One of the most popular traditional brands of sarees in Maharashtra State is the Paithani saree and during the current wedding season, it witnessed sales of Rs 2 million.
A Maharashtrian wedding, which is considered incomplete without women donning this garment, is known for its artful zari design. It is manufactured in the handloom factories pilgrimage town of Paithan, Solapur district.
Paithani sarees are considered to be a rich source of cultural heritage. A few months before the wedding, women visit Paithan and place orders as per their requirement.
This year, almost every shop in Paithan, has recorded sales of about 10-70 paithani sarees. As per the shop owners, these sarees are priced at a higher rate as compared to a normal saree, owing to its zari embroidery.
While a firm operating under the Maharashtra Small Scale Industries Development Corporation, has witnessed sales of Rs 6 lakh, other paithani saree shops in the area have recorded sales in the range of Rs 80,000 – Rs 5 lakh.
Despite facing adverse situations, artisans and manufacturers of these sarees have continued to keep the tradition alive. According to an industrial expert, the government should offer incentives and better facilities to the paithani saree weavers and also provide a market for the weavers to promote their product.
Another problem faced by the weaver is of duplication of these sarees. The fake products are of inferior quality and are manufactured in powerlooms of Bengaluru and other South Indian cities. Customers get lured to these cheap quality sarees owing to the price difference.
But amidst all this, demand for paithani still, seems to have increased, by almost two-fold this year. Most likely, an aggregate of 125 sarees are sold each day. It takes nearly 15 days to manufacture one paithani saree. This year, the minimum increase of Rs 300 is also witnessed in the price of paithani sarees.
There are in all 2,500 handlooms and 700 families which cater to the manufacturing of these traditional sarees. Yeola, Belhegaon, Suki, Nagade and Kotamgaon are few of the villages surrounding Paithan, wherein these sarees are manufactured. Nearly 11,000 people, including weavers and those involved in marketing, selling and promoting the saree are dependent on this product for their daily livelihood.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India