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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fabric Heaven

Trust parents to always know what their children like and want. When my father was looking for a particular type of fabric called kora cotton that his sister had asked him to get, his search led him to Maharashtra Stores in Budhwar Peth, Pune. When I visited Pune, my father told me that I should visit this store and was sure I was going to love it. And did I love it! These days when I consider a day well spent when I have worked with fabric, imagine my happiness when I see 5 floors full of fabric. That is Maharashtra Stores for you.

As you enter the store you are greeted by pictures of India's leaders and freedom fighters. I met the owner Mr. Hiten Jerajani who told me that the store was established in September 1924 by his late grandfather Mr. Liladhar Premji Jerajani - a freedom fighter himself.  It started as Maharashtra Khadi Bhandar when it opened and later during the Swadeshi Movement the name was changed to Maharashtra Swadeshi Stores. I was also told that during this time cloth was sold against ration cards and long queues of people waiting to buy fabric was not uncommon. In 1950 the store was renamed Maharastra Stores. There is still an old world charm to this store. The staff is courteous and helpful and the owner himself is extremely generous with his information.




An amazing range of fabric is available at this store. Here is a sneak peek.


Cotton drill

Cotton Drill : This is sturdy cotton fabric and is available in various thicknesses. The price ranges from Rs.45 to Rs.150 per metre



Plain mulmul

Printed mulmul
 Mulmul : Mulmul is lightweight, breathable cotton fabric which has been around for hundreds of year.  It is great for summer clothing since it absorbs moisture and keeps the wearer cool. It can be dyed easily and  gets softer with every wash. There is a whole range of mul fabric at the store with prices ranging from Rs.15 to Rs.75 per metre. I bought some printed mulmul and it is super soft.

Lawn: Lawn is lightweight ,semi-sheer cotton fabric and doesn't have a lot of drape. Think kurtas worn by our politicians.

Longcloth : Longcloth is pure cotton fabric which is slightly thicker than poplin. It also refers to unbleached cotton fabric before it undergoes any kind of processing. The term longcloth is specific to India.

Apart from the types of cotton mentioned above they also have a nice range of  regular cotton fabric and suiting and shirting fabric.






The store  also stocks woollen dhotis (men's garment) which have been traditionally used during poojas (religious rituals) since wool is considered to be pure. This is one of the very few shops to stock them. These dhotis are made by a family in a remote village in the Saurashtra region in Western India. Below is a picture of a woollen dhoti.



Cashmilon : Similar to cotswool that was available in India earlier, this fabric is made of acrylic fibre and helps keep the wearer warm. Good for jackets and skirts.



Suede velvet : This fabric has a velvety side to it. Comes in some really pretty colours. I'm sure this fabric has many uses though I can only think of making bags with it. What would you use this for?


Wool fabric : The store also stocks 100 percent wool fabric.
Other fabrics include corduroy, satin, flannel, denim, net fabric, military uniform fabric and turkish towel fabric.



Military fabric

Flannel

Turkish Towel Fabric

Corduroy
And if you thought there was only fabric here, the store also has blankets made of pure wool or acrylic, bedsheets in soft cotton, curtains, cushion covers, dhurries and Solapur bedsheets.

Here is the address of the store:

Maharastra Stores
463/464, Budhwar Peth,
Soba Market,
Pune 411 002
Ph. No : 020-24459585

And now take a look at how the fabric bought at the higher floors reaches the cashier's counter.
Here is a bench


whose top flap when opened serves as a passage for fabric bought.


And the fabric lands on the cashier's counter! This is the top view. I think this practice is unique to Pune. I haven't seen this anywhere else and have always been amused by this.


My love for fabric grows stronger thanks to stores like these. Now to plan some interesting projects with all the fabric I bought.

31 comments:

  1. This chute system has long been there in Cbe. :) Woolen dhoti I haven't seen or heard. Nice shop and lovely write up.

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  2. thank for the detailed write-up.. someday, I'll be lucky to explore Pune.. and, the I've seen the chute system in use in my hometown too.. :-)

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  3. This store is indeed a fabric heaven. I particularly loved the printed mulmul fabric. And as for woollen dhotis LOL :-)

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  4. Nice post! Will let my mom know. I'm sure she'll especially like the flannel. I think that printed mulmul (is it the same as muslin?) is very pretty too!

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  5. @ Vinita - Yes mulmul is the same as muslin.The printed mulmul is closely woven and hence is very soft.

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  6. Can you please tell me where can I get these stuff at Mumbai ? I desperately want printed muslim

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    1. Not very sure about Mumbai. But I think Mangaldas market should give you a good start. Hope this helps.

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    2. yup...I have to go there...thanks for your reply :)

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  7. Suma do we get these materials in commercial /ebrahim saheb street? Also, if you know any place in Blr where I can get jersey knit or any knit fabric to make t-shirts and ribbing too?

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    1. You might not get all these materials in Comm/Ebrahim Saheb Street. But you will surely get a whole lot of other fabrics to choose from. I don't know where to get knit fabric in B'lore. I've only seen it in Mumbai.

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    2. Thank u Suma. You've been patient in answering all my queries :-).

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  8. Thanks for showing the pics of various types of cotton fabrics...

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  9. pretty awesome review. thank you for sharing!

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  10. Thanks for this post Suma - I have been looking for cotton drill and found your blog - check out our work at www.clothbagsindia.com

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    1. So happy you found this information useful :) Checked out your site. Your work is beautiful. Loved the Pune heritage bags.

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  11. Where in Mumbai will I get jersey knit
    Fabric??

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  12. is mulmul same as mul cotton? if it is different then is printed mul cotton available in this store?

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    1. I don't know for sure but I guess since mulmul is very soft cotton it should be the same as mul cotton.

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  13. Hi where can buy flannel fabric in Mumbai.I require it for personal use,for making baby blanket

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    1. I haven't looked for flannel in Mumbai. But do visit Mangaldas cloth market. You might find it there.

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  14. Hi,
    Where can i get satin cloth by the metre in mumbai. Thanks and regards

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  15. Hii, I wanted to buy some good quality velvet fabric for stitching a long skirt .can u tell me which 1 is the right fabric. Does it have any name?What should be the approximate price per metre.

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  16. Hai, where can I find plain mulmul fabric in chennai?

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  17. Hai, where can I find plain mulmul fabric in chennai?

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  18. @Tanushree you can find good velvet fabric in our shop in Zaveri Bazaar Mumbai. I suggest you go for Micro Velvet 9000 or Korean 4 way stretch velour. Approximate Price is 175/mt.
    PS - you can also look for other qualities in nearby shops for velvet/furs
    PPS - Let me know if you have any trouble finding any velvet/fur fabric in Mumbai, I'll guide you nonetheless.
    Cheers,
    Sanket
    shubhtex.com

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    1. Thank you Sanket for answering Tanushree's question. Was wondering if you sell retail. Most products on your site have a MOQ

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  19. Hello Suma! Yes, we also do retail although we prefer wholesale. It's mostly as a service for customers so they could make samples for approval.

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    1. Oh Ok! Hoping to visit your store soon.

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