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Bengal to launch its first heritage textiles e-service for global shoppers

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-08-18 18:00:00 – Kolkata

Tantuja, the 60 year old handloom weavers' co-operative under the West Bengal government reputed for its exquisite collection of heritage textile via its first online e-commerce textile venture will make its unique products available to global shoppers.

West Bengal State Handloom Weavers' Co-operative Society ltd., chief marketing officer, P.K. Bhattacharya said that the e-service will be a first online textile venture for them. They are tying-up with an e-marketing firm and the expected date of launch is September 1. Initially they will begin the e-service with 100-150 items, mainly sarees.

Connoisseurs will have access to the famed Shantpuri-Phulia cotton sarees and Jamdani and Tangail six yard wonders in Murshidabad silk and cotton, among a plethora of others. The centuries-old art of weaving Jamdani has been declared by Unesco as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

In addition to the earth-toned and pastel sarees adorned with customary Kolki motif (an S-shaped design) so synonymous with Bengal and inspirations from nature (foliage, climbers and the banyan tree), the online shop will also include a few selections by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

They have retained the motifs and nature-inspired designs throughout as instructed by the chief minister. There aren't much of geometric patterns. To add a bit of modernism, they have added some subtle hints of neon colours in the Murshidabad silk sarees. These are targeted at the new generation.

A whole new range of pure silk kurtis will also be made available online. The officials refused to release any images prior to the launch.

West Bengal State Handloom Weavers' Co-operative Society over the years have built up a brand name and they understand the customers requirement. The customers cherish the high standards and traditional motifs seen in their items which are directly sourced from the weavers. It helps them to sustain their craft and business. There are over 101 outlets across India.

In the last two years, Tantuja's products like stoles, scarves and kitchen linen have bagged export orders from European countries like Germany and France. The US also is on the list of clients, while Israel and Finland are the next in line.

From the US and Germany they have received orders of $6,000. With the online service, they intent to increase sales and local craftsmen whose products sell the most will profit well.

It has been also supplying weaves to Kerala for the last three years. It has plans to soon tap into the Assam and Andhra Pradesh markets .

This would be the West Bengal government's first online textile venture. And, in sync with sartorial trends, designers for the enterprise have aesthetically incorporated a dash of neon into the indigenous fabrics crafted in Bengal's remote and ancient textile clusters, including the districts of Nadia (cotton from Shantipur, Phulia) and Murshidabad (a sericulture hub).

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