Hyderabad: Actress Vidya Balan is known for her admiration for silk saris and when she took out time to meet textile designer Gaurang Shah's weavers, she was lucky enough to be coached about textile creation and every aspect of weaving technique.
When Vidya expressed her desire to meet Gaurang's weavers and experience hand-woven textiles, he drove her around various villages in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
"As I stepped into Shah's weaver's village and entered the first master weaver family pit loom, I was greeted with the gentle and steady rhythmic clicking of simple bamboo looms. This weaving technique was as ancient as the intricate patterns that are produced by Shah's Jamdani weaver," Vidya said in a statement.
"I stood in awe and watched the exquisite art of weaving in progress in absolute silence as the story of weaving was unfolding step by step," she added.
What amazed Vidya the most was the way the threads comprising the warp and weft were tied with immaculate precision.
"It was fascinating and engrossing journey," recalled Vidya, who also learnt that Jamdani can now be woven with a combination of silk and cotton or even just silk.
"The colours are no longer restricted to the off-white, grey and indigo palette of yore. His weavers are specialists in the art Jamdani technique who can accomplish thread by thread tying of the entire expanse of textile to be woven," she added.
According to her, weaving is a "beautiful story".
The highlight of the visit was when Vidya was invited to sit in the loom with the weaver and then gently was coached to weave the threads, working the pins and looking for the nod of assurance from the indulgent weaver.
"Having experienced the enduring artistry and hard work that goes into weaving a sari, I relish draping hand-woven garment more than ever. Indian textiles always guarantee to make us look stunning, and I would love to expand its admiration by draping them and talking about it to people I meet all over the world," Vidya said.