By Samra Noori –
It would be cheaper to just get a garden
Gone are the days when shop keepers would unroll a ‘thaan’ of your choice to cut out a lawn suit for you. Today, shoppers are asked to select any designer lawn by looking at a catalogue. A suit is pre-cut, pre-embroidered and pre-packaged. It even comes with a flyer illustrating a proposed design and a stitching style. Lawn, which was originally sold in casual cloth markets as a staple for summer clothes has now become less of a mass retail fabric and more of a luxury item that is out of the reach of a common person. With the fusion of fashion designers and lawn manufacturers, the last five years have shaped a huge portion of the textile market.
Industry is pushing the boundaries of a medium which was nothing more than a printed mill fabric. From design to packaging to prices, lawn is breaking away from all conventions that we have been accustomed to. Today, prints are embellished with decorative patterns, gaudy laces, embroidered ‘galas’ and sequined borders crocheted with ‘chikankari’. Aside from the usual floral and abstract patterns, rampant use of calligraphy, butterflies, birds, elephants, zoomorphic patterns and even replicas of Mughal era paintings is noticed in designer lawns. It appears as if gaudy has become the new norm.
Simultaneously, marketers are excitedly promoting new lawn to match the momentum of consumer enthusiasm, which has taken the shape of a social obsession. As they say, “a rising tide lifts all boats”, these massive marketing campaigns have accelerated the sales and the demand has increased even more. Textile mills are zapping up fashion designers and designers are contracting mills to create more and more ‘designer lawn’. Many talented young females are also hired on a freelance basis to work from their homes and design for lawn manufacturers. Inversely, non-designer women get their tycoon friends to invest, hire designers and team up with local production facilities to launch their own brands. Overall, huge investments of money are being injected into the lawn business, making it a multi-billion rupee industry.