Gandhinagar, July 2 (IANS) Ace designer Tarun Tahiliani, who has been in the industry for over two decades, says it’s a significant move that India’s textile and fashion industries are coming together for the overall development of the country’s textile market.
“I think it’s very nice that finally a connect is being shown between the Indian textile industry and the Indian fashion industry,” Tahiliani told IANS on the sidelines of Textile India 2017.
“Till 45 years back, the Indian fashion industry was really a textile industry and the textile ministry has always had trouble with the fact that there is a separate fashion world emerging which needs to now be blended in. After all, abroad what is the textile industry without the fashion industry?”
“So, I think for me, this is a significant coming together, or a collaboration, or an acknowledgement that the two industries are not mutually exclusive and must, in fact, work together for the betterment of this overall textile industry and the undisputed role that the craftsman has to play in upmarket fashion for this country,” Tahiliani said.
“It’s much more complex… It cannot all be duplicated by machines and, therefore, even keeping our sociological needs, must be viewed at differently,” he added.
Textiles India is an annual event with the objective to connect and collaborate with global manufacturers, investors and buyers. It is positioned as the first ever global B2B textiles event in India.
As part of the exhibition, there were two fashion shows curated and produced by IMG Reliance Industries Ltd – Evolution of Textiles of India and The Indian Handloom Show. Some of the known fashion designers showcased their collections at the platform.
Tahiliani was also a part of a multi-designer show that took place on Friday night at Textile India 2017. He took the opportunity to showcase his love for textiles and embroidery.
“We showcased four of our wonderfully handcrafted and embroidered in gota and sequins couture pieces — which are part of the bridal collection — to demonstrate how traditional Indian embroidery can be paired with an international fit and lightness that the world has come to expect to lead in real life,” he said.
Asked how he thinks this support from the government will boost the fashion and crafts industry, he gave references from his own life journey to illustrate the benefits.
“Before I did my first collection, we flew to Benaras to educate ourselves, and I also always say that my education of India has happened largely at the hands of a wonderful book given to me by Martand Singh called ‘Vishwakarma’, which charted and followed many wonderful weavers and craftsmen across the country. I have diligently gone to many of those centres.”
“So, I have always worked for the textile heritage. In the beginning, we were discouraged because a lot of the fabrics such as some of the Chanderis and Maheshwaris were not strong enough to be cut. This meant we had a lot of rejection because the clothes would get frayed. But by and by, we have become more adept in learning of how to use them and the weavers have also learnt how to upgrade their construction,” he said.
“I can’t comment on how much the government has done. I feel there has been tremendous breakthrough, but the fact is that there are a lot of weavers still committing suicide, so maybe the government needs to do much more and to prevent the dumping of Chinese goods copying Indian brocades.”
He also feels weaver service centres need to be upgraded so that new techniques such as lycra can be woven to suit the readymade industry.
“After all, this country is not going to just sell saris for the rest of the millennium,” he added.
Tahiliani, who works with lot of centres in Bhuj and Kutch, also feels that people have now begun to appreciate India’s textile heritage much more than ever.
“They have had their fill of readymade and western clothing and so as everything goes in cycles… They are ready to come home to roost.”
(The writer’s trip is at the invitation of IMG Reliance. Nivedita can be contacted at [email protected])