After the initial exhibition titled ‘Khadi – The fabric of freedom’ in 2002-2003, the original sponsors Volkart Foundation on the recommendation of Martand Singh handed over the exhibition for its promotion & development of fabrics to Rta Kapur Chishti and her team.

Taanbaan label was initiated in 2005 to support and sustain hand spinning and hand-weaving of organically cultivated indigenous cotton and silks.

Taanbaan over the years has developed its own method of working as a team combining fixed & dynamic human resources inputs.

  •  Research /Design/ Marketing

- Lead Designer: Pallavi Verma
- Associates: Deeksha Poddar, Mehak K Chishti.

  • Taanbaan now in collaboration with Blue Lotus for production & marketing

  • Consultant: Pooja Haldar.

  • Studio: Furkan Saifi, Josephine Paul.

  • Production:  Sh. Veerabhadra & Team, Sh. Thubrikar & team, Sh. Usman & team.

Taanbaan was initiated by Rta Kapur Chishti, who is a recognized textile scholar, co-author and editor of the ‘Saris of India’ volumes which included the previously published ‘Saris of India’ volumes on Madhya Pradesh, Bihar & West Bengal as well as ‘Handcrafted Indian Textiles -Tradition and Beyond’. She has been a contributing author to several other publications. As a writer and translator, she has written of the life and work of craftsmen and scripted for films and exhibitions. She has been consistently involved with research and development of handspun-handloom textiles. She is founder of the “Sari School” which produces saris & organizes workshops & private classes for those who wish to learn the wonders of this unstitched garment & make it more relevant to their lives today. As advisor to she and her colleagues Pallavi Verma and Mehak k Chishti trained the models during filming in NY.


  • Experimented with spinning & weaving in a non-formal educational program at the ‘Bal Bhawan National Children’s Museum, New Delhi in an attempt to introduce children to the entire process of drawing fiber out of cacti within the compound & spinning it into yarn, dyeing & tapestry weaving with it.

  • Wrote books for children as well as articles in newspaper culture pages on exceptional craftsmanship which were published by UNICEF, the India Magazine, Science Age & The Economic Times.

  • Worked with Kamladevi Chattopadhyaya at Naika & Theatre Crafts Trust & Shanta behn  Gandhi on theatre costumes & script translations etc.

  • Met with crafts people whose skills were far beyond what the market supported & traveled to the natural tye-dyeing & printing areas of Rajasthan & Gujarat as well as Ikat yarn resist weaving in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha & Gujarat. This led to travels for a comparative study of these techniques in Japan in 1981.

  • Was invited by late Martand Singh, the then Director of Callico Museum of Textiles to present the craftsperson’s point of view in seven different techniques in the publication titled Master Weavers’ accompanying the exhibition at the Royal College of Art, London.

  • Was invited in a long term association with all the exhibitions Martand Singh curated subsequently as a colleague, co-author & part of the curatorial team that include: 1983 Visvakarma- Pudu Pavu (The New Warp), 1984 Visvakarma-Rasa (The Evoking of Variant Moods), 1984 Visvakarma- Dhaari (The use of ‘Line’), 1985 Visvakarma-Jaali (Trellis),
    1986 Visvakarma- Ksetra (Exploring New ‘Fields’), 1990 Visvakarma-Birds & Animals in Indian Textiles (Homage to Dr Salim Ali the well-known ornithologist), 1996 Splendour of Indian Textiles exhibition in Beijing 1991.

  • Was invited to research ‘The Saris of India’ project which began as a district by district, village by village research & documentation exercise in 1984.

  •  Launched the first volume of the ‘Saris of India’ series, published 1989 by Wiley Eastern at the IIC New Delhi accompanied by an AV presentation & a theatrical rendering of the Saris of Madhya Pradesh by Naya Theater directed by Habib Tanvir.

  •  Released volume two of ‘Saris of India’: West Bengal & Bihar published by Wiley Eastern Pvt. Ltd. In 1995.

  • Undertook 1992 onwards lecture tours on ‘Saris of India &Textile Developments’ presented at: the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; A.E.D.T.A Paris; Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York; Los Angeles Country Museum, L.A; University of California, Davis & Azabu museum of Arts, Tokyo.

  •  Co-author for ‘Handcrafted Indian Textiles- Tradition & Beyond’ published by Roli Books,1999 with Martand Singh & Rahul Jain.

  • Was a contributing author for several publications including ‘Arts & Crafts of Central India’published by Mapin Publishers, India & ‘Modern Indian Costume’ for the 18 volume ‘Dictionary of Art’ by Macmillan Publishers, U.K.

  • Authored & edited final volume titled ‘Saris-Tradition & Beyond’ 2010 published by Roli Books a compendium volume on fifteen states including the already published ones.

  • Presented the contemporary Indian picture in tie dyed textiles at the ‘World Shibori Symposium’ (WSS) 1996 through a lecture and craft demonstration at Nagoyo, Japan. Followed by similar presentations in Tokyo and Yamanashi, Japan.

       In 2009 was invited WSS once again to conduct a workshop & present Taanbaan textiles with Pallavi Verma in Hong Kong.

  • Coordinated and presented for a seminar on Indian textiles for the Indo-Japan Society with delegates from both countries held at N.I.D. Ahmadabad.