17 February, 2011

The fast and the curious

During my recent travel to Benaras a.k.a. Varanasi, I bumped into a local factory of Tibetan Brocades or Goechen (in Tibetan language). It was such a frenzy during the tour around the small town. Imagine this: we were a group of about 15 people travelling together with the drivers acting as personal guides, the group was kind of divided into "which-car-are-you-from?" and every other person was either trying to catch up with the one ahead of them, fairly resembling a cat and mouse race, or someone or the other was incessantly pestering the other to quicken their move disturbing one of their romanticism with the place. And it was during such situations that my dear mom found out about this factory at the nook of this narrow-lane and 'psst' me to turn around and have a look knowing, like a good mother should, how excited I'd get to watch it and record it. 
The production of the Silk Brocades were functioning with a machine loom as opposed to the conventional handlooms. The brocade being made was a shell print. Since everybody was rushing to get to the next stop, I could only watch and record this show leaving me with no time to talk to the workers about the process of the making.

Along the way, I also saw these three men embroidering a Silk Saree with embellishments. Benaras is famous for its Silk Sarees. The cloth is first made in a loom at a separate factory, then sent to another place for dying and then the piece comes to these people for intricate patterns that glorifies the 4-9 metres of cloth into pure temptation which many Indian women like to indulge in.


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