The maroon colour saree that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman wore while presenting the Union Budget on Wednesday is Karnataka’s Dharwad region’s hand-woven ‘Ilkal’ silk saree with traditional ‘Kasuti’ work.
Ms Sitharaman is a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka.
Kasuti is a traditional form of folk embroidery craft, with a geographical indication (GI) tag, said to be unique to Dharwad region.
The hand-made kasuti work generally includes embroidery work of chariots, elephants, temple ‘gopura’, peacocks, deer, and lotus.
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The one worn by the Finance Minister is said to have had works of chariots, peacocks, and lotus on it.
The heavy silk (800 gm) saree was designed by ‘Arathi Crafts’ owned by Arati Hiremath in Dharwad.
Stating that they had received a request for sarees in December, Hiremath said, “We were happy that the saree was for Nirmala Sitharaman maam, but did not know about the occasion, we had sent two Kasuti sarees. This morning, we saw on TV that she was going to Parliament to present the budget wearing the saree we’d designed. We are very happy.”