Mumbai: Tussar weaving remains a dying art with the Maharashtra State Handlooms Corporation (MSHC) having only 80 weavers living in villages of Nagpur and Bhandara districts. Majority of them are above 60 years of age. As the number is fast diminishing, the corporation has started the process to bring forth a new generation of Tussar weavers.
With Shilpa Agrawal, the Nagpur woman who was crowned Mrs Universe Lovely, wearing a dress made of Tussar in the contest, MSHC is hoping that it will boost this handwoven fabric of Vidarbha.
The corporation, on Monday, presented Agrawal and her designer Nidhi Gandhi who showcased the dress designed with Tussar silk. The Mrs Universe will be helping the corporation in further promoting the Tussar fabric with plans to avail services from Gandhi as a designer too. The fabric was provided by the corporation for designing a dress for the pageant.
Gandhi, who designed the dress, said for the pageant she also gives credit to the weaver for making the fabric.
An officer of the corporation said that the yarn is provided at the weavers’ doorsteps, who, in turn, make the garments which are marketed by the corporation. But the second generation of weavers are not interested in the job, they are finding other options of livelihood better.
A cluster of 700 weavers has been created of which nearly 80 will trained for making Tussar fabric. The project is expected to start soon.