Handloom heritage Fashion

A woven vow

Taneira by Titan promises to innovate upon the timeless love for handloom — but does it deliver?

With the Government enabling better access to raw material, concessional institutional credit through banks, skill development and design support, organisations such as Titan are granting the handloom industry a new lease on life, making a case for heritage textiles in the 21st Century.

Titan’s latest subculture Taneira hopes to engender this. Their first store in Bengaluru, a 6000 square-foot expanse, saw a renewed interest in saris with a twist.

On August 17, Taneira brought a three-day trunk show to Taj Krishna, which seemed to be an interesting litmus test to see how the brand would do on a larger scale in the city.

Taneira design execs underwent a scrupulous research process which took 15 months, ultimately garnering the hard work of 200 craftspeople from all over the country, according to Anindita Head of Design at Taneira, “We conducted an in-depth category analysis on the handloom and textile industry in India, that helped develop our understanding and insight into the types of sari clusters Taneira wanted to house in the store. Some of the key takeaways from our research is that, we learnt how natural dyes are applied on a sari; how block prints on natural dyes are created, how Bandhani work can be used on saris and how tie and dye techniques can be used on Ikat fabrics, which is now a sought-after type of fabric.”

Current generations have become far more aware of textile quality and what may be too processed. There is a far stronger discourse internationally about textiles’ historical value and their ethics in sourcing.

Anindita explains how said generation also looks for ease of wearability, adding the designs promise to have a fresh vibrancy while retaining a timelessness about them. “We are also in the process of introducing innovative concepts such as ‘Dhoti saris’ and Denim saris. We hope to strike a chord with their design aesthetics through interesting colour blocking, interesting placements of motifs and giving twists to regular saris using frills.”

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A pretty penny

The trunk show in Hyderabad drew a fair number of curious minds, both local and otherwise —especially considering the slightly higher than usual prices. Catering to the mid-premium to premium end of the market, the starting price for saris sold under the Taneira brand is about ₹2,000, with the higher-end heirloom saris costing well over ₹2,00,000.

According to Anindita, while the cotton saris at Taneira start at ₹2,000, the Patan Patola saris, which take up to a year to make because each strand of the sari-to-be has to be dyed and dried separately, are priced at ₹2,50,000.

Anindita elaborates on this particular design’s inherent value, denoting that complex weaving techniques, “Patan Patola, a double ikat tie and dye sari which consists of eight threads dyed and geometrically placed and worked on the Patan Patola cluster itself, has a story to tell as there is only one family in India who weaves this sari, taking nearly a year to complete.”

Anne-Marie, a tourist visiting from France who was staying at Taj, didn’t hesitate to indulge; she invested in a Bhagalpuri Tussar silk creation, explaining, “This kind of fabric would be appreciated in France for sure — it’s something a designer like Haider Ackerman would use. It’s soft and looks like wearing it should be easy for someone who doesn’t wear saris!”

Whether Taneira will be brought to Hyderabad, like in Bengaluru, is uncertain, but the competition regarding handlooms in the city is strong. With its innovation programmes in mind, the brand should be prepared for anything.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 11:20:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fashion/taneira-hyderabad-trunk-show-anindita-sardar/article19523653.ece

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