7th August was anounced as a Noational Handloom day to mark the 1905 swadeshi movement. The movement which saw the revival of hand spun, hand woven textile as a protest against colonial exploitation by the British Raj. 110 years after that we are again seeing a revival of dying handloom in India. A big shoutout should go to Fabindia to make cotton fab and chic. A destination of well read and intellectual lot. There is always Khadi with their amazing handspun silk and now with the amazing handmade cosmetics as well.
In kolkata dakhshinapon houses state emporiums and some government shops like Khadi, but beside there there are some amazing indigenous boutiques I want to talk about. I am crazy handloom fan and those shops are dreamland for me.
#1 Rai: Situated near the main entrance , just a few shops away from the famous dolly’s tea house this little boutique has amazing collection. Kalamkari is their strong point, from palazzo to saree to readymade bloses they are a Kalamkari lover’s paradise. You get unique clothe jewelry, wraparound and tops as well. The cotton kurtas are also unusual.
These are some of my collection from Rai, as you can see I am little obsessed with Kalamkari myself, a suit piece , a palazzo , a saree and some cloth jewelry.
#2 Mohor : Stuck in a quiet corner in the firstfloor is a small boutique with amazing collection of saree. Each saree accompanies a very aesthetically designed blouse piece. You should try their Matka silk sarees. I obtained running fabric of matka silk for kurta from them. They are not pricy but give you earthy syle statement. You can check their collection from their facebook-page.
#3 Aranya : A new discovered shop of all things handmade. Notebook, home decor to silver jewelry, hanwoven saree, dress tops , they have something for everyone. Recyling is their mantra. The gamcha woven fabric (indian towel ) is something I have not seen anywhere other than their shop. Their facebook-page is also very well maintained.
#4 Random Shops: Dokkhinapon itself is a maze of small nameless shops , which have eccentric collection of cotton kurta, tops, skirts, beautifully embroidered kurta, waist coats and palazzos. With little luck you can get a block printed ones for less than 500 bucks.