New Delhi, Feb. 23 -- Luxury textiles and jewellery are not new to India. The maharajahs patronised guilds with master craftspeople working in fine weaving and embroideries for centuries. They created custom-made clothes and saris for royalty, some of which are yet to be matched for their sophisticated concepts and superb workmanship. Indian luxury goods have always been defined by their exceptional heritage value in that they were invariably handmade, using skills inherited over generations. Bespoke textiles in India, therefore, were never meant for mass consumption, but were produced under the patronage of kings and temples.

This order has changed radically in the western world. In the last five decades, many European fashion houses, c...