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    Arundhati Menon returns with a new line of handloom saris at Samasta

    Introducing a range of graceful hand-spun silks, silk cottons and linens in time for the upcoming spring season, textile aficionado Arundhati Menon offers a striking palette of hues to mark one year of her label, Abha. Look out for sumptuous tussar saris which are lovingly hand-block printed and embroidered with Menon’s distinctive designs. “I’ve used the fish motif in this collection,” Menon shares. “The fish being a beloved motif in Bengal and a sign of prosperity.”
    Marked by both ebullient and earthy tones, one will find acute angles executed in hand-block prints in fiery vermilion to florals in sunny saffron. Also of note are the luxurious Upada silk saris in spicy hues of orange, rust, chutney green and more. “I’1m so overwhelmed by the fabulous response to Abha this past year. Each piece is handcrafted and can sometimes take months to complete.” And this is what inspires her to continue her remarkable work.
    Known for her passion for reviving and supporting handloom weaving, Menon’s keen interest in providing a platform for artisans has taken her from weavers’ villages in Phulia, West Bengal, to chikan work specialists in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. “It is imperative that young people are aware of our rich textile variety,” the revivalist says. “Skilled labour is rare to find these days.” The kind of skill that has characterised her exquisite designs for the last 35 years. “The weavers are growing older and their children don’t seem to be interested in continuing their work. That’s why it’s so important for us to appreciate them and keep the craft alive,” she signs off.
    Available from today at Samasta. Cottons from Rs 1,880 and silks from Rs 2,880. Details: 42188118

    Shibi Kumaramangalam

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