The marvels of Muga

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An exhibition of rare handwoven silk sarees from Assam comes to Australia

Delhi-based fabric designer Kushma Ram will be in Australia this April with an exclusive collection of handwoven sarees that capture the rich weaving traditions of the various weaving communities of India.

The exhibitions, which will go on at several venues in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane through April, will have a special focus on handspun and hand woven sarees from the north eastern Indian state of Assam. Handloom weaving is a strong cultural component of the women of this state. In the earlier days most of the cloth required by the family was produced within the family by the women. Today many women continue to spin the yarns by hand for the garments they make.

Kay Collections has been collaborating with several women’s groups in Assam to present muga sarees and makhela chaddar to Australian audiences for the first time. This exhibition has been conceived collaboratively with Najitora Bori and a network of around 200 women weavers in the Lakhimpur district of Assam. Women from various communities spread across the Brahmaputra valley work in all stages of muga production – from muga sericulture and yarn making to design and weaving. Activities around the muga are integral to and intimately linked with the culture and tradition of the Assamese people since long past.

Silk has always held the pride of place in the world of natural fibres and weaves. India is known for 4 varieties of natural silk – muga, tussar, pat (mulberry) and eri. Of these, Muga is the more exquisite and rare. While mulberry silk offers a smooth finish, the more ‘rough textured’ ‘ahimsa’ silks are Tussar, Eri and Muga. Under rules of intellectual property rights, Muga Silk is registered as Geographical Indication (GI) for the Indian state of Assam.

The Muga Collection adds a new range to the Banarasi, Chanderi, Tussar and other collections that are on display and sale at Kay Collections exhibitions where sarees from across India that have won national or state level handloom weaving awards are also presented.

The April exhibitions will be held as follows:

15 – 17 April

Waverley International Hotel

301 Springvale Road

Glen Waverley, VIC 3150

 

29 April, 12pm – 7pm

30 April, 10 am – 7pm

Mansion Hotel & Spa, Werribee Park

K Road, Werribee, VIC 3030

Entry to the exhibitions will be free and open to the public. There will be opportunity to purchase sarees at the exhibition.

More information about the exhibitions are available on their Facebook page Facebook/kaycollectionssarees, oryou can emailkushma@kaycollections.com. You can also sign up on their website to be kept informed of upcoming exhibitions, athttp://www.kaycollections.com/contact.html

 

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