Recognized by its iconic looking scenes depicting males and animals, a shikargah motif requires a time- and labour-intensive weaving course of. Principally discovered on a Benarasi sari, the motif is delivered to life in festive and metallic colors alike, and may take an artisan as much as 4 months to weave contemplating its intricate sample. Hemang Agrawal, inventive director, The Surekha Group, speaks to Vogue concerning the significance of shikargah and why design intervention is essential at this time to avoid wasting the age-old craft.
What’s the historical past of Shikargah?
Shikargah will not be a weave, however reasonably a time period for a gaggle of designs that depict a looking scene on material. Whereas it’s troublesome to place a date on when shikargah began being woven on Benarasi saris, I imagine they pre-date the British Raj. We see looking inspirations in numerous arts and crafts of India throughout and even earlier than the Mughal and Sultanate intervals.
How is it created?
Shikargah Benarasi saris are usually woven utilizing the identical supplementary weft weaving method as the opposite Benarasi brocade saris. An genuine kadhuan shikargah sari can take anyplace between two to 4 months to weave.
What’s the uniqueness of a shikargah sari?
Shikargah has a really nice steadiness between the constructive (the motif) and the unfavourable areas (clean areas). The optics are additionally that of a really wealthy and heavy brocade, and the sample may be very evenly distributed with full protection and a well-balanced design that flatters the Benarasi weave. The color palette is often festive, with metallic shades added in current occasions.
[#image: /photos/5ce3f29cad9a21ae78b3e996]||| ||| Picture: Holyweaves.com
How has Benaras influenced your designs, particularly shikargah?
In our textile in addition to garment collections, so far as our inventive course of and ideation is anxious, the town of Benares and its textile heritage serves as fixed inspiration. Nonetheless, our designs usually fluctuate from the standard design vocabulary that we affiliate with Benares.
How has shikargah been modernised at this time?
There have been some improvements made by designers like Rajesh Pratap Singh. His current assortment, to a sure extent, gave up to date enchantment to the looking scene motifs. Nonetheless, the thought is to retain the standard flavour.
Why is it essential to help the Benarasi weave at this time?
With the current resurgence of handloom weaves in India, shikargah is now in nice demand. It is essential that essential design interventions are regularly made by artisan and design communities, in order that the product stays up to date and fascinating for consumers and patrons.
What are a few of the challenges that the artisan neighborhood is dealing with in weaving this material?
The largest problem is that the variety of high-skilled weavers has solely been reducing with time, since weaving an genuine shikargah requires a really excessive stage of ability. Secondly, due to the human and animal motifs, a number of weavers are reluctant to weave a shikargah owing to their non secular beliefs. Lastly, the ability loom poses an enormous problem as it is not as time- and labour-intensive, which is why it might’t create the standard motif as it’s meant to be.
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