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Taanbaan was started by Rta Kapur Chishti, a recognized textile scholar, co-author and editor of the ‘Saris of India’ volumes with textile designer Pallavi Verma. Rta began the production of textiles of excellence in 1998 with available technology and in 2010, the two continued the revival and regeneration of the ancient Indian craft of hand spinning and hand weaving. As a label, Taanbaan offers an exclusive variety of indigenous rain-fed organic cottons and low twist silks using handspun yarns on the traditional spinning wheel (desi charkha), woven with the finest hand skills on handloom. The range includes saris, dupattas, scarves and home furnishing distinguished by their unique texture, a contemporary rendering of traditional skills. Handspun Handwoven Cotton Range The luxurious saris in this range have the unique properties of organic handspun handwoven cotton which make it absorbent in the summer and its density provides warmth in winters. The collection is made from an indigenous variety of rain-fed hill crop of cotton grown on the black soils of the Andhra region of India. Three shuttle weaving is one of the techniques used in which the weaver uses one shuttle each, for the two borders and another one for the body to achieve pure color in both parts, highlighted by a serrated edge which can be a fine saw-like detail or enhanced to a multi-level temple spire form. Jamdani inlay patterning uses an extra weft inlaid pattern after every weft throw of the base fabric. This creates a pattern all over the body that changes in placement and direction in accordance with the design requirement or drape. Referring to handspun and handwoven cotton, Martand Singh says, “This fabric must simply not be allowed to disappear, it is like an animal species threatened with extinction. If skills are lost through ignorance, as in the case of handspuns, then that is sad.” Benaras Range The Benaras range uses Karnataka low twist silks avoiding the Chinese variety for through-shuttle satin (Phekwa) weaves as well as multiple shuttle loom embroidery (Kadhwa). In both cases, the patterning leaves no extraneous loose threads on the back or front to create a rich embellished surface with patterning in relief. Maharashtra Range A Karnataka silk warp has been combined with fine count Ambar Charkha spun in the weft with pure silk borders that weigh down and enhance the sari drape. The finest three shuttle weaving technique has been used to combine the silk warp with the Ambar weft in this Maharashtra range. The Sari School The Sari School was set up in 2009 to promote the usage, understanding, survival & recreation of the unstitched garment. It is an educational initiative to celebrate the draped garment. The comprehensive 2 to 3 hour course includes: Materials, spinning & weaving techniques. An introduction to regional variations in wearing styles: North/South/East/West. A minimum of 4 select wearing styles from 108 available styles are taught during every session representing the regional variations. These are the take-off point for participants to experiment and innovate for their own comfort, choice of materials and occasion. Home Furnishing The home furnishing collection is based in Uttar Pradesh, in an area that traditionally produced blankets. The decline of the hand spinning technique in the area began when large mills started the production of blankets in Ludhiana and Amritsar. This is an endeavor to revive the hand spinning and handloom skills of the area with desi organic cotton cultivated in Haryana, with cut shuttle weaves, metallic yarns & handspun silks.