Where should I head for clothing samples? With a view to import?

#1 Oct 30th, 2012, 21:39
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#1
I will be visiting India on holiday from mid february to 3rd week march which is roughly for 5 weeks.

I plan to spend 4 weeks on sightseeing and relaxing. My planned route is from Mumbai to Bangalore (Fly) then some time in Mysore, Wayanad, Kannur and then working my way south to Kochi and Allepey.

One week i wish to allocate to having some clothing samples made up to take home with a view to future manufacure in India for import to Cape Town. I currently design and manufacture at home.

I am particularly interested in kurtas with blockprinting as well as embroidered womans tunics in cotton voile and kantha jackets and bags.

Can anyone recommend a city or town which would be good for this? Rajasthan comes to mind or are there towns good for this in the south?
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#2 Oct 30th, 2012, 21:48
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#2
I tried answering something similar here regarding block prints near Jaipur. In addition, Erode in Tamil Nadu also has block printing work done as do a few villages in Kutch region of Gujarat. Your biggest challenge would be quality control and to find someone who's a reliable supplier. There's an NGO called Srujan in kutch region and I'm sure there're a few in Jaipur region as well or even the Rajasthali emporium can help. Google and contact them perhaps first?
Last edited by vaibhav_arora; Oct 30th, 2012 at 21:49.. Reason: fixed link
#3 Oct 30th, 2012, 22:17
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Thanks so much Vaibhav for your quick reply I will go through the links.
#4 Oct 30th, 2012, 22:34
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i would say that you are not likely to achieve anything in a week, unless you get lucky, and find the right supplier in one day. I'd recommend perhaps giving some designs to get made up as soon as you can after arriving in india. Then at least they will have time to get the fabrics you require, and perhaps have a chance to alter them as necessary before you take them home with you.

I don't know how that can fit around your current plan, unless you loop back to somewhere near your starting point, before you return home??

if you want a bunch of different things made, you could easily spend all 5 weeks running around trying to find stuff. of course, you could get lucky, find a resourcefull enthusiastic supplier, who runs around for you and gets it all sorted (good luck with that!).
#5 Oct 30th, 2012, 22:35
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#5
Oh, and if you find that guy, please give me his number!
#6 Oct 30th, 2012, 22:58
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Indiboy if I find him I surely will. Yes, I must agree with you that it could take a lot of time and running around, then again perhaps the gods will lead me exactly where I need to go.
For having samples made up I guess Mumbai will be good as I return there on my way back home but I am not sure that its the right place for that sort if thing - or maybe it is? Any Mumbaikers out there who care to comment?
The other place would be Mysore where I plan to spend a week anyway. I always think of sandalwood incense when I think of Mysore and of course silk, but as far as I know not blockprinting as such.

Perhaps fly to Jaipur?
I must admit its all rather overwhelming at this stage.
#7 Oct 30th, 2012, 23:03
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I have a VERY good contact in Varanasi. I've personally had clothing made by him that is still usable after ten years. And, he also put together a large order for me for shoulder bags and yoga mat bags. He ships internationally very often, is more than honest, and his work is stunning. Uses vegetable dyes, French seams. Would recommend him highly, if you find yourself that far north and east.
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#8 Oct 30th, 2012, 23:45
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Thanks Darma, that is most gracious of you.

Of course quality of craftmanship and honesty is most important.
I wonder if block printed fabrics are readily available in varanasi? Can you please tell me what sort of fabrics you came across there? I would imagine silk would also be an option but pricey.

A thought that comes to mind is nearby Lucknow which is famous for chikan (embroidered fine cotton). Perhaps I could divert 10 days or so to Varanasi and Lucknow. After all I never made it to Kashi on my previous and only trip to India.

If I end up going I will stay at Tiwari as per your recommendation!
Last edited by indiayes; Oct 31st, 2012 at 00:00.. Reason: corrected something cause i did maketh a mistaketh
#9 Oct 31st, 2012, 00:03
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Do your needs include silk as well? Though not handprinted, Kanjeevaram silk is very fine indeed - I had the opportunity to buy some from the Kanchipuram silk weavers co-operative society once, the piece was done on site, was worth far beyond the price it was sold to me. We've bought mysore silk, patola, kosa (from chattisgarh), benarasi over the years and thought Kanjeevaram is the richest weave, gorgeous and thick.

