N. Anand

Trying to regain lost market share; collections to be released during Navarathri

Co-optex will accept the saris till December 31

College students asked to come up with their designs

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Handloom Weavers’ Co-operative Society (Co-optex) plans to revive traditional silk and cotton saris featuring innovative and delicate designs developed decades ago.

To begin with, the Koranadu, Muppagam and Kandangi Chetttinadu silk saris, the Vilandai cotton sari and the Jardosy-Kundan sari with surface ornamentation will be revived, and the collections released during Navarathri.

“We are trying to regain the lost market share by reviving the designs of traditional silk and cotton saris that have become more or less extinct. These saris have been lying unused for years together, as they carry sentimental values. By bringing them into the open, we are reviving the design. Moreover, it gives us an opportunity to provide employment to the order-starved weavers,” Co-optex Special Officer and Managing Director M. P. Nirmala told The Hindu on Wednesday.

The objective is twin fold: Co-optex officials and weavers will get to see the design and the owner gets back the sari along with Rs. 2,000 for letting the design to be reproduced. Last year, Co-optex officials got hold of 49 designs. This year too, Co-optex will accept the saris till December 31, and the best design will get a special prize.

Designers appointed

Co-optex has appointed four designers at the field level to suggest improvements in design and change in colour combination to weavers of Kanchipuram silk saris, Salem and Paramakudi cotton saris and Coimbatore cotton and silk saris. College students have also been asked to come up with their designs. Five best designs will get a cash prize of Rs. 2,000 each. Good designs for silk and cotton saris from weavers will fetch Rs. 10,000 and Rs 5,000.

“We are not going to stop with this. For men, we are coming out with reversible shirts, denim shirts, stone-wash shirts, wrinkle-free shirts and aroma [peppermint, rose, and jasmine] shirts. Organic shirts for men and kids with natural dye are also in the offing,” Ms. Nirmala said.

Since the launch of made-to-order Magic saris, Co-optex officials are planning to produce saris as and when sought to enable users to have exclusivity. “We have 2,051 designs in our bank. Some of them will be revisited. All these efforts will provide employment to around 300 weavers in different parts of the country for at least 300 days a year,” she said.

Co-optex has 197 showrooms in India. Instead of opening new ones, it has decided to take part in the trade fairs.