Handlooms are India’s unique heritage and the livelihood of lakhs of skilled handloom weavers.
A move is on to repeal The Handloom Reservation Act, which since 1985 has been protecting traditional Handloom weaves, especially saris, from being copied by their machine-made and powerloom competitors. It was a small but important protection for Handloom weavers, who otherwise struggle to survive. Their yarn, their designs and their markets are under attack.
Now the influential powerloom lobby has agitated successfully that this Act be withdrawn. To say that because we have powerlooms, we don’t need handlooms does not make sense. The handloom can create thousands of distinctive regional weaves and designs that no powerloom can replicate, and a tactile wonderful drape that is also irreplaceable by mechanised means. Globally too, more and more ecologically sensitive international buyers look to India as a source for the hand made.
Each weave has a cultural tradition and a story, each linking us to our social and cultural roots. If we remove the protection and incentives for handloom weavers to continue weaving their traditional products and saris, we would suddenly be bereft of both our past and our future.
Handloom lovers, it’s time to raise your voice! Join us in lobbying against the repeal of The Handloom Reservation Act.
– via Dastkar Delhi