We live in an age of mass manufacturing where the creative art of handloom clothing has been substituted by mechanised factory production. In this way many talented and dextrous local craftsmen are fading into obscurity.
We all have experienced the alienated feel of cheap mass produced clothing. Given a chance, what would you choose to wear?
Would you prefer Machine produced garments at dirt-cheap prices that are created for a single body type and which don’t even last a wash at most times?
Would you prefer the Gorgeous handloom sarees made by weavers who are gifted with traditional knowledge of crafting, designing, warping and wefting which makes every single piece that they produce a unique work of art?
I know your choice won’t be much different from my own.
Yes, the slow fashion movement where one focuses on bespoke garments with quality workmanship and aesthetic designs that are timeless is the way to go. The handloom saree weavers of India symbolise this movement which values and prizes finesse and handiwork. It is steeped in quality, tradition and love for all things handmade.
A Return To Tradition
I must tell you the story of the start of my love for handlooms. It first awakened during my visit to a saree-weaving unit in Kerala a few years. I watched in awe as skilful traditional artisans used threads of white and gold to weave inch after inch of magical cloth. The attire they produced felt so full of life unlike contemporary machine made clothes which are so alienated from human craftsmanship.
I fell head over heels in love with handloom sarees. Ever since that day I began enjoying looking for brands that reflect the slow fashion movement and that bring handlooms from traditional artisans into our lives. In my search for some fabulous handloom sarees for this summer, I came across Bharatsthali.com.
What is Bharat Sthali?
If there is a one stop treasure trove to buy traditional handloom sarees online I would have to admit that Bharatsthali is the place to go. You are taken on a journey through the heritage of Indian traditional wear with an opportunity to learn and feel the diverse beauty of every region. Time travel through the passages of history and discover the finest of crafts and the best of weaving with us. Bringing together the textile designers, artisanal communities, weavers and artists, here’s a contemporary platform that meets the delightful treasures and doesn’t fade them out.
Since I have introduced you to this beautiful platform I must also tell you a little about Bharat Sthali’s collection. Let me show you my top 5 awe-inspiring sarees and my take on what makes them incredible!
Emerald, blue, yellow and white woven to form a simple pattern which is perfect for the day and can be complemented with beautiful silver jewellery. These are the intricate beauties of the Hansaja saree.
The intricately handwoven blouse that makes this pretty red silk kanjivaram saree come to life. Staying true to its rich heritage, the saree is adorned with beautiful red and gold motifs on its green pallu.
Who doesn’t love tassels and I must say that a tassel border along the contrast pink piping brings this ‘Sargun’ to live. This pure linen saree is soft, beautiful and perfect for the summers.
Aarunya embodies the true spirit of slow fashion and handloom. Artisans spend 5 days to painstakingly create this boota work saree for you. Hues of teal, arctic blue and violet blended with delicate gold work truly make this saree stand out. It is truly a tribute to the rich heritage of the south and is perfect for contemporary Indian women.
This saree from Bharat Sthali naturally dyed and Ikat which is an interesting blend of jute pallu and linen. The colours used are cool blues, shades of pink with a sprinkling of green which reminds one of a spring garden. I love the modern colours used in this saree.
This sari has been handmade in the villages of Southern India keeping in mind the women of today who balances modernity with tradition.
It takes inspiration from conventional techniques and combines it with the modern colours like inky black, dull gold, bright green and deep pink to create a new age look.
Don’t you love the creative names that Bharat Sthali has given to each saree?
My personal favourites are Sargun and Siahi. I love their flowy fabric and pretty designs that look modern, stylish yet are traditional in its true essence. Which is your favourite saree from Bharat Sthali? What do you think about handcrafted garments? Let me know in the comments below 🙂