Give your old sari a new look

“Buy two grand duppattas, join them and embellish or embroider with bright motifs at the right places. Hold the new fabric a few feet away and take a look. You can have an exquisite sari not woven by you, but indigenously created by you. Match it up with a novel printed blouse. I am sure you will not find another sari like that,” says Padmavathy Gunasekar, a women entrepreneur, who runs a shop called ‘Tuhil’ at R.A. Puram

Bubbling with myriad ideas, Padmavathy says how a person can create new sari from an old one (provided the old is not worn out), thereby giving the fabric a new look. Amazing are the ways she deals with materials such as cotton, silk cotton, Venkatagiri and Mangalagiri. The icing on the cake is turning the old silk sari of one’s grandmother or mother into a new one!

Adding value

The concept does not stop with changing the old sari into something new, but extends to adding embellishments and giving a original look to the texture. This is what ‘Tuhil’ is all about.

Primarily the redesigning depends on the texture of the sari. “With silk cottons one can literally play around,” says Padmavathy. “You can touch it with art work, patch work and use a brocade material and give it a new look. The next is to team it up with a special blouse. This also gives the customer the choice of two blouses with different combinations,” says Padmavathy.

She also comes up with ideas for transforming the saris, which are not up to one’s likes. “Suppose if you do not like a sari gifted to you but you are impressed with the pallu, introduce a material of your choice to the pleats, embellish the pallu and match the blouse with the pleats. “I am sure even the one who gifted you the sari will not mind the idea,” says Padmavathy.

About the money involved for the venture, she says: “Any addition comes with a price and I am sure women will not mind shelling out a few thousands to possess a unique sari. Depending on the needs, it will cost anywhere from Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 5,000 to work on a sari.”

She has employed women tailors, embroiders and a few more workers to help her with the orders. Again, the time taken to work on a sari depends on the required embellishments.

How it started

Padmavathy, who does not wear silk, wanted to infuse grandeur into her party wear saris. She began to value add her chiffons, georgettes and tissues, silk cottons and cottons with embroidery, block prints and patch work.

Her unique creations won appreciation from one and all. Enthused by the result of her innovations, she added more value such as beads, lace, temple jewellery, etc. to her materials. For six years, she practised on her own costumes. Later, she started collecting different materials from different Indian states and abroad as she wanted to expand her horizon. Thus, Tuhil was started. The work at Tuhil also has a social touch. The end product is packed in paper bags made by inmates (special children) of Maduram Narayanan Centre, T. Nagar.

Padmavathy of Tuhil can be reached at 7C, VII Floor, Block 7, Rani Meyammamai Towers, MRC Nagar. Ph: 98408 19274.

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Arts, Entertainment & EventsMay 14, 2012