Chaddar PUNE Solapuri, of cotton sheets, took center stage last week after actress pop star Priyanka Chopra’s husband Nick Jonas flaunted a printed shirt resembling the same fabric and the same design.
Once very popular, the clientele of the Solapuri chaddars has shrunk. Therefore, the manufacturers are emphasizing changes in weight, color and design without compromising the brand’s identity and hope Jonas’ fashion trick will help rebranding the chaddars.
Today, more and more looms in Solapur produce “terry towels” and napkins, which are the popular export material, manufacturers.
“The loom activity of Chaddar Solapuri was enormous from 1993 to 2003. In 2006, 20,000 looms produced chaddars. We carried out an investigation in Solapur after the second wave of Covid-19. Today there are only 16,000 functional looms. Of these 12,000 looms produce “terry towels” and 4,000 are jacquard looms in Chaddar. At least 50,000 workers depend directly or indirectly on the industry, ”said Raju Rathi, president of Solapur Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture and secretary of Solapur Yantramag Dharak Sangh.
When the photo of Jonas wearing a shirt with a design similar to Solapuri Chaddar posted on social media platforms went viral and everyone noticed the Chaddar’s “Chatla” manufacturing industry logo on the shirt, the great fun for Internet users.
Govardhan Chatla, owner of Chatla Textile Industries in Solapur, said it was also a pleasant surprise for them. Chatla also focused on innovations in the designs and texture of the chaddar Solapuri without compromising its true identity to remain relevant in the business.
“Previously there were few options in beading and customers preferred low cost, durable, dark colored chaddars. Gradually, people’s needs changed. They began to prefer the lightweight and easily washable options. We have made changes to the manufacturing accordingly. We now produce lightweight chaddar that can be machine washed, ”Chatla said.
He also said that customers should only buy original Solapuri chaddars, as the many imitation items have now entered the market, hampering the businesses of the manufacturers.
Although Jonas displayed a shirt with a design like Solapuri Chaddar, the manufacturers didn’t think it would be a popular fashion choice in the local market. But they hope it would help rebranding the IG branded product.
“Solapuri’s chaddar is thick. Jackets made from it may not work well in our market given our weather conditions. But initiatives like these certainly help to make the product popular and to draw people’s attention to it, ”said Rathi.
Apart from the chaddars, Solapur’s garment industry has grown into a huge producer of the popular export item “terry towels”.
“Jacquard terry towels are exported and they are in demand abroad. While the chaddars are not exported. Towels and terry towels have dominated the space in Solapur’s garment industry, ”said Suhas Rawade, manufacturer of terry towels.