BHOPAL: Nehru jackets from Himachal Pradesh and Modi jackets from Bihar are selling like hotcakes at the Special Handloom Expo 2020 organised by the MP Handicrafts and Handlooms Development Corporation in collaboration with Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Government of India to promote vocal for local. The expo is underway at the Gauhar Mahal in the city.
The reversible Nehru Jackets are available in two varieties – sheep wool and lambswool. The jackets have different prices depending on the size. The price of jackets made of lambswool is 2,000–Rs 2,500 while sheep-wool jackets cost between Rs 850 and Rs 1,500.
Joginder Singh, an artisan from Manali (Himachal Pradesh) vending Nehru Jackets, told Free Press, “Our former Prime Minister Pt Jawaharlal Nehru used to wear ‘Band Gala’ jackets commonly known as 'Nehru Jackets' and are still in great demand.” For females, long jackets (Rs 2,750 apiece) and coats (Rs 3,300 apiece) in Anglo pattern are also available at his stall. Woollen items priced between Rs 100 and Rs 3,300 are the favourite of the customers. Himachali (Kullu) Topi which costs Rs 100 a piece is also drawing customers attention. “We have sold out almost all our stock,” he said.
Modi Jackets, made of Katia and Raw silk, are available at a stall run by artisans from Bhagalpur (Bihar). The jackets are priced at Rs 2,800. They can be worn both in summer and winter seasons. Shahjehan Alam said that he had brought 20 pieces of which 15 have been sold.
Shakal, an artisan from Srinagar has brought woollens including coats, shawls, caps and shows made of suede leather and fur ranging from Rs 250 to Rs 2,800. He has a wide variety of caps including Russian and Snow. He also has sheep wool long-coat for females printed with tiger stripes. It is priced at Rs 2,500.
The famous Pashmina Shawls from Ladakh are also available at the J&K stall. The price goes up to Rs one lakh depending on the purity of the wool, said artisan Javed.
Anuj Kumar Pal from Uttarakhand has brought Loi (a light blanket) made of sheep wool costing between Rs 350 and Rs 650. A Khadi kurta-pyjama set at his stall costs Rs 2,200. The exhibition will remain open for the public from 2 pm to 9 pm till December 25.
One of the most costly items available at the Expo is a Kanjeevaram tissue brocade sari woven with gold thread, priced at Rs 60,000. The sari, which takes two months to manufacture is available at the Karnataka stall. Vishal, managing the stall, claimed that it is the favourite wear of film actress Rekha. A cotton sari designed by President’s Award winner Gangadhar Das from Sambalpur (Odisha) is selling for Rs 15,000 a piece.