Sreemathy Mohan, a textile enthusiast conducted textile walk through the lesser known facts about the shopping hub of Pondy Bazaar as part of the Madras Week celebrations on Saturday, the walk began at Co-Optex. Starting with the organisation that was started in 1935 with a presentation on the array of silks, cotton and yardage available there--- from the Kancheepuram silks to the Arani variety and Madurai Sungudi, the participants were also given an insight into how they could differentiate between the sarees made using handlooms and power looms.
Co-optex MD TN Venkatesh IAS also showed the memorandum, which was made from different fabrics, that was presented to the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in the fifties by craftspersons.
Hopping across the road, the next destination was the Andhra Pradesh State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society (APCO), where they took a look at Pochampalli silks, ikats, jamdanis and Uppada, et al from the fabric-rich Andhra Belt.
Throwing in interesting tidbits of information, Sreemathy, who not only knew the area like the back of her hand but also the history associated with it, said that it was former PM Indira Gandhi who popularised Sambalpuri Ikats. Moving over to the new Corporation Shopping Complex, accommodated by hawkers now who initially sold their wares on the platform.
Then it was the turn to know more about Naidu Hall, which was founded by MG Naidu, who began as a tailor and later went on to set up one of the landmark shops in the area. Revolutionising the concept of brassieres and petticoats, his tale was about grit, foresight and determination--- an inspiration for those who dream big.
A few shops away, is the only men-interest stopover Ramraj Cotton having vast collection of white shirts and dhotis and brand famous for its exclusive collection of dhotis for politicians which provides opportunities to weavers across TN.
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