SHANTIRANI saree once adored by the Chhattisgarhi women and special attraction on all occasions among the traditional outfits is finally on the revival stage from being extinct. Though widely popular for its design and beautiful craftsmanship before the 1980s, gradually the time consuming efforts in making a Shantirani saree followed by no proper market to get actual price demoralised the local weavers. Thus, this popular traditional outfit just found place on the shelf as a showpiece and few lucky buyers.
While realising the gradual shift among the customers towards traditional sarees and increasing demand on different commercial platforms, Kanhaiya Dewangan, an enthusiastic and hardworking weaver from Raigarh district was confident enough to bring the Shantirani saree to the limelight. Looking at its past popularity, he started working on this near-extinct pattern saree and his efforts to maintain the originality at the same time develop top quality based on the demand has finally shown results.
Popular Kosa saree weaver Kanhaiya Dewangan said that before 1980s, this special form of saree was widely famous amongst the people of Chhattisgarh and other parts of the country. Owing to its difficult, time consuming weave and excessive hard work involved, the weavers gradually ignored and stopped crafting it.
Thus, looking at the market trends and tilt towards quality traditional sarees, it was the pattern and design which inspired me and finally the outcome is Shantirani saree’s revival. With lot of efforts and top quality weaving, Dewangan has succeeded in reviving the already extinct craft by bringing old references together. Shantirani saree has again become an epitome of vast craftsmanship of Chhattisgarh across the country and overseas.Dewangan said special quality of this saree is its fine and minute work, where dots are joined in a specific way to create a figure. This requires a lot of expertise and only an experienced weaver can weave it to maintain its design with top quality craftsmanship. He further said that the saree has 7, 8 and 9 lines and when these lines coincide with each other, a beautiful check-pattern is formed. Apart from increasing demand from different states, the sarees are even exported to foreign countries from the state. The price of Shantirani saree starts from Rs 3800 which is in simple design and the rates varies based on the design and the highest cost being around Rs 15,000, he added.