Look at the weaver, not the weave
When one thinks of Indian handlooms, revival crosses our mind no doubt. But for some time now, preserving the age-old traditions alone has not been enough. It has also become a necessity to revitalise the weavers, who have been leaving the profession in hordes. Talk to any designer, brand or educator in the fashion industry and they would say that motivating weavers and letting them know that their work is valued is necessary to stop them from leaving to become peons or menial labourers in cities.
The craft and skill necessary to make a handloom product is a culmination of generations of trial and error and knowledge. It will be a shame to see the efforts and skills of an entire profession go down the drain because the knowledge they possess isn’t through formal means. Experts also believe that it has become paramount to help the community become acquainted with modern technology and global trends, since awareness of market trends can improve the saleability of a product. Add to that collectivisation of marketing efforts. Incentives like better remuneration to posting their photos on social media or on hang tags of the products and informing customers about the ones creating their clothes can be introduced to stop the exodus of weavers. Soon after the National Handloom Day and in the run-up to Independence Day, we hope this community is not fighting a losing war.
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