Have you felt nostalgic on the napthalene induced fragrance of Benarasi and Kanjeevarams of your mom that were so neatly stored in cupboards? Have you seen the joy on your mother’s face while she would feel the silk and drape it for a festive occasion or smelt the fragrance of starched cotton saree while she would get ready for work?
With the hashtags like #100sareepact, #sareenotsorry and #DO100sareepact doing rounds since a year plus, one cannot but observe the resurgence of saree as a piece of style statement. To top it up, with the announcement of National Handloom day by the Hon. Prime Minister, high end designer brands, fashion designers and local brands are all veering towards creating new collection using handlooms. Weaving clusters are revisited and revamped with new funds coming in from the textile lovers and NGO’s who are promoting these artisans and their weaves.
So have you bought this new style statement piece yet? In these times of saree craze, where would you go to shop sarees in Ahmedabad?
CICERONI brings you the list of places that you should visit right away if you want to add some handloom sarees to your personal wardrobe; you would never regret trying their collection.
BANDHEJ was established by Archana Shah in 1985, with a vision to sustain the precious handcrafted skills and knowledge of the indigenous artisans when it comes to handloom clothes through collaborative design interventions.
Over the years, BANDHEJ has created a distinct and unique identity for itself. Before FAB INDIA invaded the cities across the country, Bandhej was already an established label in Ahmedabad. For people who want understated elegance and richness of handlooms, Bandhej is the place to go. Priced in the upward range of 5000 plus owing to the exclusive craftsmanship, Bandhej is the place to collect your heirloom pieces in Bandhani, Tussar Silk , Ikat and Cotton Silks.
2)Deepkala Silk Heritage
Known majorly for the Gujarati bridal wear called ‘Panetar’, Deepkala Silk Heritage is perfect place for those who look for prints and some bling in their sarees. They have an immense collection for designer wear and evening wear sarees in chiffons and crepes. However, with the up rise in handlooms, even they have increased their handloom collection.
It will be a tough exercise to choose your handlooms from this place but yes, if you have an eye for bling, embroidery and colours, then this is the place for you. Starting from as low as 900 in the basic range, their bridal collection goes in the upwards of 15000 and plus.
An icon of South India, Nalli has become synonymous with silk and kanchipuram sarees. Nalli was established in the year 1928 and now has more than 87 years of heritage. Started as a small retail store for silk sarees in Chennai by Nalli Chinnasami Chetti, the family-run shop did steady business for thirty years after which the grandson, Nalli Kuppuswami Chetty took over. In a radical departure from convention, Nalli Kuppusami decided that the shop would do no discount selling, an unheard -of prospect back in the 1950s. Since then and till now, Nalli is the leader in silk and handloom sarees.
And yay, we do have a Nalli here in Ahmedabad. A dream come true for the textile lovers, Nalli stores all kind of sarees from cotton to silk to chanderi to jute to crepe to chiffon. It stores indigenous handlooms like Kanjeevaram, Benarasi, uppada, Taant, Chanderi, Maheshwari , Pochampalli, Paithani, Kota and more.
Starting from range of 1500 and above, you can pick your saree from a multitude of selection at Nalli’s
A retail chain started 50 years back; Fabindia has become synonymous with handcrafted products not only in apparels but also in home decor and accessories. Established in 1960 by John Bissell, an American working for the Ford Foundation, New Delhi, Fabindia started out exporting home furnishings, before stepping into domestic retail in 1976, when it opened its first retail store in Greater Kailash, New Delhi.
Today it has over 170 stores across India and abroad, and is managed by his son, William Bissell. Known for celebrating Indian spirit through its products across the world, Fabindia is a name to reckon with when you want to go buy handloom sarees for sure. Starting from cottons with Ajrakh print and Bagru prints to raw silks and jute silks, Fabindia has it all. Priced from 1500 and above, do check out their collection for office wear and evening wear both.
With more than 30 plus years of experience, Kalpana Sheth has always charmed the Amdavadi crowd with her innate sense of design and aesthetics. Started as a home-grown business, her loyalists swear by her taste in rich handlooms that she curates from across the country.
From chanderis to kota silks to muga silks, from intricate Patan na Patola to Kutchi Bandhanis, from colour burst leheriyas to heirloom paithanis, Kalpana’s studio has it all. It is a must visit place for every occasion, be it a simple office wear cotton saree or be it regal festive wear ensemble. With chanderi and kota priced from 2500 and onwards, this studio indeed has one of the best stocks in handlooms in the city.
Originally from Jaipur, Vasansi store has the sensibilities rooted to its culture of origin. Catering mainly to the Rajasthani audience, Vasansi has an exquisite collection of chiffon and crepe leheriyas in the most vibrant colours. Besides leheriyas, one can expect to come across crepes and chiffons in different hues of basic colours.
Choosing natural fabrics with clever blending, picking up skin-friendly dyes for dyeing, printing and ensuring their proper treatment during fabric proccessing at every step is their motto. Beautiful tints and prints set the mood to indulge either in daily wear or festive wear.
Priced from 1000 onwards for faux crepe and chiffon, their pure versions start from 3000 onwards. It is a price one can pay to get the butter soft fabrics for life.
Kasab Exclusive started out as an innovative venture, 15 years ago, in 1993 by offering a range of traditional sarees. Kasab Exclusive started its first showroom in Ahmedabad, a store that paid attention to exquisite craftsmanship in the times when people were after designer sarees that were customised to their own taste.
Like the patolas of patan, the Ashavali brocades of Ahmedabad were in great demand throughout the country back in the 1400’s. At the end of 1980’s Ashavali sarees started becoming extinct due to the weavers leaving the technique owing to poor demand, marketing and sales. Shree Somabhai Jijidas continued the weaving in a small town named Ridrol in Gandhinagar district. He hired some local weavers and started small karkhana with only 4 looms. They use to sell saris directly to customers. Since the profit margin was good, they kept increasing looms. Then his son Vishnubhai led the business and by 1990’s there were 100 looms weaving ashavali sarees. Kasab has been synonymous with housing AShavali sarees.
So you know where to go when you have to buy Ashavali saree in Ahmedabad right? Priced from 10000 onwards, this is the place to go to buy that heirloom Ashavali.
Armed with these quick facts on the places to buy from, do make a quick visit for your Diwali shopping this time to these saree places and let us know if you liked what you saw.