I am on vacation for 3 weeks. This time is giving me time and space to go to places within Bangalore, that I could not otherwise visit. I am able to meet some amazing people doing some amazing work. I came to know that there are Chiffon weavers in Yelahanka. One day this week I just marched towards that other corner of the city. A friend helped me with the directions and beyond a point she said, you have to ask and reach out. So once I reached the old Yelahanka town, I had to park the car.
Weavers in bylanes of Yelahanka
And walk through lanes and lanes and ask some 10-12 people before I could hear the sound of weaving machines. I peeped into one of the doors. Interestingly not many people in the neighborhood knew about this place. Or maybe I was not able to communicate properly due to the obvious language barrier.
Following the sound of the machine, as I approached the door and tried to open it quietly, a lady and gentleman working there took their eyes off the threads they were holding and looked at me with a question in their eyes. I smiled and said I want to see the weaving. They asked me to come in. There was a curtain cloth being woven. And a Silk Sari being woven. I observed them for some time, but my limitation with the local language did not allow to me ask many questions. They told me there are many such small units spread across that area.
I walked a bit and then I heard a lot of rhythmic movements of many such machines. And I realized they were coming from a narrow lane. I walked into that lane. Everywhere around it looked as if I have entered someone’s house. And I was not wrong. Two gentlemen came out. Thankfully they could speak and understand Hindi. I told them that I want to see chiffon weaving. They took me around and explained me the process. I was not aware of the fact that most of the raw material that comes to these units for weaving is sourced from China. As Srinivas explained to me that the local material is costlier than the Chinese one.
All the units in that area are owned by one family. They produce thousands of Saris every month. Along with the fine materials like crepe, chiffon and various types of silks.
After this, he asked me what would you like to buy and I said ‘Nothing’. I could see a bit of disappointment on his face. So I called up my neighbors and my mother to ask if they would like something. Needless to say, they wanted everything. And I did end up buying a chiffon sari and some Crepe material. It was quite an experience in itself to search the weavers and see the small weaving units.