How do I find authentic handloom sarees?
The reality is that a handloom weaver in Banaras typically takes about fifteen days to complete one sari, and his earnings in a month are just south of Rs. 4,000, hardly enough to sustain an individual, let alone a family. Ironically, the government has provided free electricity to power looms, and handloom workers have been relegated to the side lines.The tragedy is that even the greatest aficionados of handlooms and handicrafts are seldom able to differentiate between genuine handmade products and factory-made replicas.
Take handloom for instance. There are few ways to distinguish between authentic silk and synthetic polyester fabric. One way is by burning a single fibre from the cloth. If the thread leaves a plastic-like residue behind, you know you have a saree made of polyester. But a thread that vanishes entirely, without a trace, is testimony of pure silk or cotton fabric.
There are aesthetic differences too. If you look carefully, you’ll notice that handloom weaves, though meticulous, are not always even. In fact, that is one of the classic features of handloom; the diminutive difference between each thread.
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