Silk route: Taatini blends Assamese weaves with Karnataka crafts
Recently launched label, Taatini is a reflection of the roots of its founders, sisters Moumi Moola and Preeti Bhutani. Earlier this month, the duo, equal parts Assamese and Kannadiga, showcased their handwoven range of saris that are a fusion between the weaving and craft traditions of the two regions.
“We were brought up in Assam. In the North East, most houses have a loom, so at least one member of the family will know how to weave. Our great-grandmother in her day set up women’s help groups, taught them to weave antique pieces and enabled them to make money. Growing up exposed to all of this, we were always intrigued by the art and decided to tap into our contrasting cultures and create something unique,” begins the designer and creative head, Preeti, who has a masters in handwoven fabrics and a diploma in textile design.
Native to Assam, Eri and Muga silk are their fabrics of choice. “They are painstaking to weave. The time and temperature have to be just right. If it’s raining, it becomes impossible to weave,” explains Moumi, offering a peek into the work that goes into every sari. Handwoven in Assam, an Eri silk sari is given a South Indian twist with Kasuti work, a Karnataka folk embroidery technique that dates back to the Chalukya period. This is one of their signature pieces. The label also takes one on a journey to Northern India with an Assamese silk piece woven in Benares. The 500-year-old Ahom motif (a traditional Assamese pattern that resembles paisley), was taught to their weavers in Benares and their looms adjusted to accommodate it.
The saris stick to a natural colour palette. Take the lac-dyed Eri sari, for instance. Where possible, the duo allows the natural hue of the silk yarn to shine through. Saris crafted from naturally golden Muga are fine examples. While the idea is to bring their two distinct cultures together, the duo also pairs Eri and Muga with Mulberry, and even Eri with Muga. “Muga is usually quite stiff, so we’ve put it through a few processes to soften it so that it drapes better,” Preeti explains. Having launched through a pop-up exhibition a few weeks ago, they are in talks with boutique stores in the city and will be retailing out of these outlets in a month.
Rs.6,000 upwards. Details: facebook.com/taatini.india/