Make in India: Immersed in finesse of weaving the famed Paithani sarees, Yeola in Maharashtra plugs city migration

In all probability tales of agrarian misery will begin traversing from one nook of the mind to a different when one travels by means of a virtually abandoned farmland navigating the various tiny lanes to fulfill Paithani saree weavers in Yeola, 83 kms from Nashik. Solely that this story isn’t about misery, however progress. Although Paithan village in Pune is believed to be the centre for Paithani sarees, Yeola bought its prominence within the Peshwa interval within the late 19th century. At the moment, the weavers in Yeola outnumber these in Paithan with a little bit over 2,200 looms. Virtually each home has a loom for weaving the saree, which each and every Maharashtrian lady needs for her trousseau. With a number of startups moreover conventional shops promoting the wealthy conventional saree on-line, its recognition and attain has now crossed pan-India.

On the finish of a dry stretch of land after crossing a slender bylane stands a tiled home which stands out among the many thatched roof homes within the space. It’s the place one meets with 31-year-old Santosh S Satalkar, who lives right here along with his mom, spouse and two youngsters. Satalkar has 10 looms in his home the place he has employed eight males and boys from the village. His spouse and he himself work on the looms every day.

He doesn’t come from a household  of weavers, a clan that type the big majority of individuals on this village in Yeola. Giving up his research after failing Class X, Satalkar made a acutely aware determination to be taught weaving from the weavers within the village. He says he didn’t have any goals of going to town or to some other place searching for a job for a greater livelihood. “Do I look sad to you?” he asks on being requested why he selected to not research or go to town searching for a job. “After having lived right here in Yeola all my life I’ve no regrets about not leaving my village searching for a job. The climate, the fields and my household has sustained and nourished me. Sure, by metropolis requirements, I could seem to have far much less by way of cash however I’m blissful,” he says slashing the air along with his arms for added emphasis. “I’ve additionally offered jobs to individuals and stopped migration to the cities,” he says.

A weaver on the loom in Yeola. Pic courtesy: Sulekha Nair

After studying the ropes of Paithani weaving for over two years, Satalkar saved sufficient to have the ability to purchase a loom and get unbiased himself. “It meant I may cope with the merchants, work at my free will,” he stated.

Paithani saree weavers work for one or two wholesale saree merchants who give them the order. Weaving a Paithani is time-consuming. The best number of the saree — with minimal design and the well-known Paithani border prices Rs 5,000 and above. Weaving a Paithani saree on this price ticket takes round three months. Because the design will get intricate, threads get extra superb and complex, the time spent on weaving can stretch to a 12 months and extra. In fact, for that lengthy work and craft concerned, the saree comes at a hefty worth of Rs 1 lakh or extra.

Bringing collectively the uncooked supplies for the saree entails many individuals. Mulberry silk is used to make the sarees which come from Bangalore whereas zari  used within the sarees  is essentially procured from Surat in Gujarat. Earlier, gold threads had been used. The design for the saree is made by a designer, employed by the weaver. The design must be accepted by the dealer/vendor earlier than it may be woven right into a saree. Essentially the most sought-after motifs are peacock, parrot, vines and flowers, and the lotus.

After the yarn is dyed, it’s mounted to the loom by a gaggle of individuals whose job is to string the yarn by means of the loom which is positioned in a 3 by 4 deep pit. The weaver sits on the bench and works on it by transferring the shuttle forwards and backwards whereas on the identical time pedaling the decrease body.

Satalkar earned sufficient to extend the variety of looms to 10 over time and ensured in his personal method to move on the traditional craft to plenty of individuals, a few of whom even have their very own unbiased looms of their houses.  The weaver is given one saree to work on and the minimal wages are Rs 1,800 every week. The weaver can select to work at no matter hours he needs to however has to stick to the deadline set by the proprietor/weaver for whom he works.

