Showcasing Bengal’s culture and heritage
Leather bags and boxes from Shantiniketan, straw mats from Midnapore, contemporary colourful terracotta jewellery from Kolkata besides Patachitra on T-shirts and sarees, intricate <g data-gr-id="41">katha</g> stitches on crepe are among the range of products.
The fourth edition of the Bengal Pre-Puja Exposition organised by Office of the Resident Commissioner, West Bengal government began from September 16 is scheduled to continue till September 30. “I have won national award for making this particular mat which is light and is completely foldable. It costs Rs 25,000 and I have bought it for the exhibit here. There are other pieces here also and its price depends on the finesse of the product,” says Tapas Jana, an expert in making mats who hails from Paschim Midnapore.
Jana’s mats are contemporary and stylish with a wide range of colours. They come in various sizes and quality and can be used as carpets too. The famous <g data-gr-id="43">patachitra</g> from Bengal is being implemented in unique styles on T-shirts, sarees, <g data-gr-id="44">Duppattas</g> and half shirts.
Known for their colour themes and designs, Rahim Chitrakar family is quite popular in their village for this variation of the rural <g data-gr-id="54">artform</g>. “The art of Patachitra has been in my family from generations. Along with my <g data-gr-id="55">wife</g> I decided to divulge into implementing this style on apparels. We wanted to carry on the legacy but not on paper as a painting. Our starting price for a T-shirt is Rs 300 and for a saree it is around Rs 5000,” Chitrakar said.
Sold out on day one of the exhibition itself, Noorjahan Begum another national award winning craftswoman from Bengal’s Burdwan district is awed by demand by customers for her latest creation-Kantha Stitch on crepe sarees.
“I have brought something new to the exhibition this time. Crepe sarees with Kantha stitch designs on them. It takes time to do these pieces as we cannot even use a frame to steady the design and have to do the stitch completely with a free hand,” Begum said.
Enjoying a scrumptious Bengali meal at the <g data-gr-id="49">Bijoli</g> grill outlet at Dilli Haat, visitors also have the option of buying contemporary colourful terracotta ornaments to Shantiniketan leather bags.
Shantiniketan leather bags have always been a style statement for both <g data-gr-id="53">the young</g> and the old. This time around these bags <g data-gr-id="50">are</g> designed along with colourful <g data-gr-id="37">zari</g> cloth as well as Kantha Stitch which gives it a chic and exclusive look.
“I am saving the Kantha stitch purse and bags for <g data-gr-id="48">upcoming</g> trade fair. For this <g data-gr-id="47">exhibition</g> I have got my <g data-gr-id="40">zari</g> collection. Barring the bags I have other products like leather containers, piggy banks etc,” Debabrati Halder said.