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Completely cotton

After a major revamp, Finlay's - the brand known for its pure cotton fabrics from the pre-Independent era - returns with trendy stuff for today's youngsters

NOT MORE than a century ago, when India was still under British rule , a Britisher called James Finlay gave Indians a reason to be proud of — the softness of mul and cotton fabrics. In 1907, he started the Finlay's movement in the country to tell the world what mesmerised him. Since then, the Finlay's superfine cotton fabric symbolised quality.

The Finlay's mills, now taken over by the National Textile Corporation (South Maharashtra) Ltd., is what it is today, thanks to the efforts of the current management under the supervision of V.K. Tripathi. The Finlay's showroom at Hyderabad that started 40 years ago in Abids still sticks to its credo of maintaining quality.

"The rich and the elite of the Fifties and the Sixties used to visit us from different parts of the State to buy those superfine muls (F-74), lawns, cottons, voiles and organdies. Our bracelet dhotis and organdie saris are popular even now," says Adarshlata Pancholi, store manager. And their regular customers, who keep coming back even after four decades, are proof enough of that.

"Customers come from as far as Rajahmundry and Visakhapatnam to specifically buy dhotis and organdie saris from us. And, despite the onslaught of branded clothes and malls, the demand for retail cloth merchants is still strong," vouches Vincent Premkumar.

After big-time renovation and revamping, the shop re-started with a bang to cater to the younger crowd. "In these days of fashion revolution, we wanted to venture into the readymade garments segment to lure youngsters. So, we have introduced trousers and tops for girls and boys, painted kurtas and shirts for executives. Of course, our major assets, dhotis and saris still hold pride of place in the showroom," says Adarshlata.

After the revamp, Finlay's ensured that it has something new to offer to its new clientele. The newly introduced undergarments and the much talked about Finlay's white shirt, made with 95 gms cotton, are testimony to the management's spirit of experimentation. The store also launched dandia kurtas for Hyderabadi men for the Navratri season.

The store's USP lies in its 100 per cent pure, soft and lightweight cotton fabrics whose colours do not fade even after many washes. The handcrafted traditional kurtas in pastel shades which now come in three categories namely Nawab, Vazir and Rajkumar are sold alongside the trendy executive shirts (in Classic, Baron and Rook ranges) stitched for the ultra-modern executive in different colours and styles like dyes, checks and stripes.

The `new' list in the store encompasses designer tops in print and embroidery for women and premium bed sheets in innovative designs - all in 100 per cent cotton fabric.

The only thing that the store is found in wanting currently is its children's wear section. There is nothing for the tiny tots as far as ready-to-wear outfits are concerned. Parents have to go in for material and then look up for tailoring services elsewhere.

To check out comfortable cotton, visit Finlay's (Opp. Canara Bank, Abids, Tel: 23201830) and you can be sure that you cannot walk out without purchasing something.

Fact file

Shop: Finlay's showroom, Abids

Tel: 23201830

Timings: 10.30 a.m. to 8.30 p.m.

Price range

Dhotis (per pair) - Rs. 750 upwards

Kurtas - Rs. 1,000 and above

Shirts (white and colour) - Rs. 800 onwards

Saris (organdie and voiles) - Rs. 380 and Rs. 320 upwards

Tops - Rs. 200-Rs. 500

Trousers - Rs. 270-Rs. 500

SHANTI NANISETTI

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