NASHIK/AURANGABAD: The skilled hands that weave the exquisite Paithani sari, Maharashtra’s equivalent of the Kanchipuram or Benarasi saris, are now making masks, using the same silk and patterns that have given the sari its unique identity.
The hand-woven silk Paithani sari, a must-have in a Maharashtrian bride’s trousseau, can sell from Rs10,000 to Rs4 lakh per piece. Woven with silk and golden zari threads, it is the intricate design of a dancing peacock on the pallu and border that define its price. These days, the weavers are, however, making do by selling Paithani silk masks for Rs 200-Rs 250 each.
Paithan taluka in Aurangabad district, where the famed sari originated, and Yeola town in Nashik, where it has found its base, are these days waiting for buyers to come by. The marriage season during March-June, when Paithanis are most in demand, lost its glitter due to the lockdown.
Weavers and sellers told TOI that the Rs 400-crore annual turnover has already reduced by half, and if the business does not pick up by Diwali, it would be difficult for them to recover.
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