Now that I have more time, here're a few other pointers about picking up samples in Jaipur :
  • There's a Khadi bhandar on MI Road (opposite Surya Mahal restaurant) - fixed price government shop and they have raw silk, printed silk, and some block printed stuff but not too much.
  • Opposite Rajmandir tucked inside a bylane are about four state government handloom shops - quite a few have closed down over the years but the Karnataka govenment, J&K, Punjab and one more still survive.
  • Durga textiles in Bapu Bazaar has a tremendous variety of handprinted cotton sourced from around Jaipur but you should be able to bargain very hard. Also, he deals only in bulk.
  • When you're done with all this, ask for 'Dulha house' - a bylane off Bapu bazaar and go there with a firm mind if you have a clear idea of what to get (after doing the sample survey at Khadi bhandar). These are wholesale traders and will be happy to get your orders (as well as your money if you dont know what to look for .

ps and while Rajasthali will have good quality at fixed prices they wont have large quantities (last time we went, they had some traditional elephant print I wanted but in a quantity barely enough to make a smaller curtain than what we needed)
#10 Oct 31st, 2012, 00:56
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#10
Wow, that's a lot of info and very kind of you. I am not necessarily looking for silk but will certainly consider it as an option. The silks you describe sound wonderful.
I have heard that Jaipur is good for shopping and wholesale so will look into that.

I remember going into a shop in pushkar where clothes were being made upstairs - they had beautiful printed cotton fabrics but to be honest judging from what I saw at the stalls in the streets the quality was quite poor.

Thanks again for all the information.

I may still pick your brains in the future regarding Wayanad.
#11 Oct 31st, 2012, 21:50
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#11
The Tiwari . . . just such a great family run place, and a great family it is

The man I know, who owns the shop, uses all cotton. There is much silk in Varanasi, but he is cotton and cotton only. While I tend to solids for my own clothes, he does have printed fabric/material in his shop, so I know it's possible to get those.

I'll see if I can find the e-mail address for Sunil (the owner) and will send it later if I do. His shop is called Ganga Handlooms and he is located up Vishwanath Lane, a small/narrow/crowded lane near the main ghat. Raju, the owner of the Tiwari, knows of Sunil and can direct you once you've arrived; it can be hard to find Sunils sign and shop amongst the chaos - visual and otherwise - of Vishwanath Lane.

And Varanasi would be well worth your time, seeing as how you haven't been yet.

Again, Sunil does a lot of large orders/shippings overseas, as every time I've been, there are piles of packages wrapped for export.
#12 Oct 31st, 2012, 21:54
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#12

I found this in the IM archives :)

SUNIL GUPTA
C/O GANGA HANDLOOMS
D 10/18 KOHLI-KATRA,VISHWANATH-GALI
VARANASI (INDIA)

gangahandlooms@sify.com

SHOP----2417445
Mobile--9839339452

Its a very complicated set of directions to get here, but as you enter the silk/sari bazaar on GOLDEN TEMPLE main road (through the archway) that runs off Dasaswamedh Road close to the ghats end, you keep going straight along the laneway and about 100 metres or so there is a small dead end lane leading off to the left up a couple of steps and flanked by two sari shops on either side. He has a small outlet that opens onto this laneway on the right hand side but his main shop is up this grey nondescript flight of stairs a couple of doors down from this...just look for the name GANGA HANDLOOMS. His stuff its fixed price and good quality and the colous are gorgeous. He also has reams of material you can buy and bed spreads too.

Its best to call Sunil on his mobile and he will send one of his boys to come and get you.
#13 Oct 31st, 2012, 22:46
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#13
Many thanks for the details Darma, much appreciated
#14 Nov 1st, 2012, 18:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indiayes View Post with a view to future manufacure in India for import to Cape Town.
What quantity are we talking about ?
#15 Nov 1st, 2012, 19:35
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Small quantities, between 50 and 100 per style

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