National Handloom Day, India: Jaypore Speaks with Experts

The Indian government announces 7th August as India’s first ever National Handloom Day, with the unveiling of the brand ‘India Handloom’. “The National Handloom Day and honouring of handloom weavers will not only provide an impetus to the handloom industry of India but would also serve to promote handloom as a genuine international product of good quality” says the Textile Minister. Jaypore speaks to industry experts for a message to the country on the significance of handloom today.

“Handloom woven is worth  the human effort of hand-skill & time if it produces a distinct texture in fabric or pattern that maintains the distance from mechanized machine made…” – Rta Kapur Chishti, Taanbaan

Images courtesy: Taanbaan

We need handloom the same way we need the wisdom of our forefathers. As it percolates down the generations, to our children and theirs, it teaches us the value and the eternal beauty of culture and tradition.” – Bina Rao, Creative Bee

Images courtesy: Creative Bee

“Handlooms are the soul of Indian textiles. Outcome of the strong association of the weavers with Nature, these are not only eco-friendly but also contribute to preserving the delicate ecological, spiritual and societal balance. The farmers, weavers, carpenters, their families all are involved in the production process hence purchasing handloom ensures the sustenance of the entire chain. Those who wear these fabrics are bestowed with grace that only Nature can  impart, hence no human mind can create the earthy charm that the wearer supports dressed in these fine textiles.

Even the crudest fabric has a strong spiritual connect, not only suggestive of a story of evolution but also carries the bhaav, feel of the weaver, which will always be progressive as he/she would want more and more people to wear his/her craft. Most evolved people on Earth, like Gandhi ji have supported these. Handlooms are our true second skin, as they are closest to our being in the real sense. Wear Handloom please! Kora staff plans to wear hand loom on 7th to celebrate Handloom Day.” – Anjali Kalia, Kora

Images courtesy: Kora, tribuneindia.com

“India was historically, in its golden age, a producer of fine handlooms that were exported and used worldwide… It was the largest employment sector and has the potential to be so today, as well. We have the highest number of skilled weavers and unique traditions that other people have copied and duplicated, let us all join hands to save our handlooms and our weavers…in the recognition that handlooms are an expression of our inner nature. It is a creation that did not exist before and makes the artisan a creator not just a maker…

As we are moving towards an awareness that our hand-skills are what nourish the soul and create a peaceful society, we MUST preserve the cultural heritage of our country that denotes our identity as a producer of fine textiles worldwide…Let us all adopt a village and wear handloom as it is good for our well being as well. We are the change makers…” – Rashmi Bharti, Avani

Images courtesy: Avani, womensweb.in

“In its depth and diversity, Indian handloom is a unique world heritage treasure. It  can also be an excellent source of income. At WomenWeave we have seen that weaving can earn critical income for rural families. The product woven must be valuable; the skill level must be high. The more directly weavers can sell in the market, the better for their income and their future. Young weavers across India need to learn everything possible from their elders before this treasure is lost.

That knowledge has great monetary value for the future. India’s handloom is a world heritage treasure. No other country has comparable depth and diversity of hand woven cloth. Centuries of skills and knowledge, can reap great rewards for rural India’s weavers today. Elder weavers must pass their weaving skills to the young; and we must teach young weavers direct marketing skills. The tighter the link between weaver and market, the greater the profit.  The more secure the tradition. At WomenWeave, we have seen this happen on a small scale. It needs to happen all over the country.” – Sally Holkar, Women Weave

Images courtesy: Women Weave, thehindu.com

“…I am first a textile designer and later a ‘fashion designer’ . In the strictest  sense of the word, fashion designing and what we know of it, stems from the base fabrics and what goes ‘behind’ the garment: the fabric. In this context, the fabric is the backbone of our brand ‘Paromita Banerjee’ since each and every piece of the outfit that you celebrate as part of our brand, stems from our weaver clusters placed around India. The ideology of the brand is about a local approach to global aesthetics rooted in the Handloom sector of India. And here the Handloom sector forms the pivot for all our collections. It is an immense high to create and innovate at the loom-stage and our weavers / master craftsmen have been our backbone ever since the inception of our brand in 2009.

Image courtesy: rediff.com

“While I am glad , National Handloom Day is being celebrated , but in my heart of hearts, I just wish , we were not celebrating this day only as a single day event, once a year . To me, ‘handloom’ is equavalent to the ‘handmade’ and hence needs to be celebrated every single day of our waking lives.” – Paromita Banerjee, Paromita Banerjee

“I am delighted that Handloom Day is being celebrated and Handloom textiles beIng given the importance they deserve.  Handloom fabrics are the pride of India. They are also a reminder of the nation’s freedom struggle and the sacrifices that were made to get it.  For thousands of years our weavers have carried forward the handloom tradition, and adorned the warp and the weft of our lives with their unique and beautiful creations.

Today, it is the lack of awareness and knowledge of the richness and uniqueness of this legacy, and also the lack of appreciation and insufficient remuneration for this skill that is taking the weaver away from handlooms and destroying the tradition.

Lets use this occasion to celebrate the exquisite handlooms of India by choosing to wear handloom fabrics more often, and thus sustain this world heritage craft.” – Chandra Jain, Kimkhab

Images courtesy: Chandra Jain, www.jaypore.com

“I work for that day when the word ‘hand-loom’ connotes neither cheap…nor imperfect…nor does it bring to mind visions of poor artisans with underfed children. I look forward to that day when ‘hand-loom’ is associated with pride and joy…and rightfully acknowledged as the very backbone of our culture and heritage.” – Sarita Ganeriwala, Karomi

Images courtesy: www.jaypore.com

Well, couldn’t agree more!