so special?
It has a diaphanous look and a very soft feel. It drapes well and real gold and silk threads are used in its borders.
Why is this art dying?
Royal patronage has declined. In the ’70s, the cost of gold and silver went up and weavers started using cheap silk and copper threads with gold/silver polish.
What are you doing to revive it?
To start with, I have commissioned saris and pagris for my family and I recently organised an exhibition and talk on Chanderi in Delhi.
Chanderi was used to make pagris of all Maratha states. Till recently, it was believed that the design for the six-inch loom to make pagri material was lost but we have found a person who still knows the art.
Are you getting government aid?
The Craft’s Council has shown interest.
Where can one buy an original Chanderi?
It’s impossible to find an original Chanderi sari at any of the emporiums or shops.
How to identify...