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Cotton charm

The reign of cotton is in full force, especially during summer. Neeraja Murthy checks out the cotton scene in the city

Ideal for summer Cotton suits women of all ages

For Vandana Shete, the head of Colonial Collection, a furniture showroom in Begumpet, cotton and temptation go together. “My wardrobe is filled with so many varieties in cotton that I had to stop buying for myself. Now, I am pampering others with cotton saris as gifts,” she says smilingly. Cotton is penning it up on the style charts in its different avatars. Embroidered, sprinkled with sequins, laced with zari borders or just plain… cotton is one fabric which has undergone a graceful transformation to suit the contemporary tastes. And, summer is the best time to witness the reign of this cool fabric.

With election fever heating up in the city, it is not difficult to spot the latest style icons, the netas, who are cooling off in their elegant cotton outfits. Actress-turned-politician Jayasudha, the new entrant in the political radar may not see an eye to eye on many issues with other actors-turned-politicians, but all of them share a common love for cotton saris. Says Jayasudha, “Except during winters, I am mostly seen in cotton saris as I feel very comfortable wearing it. I feel cotton saris suit even those women who are a ‘not-perfect-10.’” Actress Amala surpasses everyone, when it comes to her love for cotton. “I stick to cotton saris for convenience and grace. I find it best suited to Hyderabad climate and my personality. If there is a special occasion I like Uppada, Kanchi, Chettinadu, Orissa, Bengal, Mangalagiri, Kota, Narayanpet, Venkatagiri, I love them all. You can dress up a simple sari with an elaborately worked blouse in contrast colours. I just discovered Benaras cottons, they are light and have a great fall,” she says smilingly

Cotton is the coolest fashion buy and those who vouch for it include all – from netas, abhinetas, fashionistas, young professionals to college students. At one of the APCO branches in Abids, the business is not as usual. “In summer, the sales are more. The latest variety is called the Gollabhama saris,” says the woman at the counter as she shows us the collection. The saris are soft and with ‘gollabhama’ designs, they are from Siddipet and Jalgaam. Name a place in Andhra Pradesh and the showroom stocks the handloom variety. Bandar, Rajahmundry, Venkatgiri, Pochampally, Gadwal… the list goes on.

At Cotton House, another shop on Road No. 7, Banjara Hills, the block wonders is the highlight. The white fabric is sourced from Mumbai and only vegetable dyes are used to change the colour, informs Vinoda who also designs the collection. In the age of clones, cotton has found power loom, a fake alternative and is not pure cotton. “In the name of improvisations, some designs are losing the traditional touch. Recently, some weavers from West Bengal showed the saris, which had a Chettinad look to it. Weavers should not lose their identity. They should stick to their original patterns and try to give them a make-over,” says Sarvamangala of Anagha.

Make a style statement

  • Team cotton saris with printed blouses or full sleeve blouses for an elegant look.

  • The only hassle with a cotton fabric is that it needs maintenance.

  • Benares cottons have a great fall.

  • Gollabhama saris are handwoven and are available at APCO.

  • Cottons are known with their count. The higher the count, more expensive the sari is.

  • Fake cottons are also available in the market.

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