The Great Call for Preserving and Sustaining the traditional Handloom Heritage of India

The unparallel richness of Indian Handwoven textiles uprightly magnifies, as well as glorifies the skilled craftsmanship which had been inherent in every fine piece of craft produced from the same. India’s vast heritage of Handwoven textiles constitutes of 85% of the total market share, which makes our contribution to the sector, downright unchallenged. Each State ad region showcases their distinctness in their traditional craft and product, which brings even more glory to the legacy of the greatness of Indian Handlooms and the craft of Hand-weaving. The Handloom industry subsidies to the agriculture industry in terms of the number of persons employed.  

To the same degree as that of the agriculture sector, it is however being noted that the new generation in the craftsman families are opting out of the profession, which is causing the long-lived legacy and heritage of the Handloom industry to shrink in the market size, as well as Indians losing out on to keep the tradition and techniques alive. That is where advanced practices with technological backing such as power looms, and the mill sector comes into place to replace the market and production-wise sectoral share. The slow death of the handloom textile tradition and industry is extremely agonizing. The means of Handloom production is what signifies India and its true core values and makes it inseparable from the living atmosphere, as being a primary household staple for some in the rural regions of India, this practice of producing fine handwoven textiles such as Chanderi, Mysore Silk, Maheshwari, and others requires the whole family to work together, with each member having a task to fulfil. These rural weavers, however, are often exploited by market forces such that of extensive import of cheaper fabric, high-cost credit with choked credit lines, adaptive and western consumer preferences, as well as economic and trade liberalization. 

The Government of India, however, have come up with various policy interventions, which are uplifting weavers and making them adapt to the changing consumer patterns in India. The Handloom (Reservation of Articles for Production) Act, 1985, has been enacted in order to reserve 11 textile articles with certain technical specifications, for the exclusive production via handlooms. Regular financial assistance and capital-based funds are given a nod by the Central and State Governments so that the state-of-the-art Handloom Textile Industry do not succumb to the market pressure. In a world and time of an ecological and environmental crisis, wherein associations and administrations across the globe are working on eco-friendly substitutes for production, the Handloom can be a catalyst for change. Traditional Handlooms used in rural India tend to be independent and an autonomous form of innovation, which does not have any polluting byproduct. The complete industry could emerge as the ultimate sustainable form of production, as well as skill-based employment in India. 

The sheer craftsmanship of hand weaving, and the Handloom industry, as a whole, has been sustained through centuries of surviving and nurturing, from one generation to another, making it not only a crucial player in the economy but also reflects upon the socio-culture distinctiveness of India as a Nation of Culture and rich heritage. In order to preserve the Handloom industry and make it sustainable by all means, one must investigate the grounds upon which, it is deteriorating. As per government and research-based analytics, the major problems which arise are lack of infrastructure in production, exhibition, and sales, lack of research and development, as well as lack of knowledge of market trends amongst traditional weavers. Most of these hurdles are resolved by Public Policies and domestic production promotion schemes, yet few turn out to collect subsidies and even fewer are aware of the public schemes. This is where, it is urged for the new generations to step in, utilize various means of multimedia, as well as social media, and engage themselves in the rich patrimony of the Handloom Industry. In order to promote handloom-based textile startups, central and state governments have been making efforts in clearing choked credit lines, providing loans at low-interest rates, for individuals to explore business opportunities in the field, as well as simultaneously, adopt the rich heritage of hand-weaving by employing and enlarging skilled workers in the respective field. 

The Indian Handloom Industry and its cultural roots have persevered through exceptional, as well as challenging times such as that of the British Dominion. Irrespective of the nature of the defiance, the handloom tradition and our rich weaves, much like that of the intangible cultural heritage of the Indian Civilization, have endured and thrived and require the most attention at the current time. It is the duty of every individual to maintain the legacy of our traditions, art and culture so that it could be preserved through another generation and project its magical charm.

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