There are households in Yeola who’re into the Paithani saree weaving commerce for generations however Firstpost met up with first era weavers who learnt the artwork by means of apprenticeship, after which began their very own small saree weaving factories using others like them. Intensely focussed on the border sample, 28-year-old Dagu Kale works two shifts. He works at Satalkar’s home and likewise has a number of looms at his dwelling the place he and his household work. “I prefer to work right here not only for the additional cash I earn however I get to spend time with different males and boys of the village.” Like Satalkar, he says that he and some like him are ‘entrepreneurs’ who’ve by no means misplaced focus of their village and its artwork in conventional weaving.

“We wish to make extra individuals and particularly the youth be taught this artwork in order that they don’t must go to the cities searching for a job,” he stated, including that the widespread sight of children playing or consuming and creating points for the household and the village isn’t a phenomenon right here. “Everyone seems to be busy working at their looms,” he says.

The weavers don’t promote sarees as they’re weaving it based mostly on orders. However they rue the truth that their handiwork will get paid 4 instances the value at which they’re offered. “We wouldn’t have the cash to lease a store. However we do have work all year long,” says Kale.

The youngest weaver at Satalkar’s was 16-year-old Mayur Teke who learnt the ropes by hanging within the neighbourhood the place individuals labored at looms. A weaver let him sit and watch him work and earlier than he knew it, he may weave and what’s extra, is faster than many along with his nimble fingers. The shy, smiling boy says he’s “very blissful to have the ability to give cash to my dad and mom. They’re farmers and the farm has not been doing properly for some now.” However ought to he be not learning? “I’m attending class. I’ll end faculty quickly after which I’ll do that full time,” he says.

The city sq.

A little bit additional off from the village lies Yeola metropolis the place the wealthy woven Paithanis are offered in outlets. The world is a pointy distinction to the village with large streets bustling with exercise and taxis and vehicles crisscrossing ferrying individuals and dropping them off on the many shops within the city sq.. Getting into the oldest retailer within the space, the 160-year-old store referred to as Soni, one is shocked by the heap of sneakers and slippers within the verandah nearly akin to these left exterior by devotees at a temple.

At Sonis, the store is choc-a-bloc with clients and households travelling from distant Pune, Mumbai, Aurangabad and different cities to purchase Paithani sarees for the marriage trousseau. The Dixits from Mumbai had been right here to purchase a saree for his or her potential daughter-in-law. “We journey to Yeola at any time when we wish to purchase a Paithani. We all know we cannot be cheated and the value is much lower than what we might pay in Mumbai,” says Amita Dixit, the homemaker from Kurla.

Soni sells sarees starting from 15,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh. What makes the Paithani unique are the designs that are normally not seen on one other saree. For many who can not afford to purchase the normal silk Paithanis, there are semi-silks sarees too that promote between 1,000 and Rs 5,000.

On the close by Vaibhav Paithani retailer, the proprietor Chhaya Nagpure is the girl in cost. Her late father had a household enterprise of furnishings which was handed on to her brother. “As I selected to not marry, I requested my father to provide me a retailer to retail Paithanis. The Paithani is the satisfaction of Yeola and I really like the silks,” she says. The indulgent father gave her a store 30 years in the past which now has her brother’s youngsters serving to her out as properly. Yogini, her niece, navigating her method by means of the group of shoppers sitting cross-legged on the ground purchasing for sarees in Yeola talks in regards to the unceasing allure of the normal Paithani.

“Have a look at what number of younger ladies are right here on the store wanting to purchase a Paithani. That is the wedding season and we’ve got many purchasers who throng the store from throughout the state and a few come from different elements of India,” she says. Although the normal darkish colours are nonetheless in vogue, Yogini says some children come asking for pastel shades and geometric shapes as designs. “We’re blissful to notice this as then we are able to ask our weavers to make the sarees for these clients,” she says.

The Nagpures have a manufacturing facility the place weavers work solely for them. “We’re blissful that an increasing number of youth within the space wish to work within the weaving unit or work independently at Yeola village. This alone makes us consider that the custom of Paithani will flourish for a few years prefer it has been for the reason that previous to now,” Yogini stated.

A quiet Make in India revolution has been occurring right here paying wealthy dividends for the normal craft, the wealthy silks and importantly, offering regular jobs within the consolation of houses of the weavers.

(The article is a part of OneWord-Dream Media Fellowships on Life Abilities-2018)

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