Yards of exquisite delight
Step into the new boutique `Sarang' on road no. 10 Banjara Hills which is synonymous with unusual and exquisite designer saris and ghagras. Get something exclusively customised for you and check out the Nilambari Benarasi saris as well.
SAAS BAHU: Nirmala and Rekha Lakotia model their creations.
YARDS OF woven wonder and splendour - these are the epithets used for the sari which has over the years emerged as a style statement. If you are fond of the drape but are bored wearing the traditional patterns, designs and colours and looking out for something new, then the destination should be `Sarang' - a new sari boutique.
Located at 8-2-585/1/B, road no.10 Banjara Hills, Hyderabad (tel: 6822121), this boutique, which opens today, specialises in providing customers with a wide range of saris in different materials. Arranged neatly in hangers and shelves, these saris are not run-of-the-mill kind.
They have been shaded, printed and embellished in ingenious ways. The mother-in-law and daughter-in-law Nirmala Lahoti and Rekha Lahoti have certainly made efforts to create different, elegant and chic saris at Sarang.
Previously Sarang (as a studio) was functioning in a crowded area (1st floor, 3-4-259, opposite Mahankali temple in Secunderabad. Tel: 6212121). It was where the Lahotis started their block printing unit which later extended to include dyeing and embroidery. "Although the Studio is big and classy, it is not an upmarket outlet. Situated in a crowded area, it was difficult to find parking space there. When we shifted to Banjara Hills we decided to have one proper showroom here. The Studio at Secunderabad will continue though," says Rekha Lahori.
ROYAL DRAPES: Maroon crepe with zardosi.
Browse through the shelves and you will find innovative saris. Age-old traditions have a new look here. The Lahotis have been constantly working and developing different methods in restoring and preserving old invaluable saris. For instance, there is a Benarasi tissue shaded with sprays of colour with transfer embroidery - old embroidery from old saris fixed on to new in a neat fashion. In the process they restore the embroidery as well.
Different fabrics like cotton, silk, chiffon, tissue, crepe, organza, kora and a mixture of them like tissue chiffon, crepe tissue, jute crepe are chosen and each is adorned with different embellishments - antique embroidery, petit points, shadow work (all done with hand) aari, cutwork and pin work beads (machine work), sequins, crystals and even laces and motif borders in unique patterns. At times fabrics like net are superimposed on other materials and then embroidered. The shading of the sari is done according to the colour and design envisaged. Rekha works out the whole scheme - from the drawing, to shading, printing and embellishments. Floral, abstract and geometric designs are used. Each of the saris has a blouse material attached.
What is unique is that any sari (even if it has a zari border) can be further decorated with embroidery and sequins or beads. For instance, a heavy Benarasi sari can be enlivened with a touch of embroidery. Or a plain sari can be printed and yet have kamdani work too. Effort is made to make the sari look unusual and dissimilar.
One can pick the gorgeous saris off the shelves or opt for plain saris in cotton, kora, chiffon, crepes, nets, jute crepe and get work done accordingly. Here, some saris of crepe or chiffon are customised according to customer requirements in terms of length - even six or seven metre saris are made. One can also take one's own plain saris to get a new look. Gorgeous ghagras (pre-stitched to a certain extent) with exquisite embroidery are made too and if a piece is chosen then Rekha finishes the ghagra for the client. The pricing of saris and ghagras are done according to the fabric and embroidery. It is certainly within the affordable range.
Rekha has a penchant to do something creative since her student days in Kolkata. Fond of painting, she did a number of canvases. Along with her graduation she did a course in fine arts. After marriage she settled in Hyderabad and started by printing saris. She has today about 10, 000 blocks made at different places. Within a span of nine years she has built up the creative enterprise with constant support and encouragement from her in-laws and husband. Her mother-in-law Nirmala Lahoti is a partner and helps out in various ways. Today, the Lahotis have about 20 people working under them.
WONDER WEAVES: Sarees with antique, kundan and Kashmiri work.
Sourcing of the saris, fabrics and even raw materials for the embellishments is done at various places - Kolkata, Varanasi, Mumbai, Kota and Bangalore. The Lahotis make frequent trips to these places to check out also the latest in the market.Sarang has tied up with Nilambari saris (Girija Shankar of Varanasi has made a significant contribution to the movement of revival of handlooms, especially, the Jamdani style of weaving. His son Neeraj is also a master weaver). These saris are basically available in four colours namely nilambari (blue), shwetambari (white), pitambari (yellow) and rakthambari (red). Made in pure cotton (reminiscent of the soft and classic Dhaka muslins), these saris with a variety of weaves are worth every penny they cost - exorbitant they may be, but the workmanship is intricate and delicate.
An exclusive counter of these Benarasi saris in different materials like silk, crepe, kori katan, tissue and tussar with jal work or booti work has been set up at Sarang. This wear is heavy and rich - suitable for occasions.
Go ahead and create a new statement with Sarang saris.
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