The Dying Art of the Sari

As the popularity of the traditional Indian garb has plummeted in India's cities, so has work for the tens of thousands of weavers who make them

Berthold Steinhilber / Laif / Redux

Shoppers visit a sari store in Delhi's Chandni Chowk bazaar

I am standing in Dilli Haat, New Delhi's popular open-air handicrafts market, feeling a little guilty. My usual uniform for a hot summer evening — jeans, sandals and a comfortable cotton tunic — is putting people out of business.

"People in Delhi have abandoned their own traditional clothing," says Bilal Ahmed, 24, a weaver who works for his family business in Jammu and Kashmir. Ahmed and his family specialize in Kadhai work, a type of embroidery. "We have started making more suits and shirts than saris," he says. "People don't buy saris anymore. Now they...

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