Fashion

Tata ventures into handlooms with Taneira

Roopesh of Taneira shows off an intricate Kantha work in Tussar

Roopesh of Taneira shows off an intricate Kantha work in Tussar   | Photo Credit: S Siva Saravanan

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Tata brings its stamp of credibility, quality and trust to the world of saris with Taneira

It has been a wearying couple of weeks. This is the umpteenth sari exhibition this ‘festive’ season and I am wary of Press Releases all promising heritage textiles, woven legacies and straight-from-the-weavers spiel. But this exhibition stands out for me as it is from the Tatas and I and I am curious to see what the steel, cars, watches and jewellery people are doing with saris. Good stuff, I soon learn. I stop and admire and ask this sari and that one to be unfolded and shown to me.

Roopesh, one of the Taneira team, unhesitatingly obliges. When I admire a Bandhini from Rajasthan, he gently corrects me. “This is from Gujarat, not Rajasthan!” Roopesh knows what he is talking about and has travelled far and wide in the country, meeting weavers, watching them at their work and learning the intricacies of different weaves. He has a bit of information and trivia about almost any sari I point to. It is not just a practised sales pitch.

He examines the borders or the motifs closely and then announces what kind of a sari it is. “Here is Ajrakh and Bandhini on Kota. And this is the phool patti work on Kota,” he points out. It is edifying as he pulls out a Parsi gaara, a Nagina (a sari that undergoes nine different processes of dyeing) and draws attention to the Benarsi with the Mughal Jaal (the inspiration comes from the trellis work in the Taj Mahal, he adds). The Parsi Gara is around ₹18, 000, he says. When I raise an eyebrow and tell him that is not too expensive by Parsi Gara standards, he patiently explains this one is not too intricate and has only satin stitch!

Of course the saris are beautiful; that is a given. They come from across the country, as the press release had promised. Tussars, delicate Chanderis, soft silks, Kanjivarams, beauties from Odisha and Bengal... “India under one roof,” smiles Roopesh adding that the price range of the sari collection (more than a thousand saris there) is between ₹1,000 for a Dhaniakaali from Bengal to ₹1,80,000 for a Benarasi.

Chanderis and Maheshwaris from Madhya Pradesh

Chanderis and Maheshwaris from Madhya Pradesh   | Photo Credit: S Siva Saravanan

Info you can use
  • The Taneira collection is available at The Residency Towers on Avinashi Road.
  • Till October 13; from 11.00 am to 8.00 pm.
  • For details call 9036533497

The team is trained. “Every time we speak to a customer we share a story about that sari,” smiles Purabi Chandra, Regional Business Manager, Taneira, looking after South India. Why saris? “We have such a strong presence in retail that it is but natural we wanted to diversify,” she says. Taneira has been around for two years now and by all accounts it has been well received. “Handlooms are something India is in the forefront of so it makes so much sense to bring our brand’s credibility, authenticity, purity and trust to the weaver eco-system”.

According to Purabi, there is so much potential in handlooms. “Even young girls are getting excited about saris. It is no longer the business of middle-aged or older women. They are accessorising in exciting ways, trying out different kinds of blouses and even draping them differently. The sari is a fashion tool and is being worn for formal dos and as beach wear alike!”

The Taneira stores in Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad and Pune offer the complete experience. They have in house drapeists (I did not even know that was a thing) suggesting ways to make a statement with saris and, in some outlets, even a tailoring section to help with blouses. “The sari can turn heads, make a fashion statement and be contemporary without losing its intrinsic Indianness,” says Purabi.

Taneira works with weaving clusters and the fact it is a trusted brand has reassured many weavers who are now coming forward to innovate, experiment and weave the best they can. “We are working with third- and fourth-generation weavers. We have also managed to revive many weaves,” says Purabi.

Besides saris there are ready made blouses ranging upwards of ₹1, 200. There is enough margin in the blouses for alteration. Stoles, dupattas and yardage are available too.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 12:55:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fashion/tata-ventures-into-handlooms-with-taneira/article29656178.ece

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