We all have heirlooms that are passed through generations, and, often, these include luxurious textiles and lush fabrics that have a timeless appeal. So, when this twenty-something Delhi girl thought of coming up with a textile innovation, she re-interpreted woven heritage, with a contemporary, artisanal touch.
“In winter, you’d see people layer beautiful Indian textiles with not very aesthetically pleasing sweaters, taking away from the overall impact of the look. So, I decided to use an unconventional material like Cashmere for conventional Indianwear. I often wondered why there were beautiful Cashmere shawls, yet the fabric wasn’t used to make saris. This is why I decided to explore the idea,” says Tanira Sethi, who has created a line of Cashmere saris on a never-done-before scale, including the world’s first ever Cashmere lace sari.
The NIFT Delhi graduate in textile designing went on to study at Chelsea College of Art in UK where the idea took shape. “In the past, in Kashmir, the double-sided Doshala was very popular. But, it never caught on because the fabric used to be really thick, so, it wasn’t easy to drape. Inspired by the idea, I took on Cashmere, but decided to produce saris that are lightweight and practical to wear,” she adds.
Tanira’s collection, that goes by the name of Taani, is three-tiered. While one segment includes pure, woven Cashmere saris with geometric and modern motifs, the second is a limited-edition collection which features hand-painted designs.
The most interesting, however, is the Cashmere lace sari, which is the first of its kind, made with painstaking detailing. “This one was extremely tough to produce, and took almost one year of R&D. The sari incorporates fine Cashmere Leavers lace fabric which was conceptualised by Ezma Fine Cashmere and woven by Beauvillian Davoine France. This is the first time a sari has been produced with this rare form of lace,” she says.