The History And Making Of Roliana : The Benaras Splendour
A 100 year old heritage textile brand from Benaras taken to the world with homegrown love.
For more than a century, the Mehra family has been working with weavers and craftsmen from Benaras to showcase a handloom collection dipped in the true ancient crafts of the loom across the world. Roshan Lal Sarees was started by Roshan Lal Mehra, 4 generations ago and was one of the most renowned Gaddis in Benaras, with a huge clientele overseas in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Europe.
One of the first additions by the next generation was block printing, started by Shyam Mehra. These blocks were essentially used to make carpets, but a visionary like Mr. Mehra started creating his own blocks to use in Benarasi textiles. He later introduced hand painting, which only started as a passion initially by setting up a table in the drawing room, and eventually turned into one of the most beautiful textile collections, unique to the brand alone.
In the 1990s, Vikash Mehra, co-founder of Roliana joined the family business, bringing in a cosmopolitan outlook to the brand with his artistic sensibility.
L: Roli Mehra , R: Vikash Mehra
Roliana launched about 3 decades ago as an offshoot of Roshan Lal Sarees and was emboldened by the fierce perseverance of the founders, Roli and Vikash Mehra, whose vision was to recreate the dying romance between women and the weave.
A decade later, Benarasi weaves and textiles were losing their charm and were not the most desired option by young women, primarily because of how heavy the sarees used to be. It was then that Roli & Vikash Mehra brainstormed with their weavers to revive the love for heirloom textiles by blending fabrics, which in no way was adultering the quality or purity of the fabrics used, but instead use fabrics like moonga georgette, tussar and georgette to name a few, to make beautiful drape friendly sarees.
This was named Roliana’s Revival Series, using flowy and wearable fabrics with old poths and motifs, traditional to Benrasi weaves.
In today’s day and age, change is the only constant, specially in the ever evolving fashion industry and our founders understood that Adapting and Innovating is the key to proceed. Consciously choosing to remain a very niche brand, the fire of creativity that sparked collections by Roliana have always had the unique expression by combining weaves with exquisite hand painting or tie-dye techniques, from zardozi embroideries to intricate chikankari work.
A classic Roliana benarasi saree would always showcase the breathtaking amalgamation of art created by our weavers and hand painters.
Standing strong with and for the dying art of the famed handloom industry, we pledge to continuously revive it bit by bit with a keen eye on the fabric and workmanship.
We at Roliana, welcome you to come and experience the flow of the dupatta, the undulating fall of a Saree with the exquisite colors of the Resham and zari dhaaga peeping through and the elegance of the colorful tassels finishing the edging of the pallu all contributing to make each Saree or fabric a collector’s delight to be lovingly worn and then passed to the next generation with pride.