Katan Weaves Exhibition by Ruchika Modi presentsa contemporary take from the Heritage City of Benares on Wednesday 12th April at Hyatt Regency, Chennai

Katan weaves is designer Ruchika Modi’s signature collection of hand-woven sarees custom made on the looms by master weavers of Benares.Katan Weaves Exhibition by Ruchika Modi presents a contemporary take from the Heritage City of Benares on Wednesday 12th April at Hyatt Regency, Chennai.

Katan means silk in Benares. And, designer Ruchika Modi presents some of the prettiest silk saris all the way from Benares.

Ruchika Modi shares her lineage with a renowned family of Benares and that is where her fascination for the silks began. She works with the gaddis, big and small. By this she means weavers who have weaving for generations and continue to do the same, and the smaller craftspeople. She spends the better part of every year with the weavers, working with them, giving them the designs and creating beautiful works of art. She has great respect for the Benarasi weaver and claims that “Show them any kind of fabric, and they will weave it”.

Exclusivity of Katan Weaves lies not only in the patterns that are woven by master weavers but also in the fabrics. Ruchika’s experiments at the taanabaana (warp & weft) level have resulted in luxurious and unusual fabrics such as Matka Georgettes, Khadi Tussars, Cotton Moongas etc. which are specially woven for Katan Weaves and bear the designer’s signature style.  
The Banarasi silk sarees that were worn by our great grandmothers and had a royal, rich feel have been recreated by Ruchika Modi.

Ruchika never hesitates to tweak an old design here or make a bold statement there. At least this way some bit of the old patterns and designs will continue, she feels. So, traditional techniques from other weaving hubs of India have been incorporated on the looms of Benaras giving them a different flavour and yet preserving their importance in our weaving heritage. This includes Ashavali weaves from Gujarat, Ikkat from Orissa and Paithani from Maharashtra to name a few. She has incorporated the Gyasar (traditional floral patterns beloved to Buddhist Monasteries for their tapestries, etc) into saris. “And, I always make it a point to tell whoever is buying my saris about the motifs, what is their background” she says.

Traditional weaving methods with a contemporary twist is Ruchika’s forte and anyone who views Ruchika’s creations emerges with the distinct impression of perceiving a bit of the familiar interwoven with the unfamiliar – and the discernment is justified.

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