One day, as I was surfing through facebook, I came across Banhishikha collection of sarees and dupattas, draped gracefully by long time friends. My interest piqued and I enquired about the price and and informed them that once I am in Kolkata I would surely visit. They were only too happy to message me their contact numbers.
After navigating through the Kolkata messy traffic, I was pleasantly surprised to see the beaming face of a friend waiting at the door. I had no idea she was behind Banhishikha, no wonder I saw so many of our common friends adorned in the collection. She and another of her friend started it and I would say what a flying start they had!
The riot of colours enamored me at the first glance as the sarees came pouring out.
“We don’t yet have a place but we will soon get one”
And then out came the “Maheshwari Saree”. This beautiful saree was first weaved in Maheshwar, in Madhya Pradesh. Queen Ahilyabai brought weavers from Surat to design a saree whose motifs could mirror the city’s art and architecture. It has ever since been an elegant style statement reveling in simplicity and gracefulness.
Then the “Chanderi Sarees” came cascading out. This fabric too hails from Andhra Pradesh. The lightweight of the material and the ornate zari motifs made it a favorite amongst the royalty. Cotton, silk and zari have been hand woven together to make these delicate and artistic fabrics.
And then lo behold, came something that I had never heard of! So PETA and the vegans would be mighty pleased with Banhishikha – “Peace Silk”.
This cruelty free silk is woven by hand and is sourced from the cocoons of the wild Eri moth. The process does not involve touching or harming the moths, nor does it require keeping them in captivity. Rather their cocoons are collected from the forest after the moths emerge and fly away. Interesting, isn’t it! And to think it is only and only sourced in India makes it all the more worthwhile!
Of course they have a they have a range of mutkas, tussars, weaves of tussars and mutkas together and hand spun cottons. The patterns stand out with unique weaves, intricate designs and a splash of eye catching colour.
On the whole an evening well spent amongst ethereal fabric and designs! In the mean time they have found a place to retail their work and did an exhibition to showcase their exquisite work…