One of the oldest exhibitions started ever in Mumbai to celebrate the beauty of century old Paithani Sarees is back after a two-year hiatus due to pandemic. The 31st edition of the New Wave Paithani Festival, will be held from 12th to 16th October 2022 at Ravindra Natya Mandir, Prabhadevi. From being just an exhibition to a festival full of various hues, colours, intricate work and designs & trends, these exquisite handloom weaves can cost anywhere from 15,000 to 3.5lacs. For close to three decades now, the festival has been creating awareness of the hard work that goes into the making of an authentic Paithanisari, from the town of Yeola, near Ahmednagar.
Paithani, Maharashtra’s celebrated saree has always been on a popularity wave over the years. Saree enthusiasts are always on the lookout for the best, original paithani in the market. To bring the much-desirable, paithani to the saree connoisseurs, this year the 31st year of the event promises to celebrate the glorious tradition of Paithani after a gap of two years that affected not only the trade but also the livelihood of the weavers of Yeola, which is the manufacturing hub since years.
Sannidha Bhide, Festival Director. NewWave Paithani shares, ‘The handloom weavers experienced widespread displacement and loss of work since the outbreak of Covid-19 and most of the weavers had to switch their jobs affecting the overall original paithani saree economy of the Yeola region. The New Wave Paithani has been protecting the importance of handloom paithani since 1989 by offering a clean direct market in Mumbai. We are happy that we could again continue the tradition of the annual market this festive season with around 100 exclusive, intricate paithani sarees for display and sale. This year, with the help of the group of yeola weavers we are also introducing a sustainable model offering a year long benefit to the weaver families with ‘New Wave Paithani Bespoke’, that will allow paithani saree lovers from across the globe to make or curate your own paithani by choosing the favourite colour, border and the intricate work for yourself these 5 days for which spot enquiries will be registered”.
The New Wave Paithani was founded by the Late. SarojDhananjay in 1989 with a vision to create a clean direct market for Paithani sarees for weavers of Yeola, a town in Nashik, Maharashtra. She single handedly spearheaded this initiative by hosting an exhibition on an annual basis in Mumbai. From being just an exhibition to a festival full of various hues, colors, intricate work and designs, today, this annual event spans five days, where thousands flock to in order to have a glimpse of these traditional weaves in Mumbai annually before Diwalifestival and the wedding season, now headed by SannidhaBhide, an architect by profession.
The five-day New Wave Paithani Festival also offers 40 various exhibitors from across the country under ‘New Wave Shopping Festival’ offering different materials, accessories, jewellery, hand-made bags, clutches and purses and different Handloom Sarees like Chanderi, Maheshwari, Orissa Silk, Banarasi, Kantha, Kosa, Ilkal, Rajasthani, South Silk, Kolkata, Kashmiri Shawls and much more. Paithani Jackets, Puneri Pagdi, Diwalilanterns of Akaash Kandil, Mojdi and many other varied products made from paithani material will also be displayed. Real Kota Doria sarees from Rajasthan, Jamdani from Dhaka, Kantha, Baluchari Sarees from West Bengal, Real Pashminashawl from Kashmir, Designer sarees & blouses, organic cosmetics will also be the attraction. NGO’s like Lakshya Art Foundation and Aadhar will be offered free stalls to exhibit their works.
On the changing preferences of the consumers, she adds, “For ages the preferred colors of paithani saree lovers have been red, lavender, violet, purple, magenta, peacock blue and parrot green. But, lately as the love of saree is growing amongst the millennials, even the weavers have started following the modern trends like pastel colours, blacks & greys, Golds and Whites to allure the buyers. Artisans work all throughout the year on the brocade paithani collection which houses intricate designs,novelwork,unique motifs like Lotus,Matka,Geometry by going beyond the quintessential peacock & parrot design”.
“The main aim of this event is to promote original paithani sareeand revive the incredible skills of Yeola weavers. The creation of paithani can take anything between six months to two years, depending on the design. It not only requires skilled labour but also the expertise of artisans with in-depth knowledge of fabrics, threads and dyes. The time taken to weave a Paithani can range from two months to 20 months depending on the intricate designs on the pallu and the border. It can cost between ₹60,000 and ₹6 lakh. We want the masses to understand the arduous process of weaving and how the customers can differentiate between an original and fake paithanis in the market from Bangalore and other south markets”, sums up Sannidha Bhidefrom New Wave Paithani Festival.