Handloom – the Woven Heritage of India
India has a long tradition of excellent handloom products. These products are not only high quality but are also made with extraordinary skills and craftsmanship. Indian handloom is the timeless face of the rich cultural heritage of India. It is generally estimated that there are 6.5 million people who directly or indirectly depend on the handloom sector in India for their livelihood. Also there are about 3.5 million handlooms spread all over India. Increasing population and popularity of handloom, the market is expected to increase and per capital consumption is also expected to rise. Handloom has an edge over power loom and mills. Goods can be produced in smaller quantity in handloom. There is an openness for innovations, new designs are easy, supplier’s requirements can be accommodated, and exquisite designs can be created.
India is a reputed place for handloom weaving. Handloom in India are extremely diverse in their tradition and culture. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Kutch to Kohima, Indian handloom has its own unique flavor which is distinct to its area of origin and weaving. They differ in their design, texture, cloth and technique. Indian handloom comes in hundreds of varieties of silk and cotton which is used as the base fabric. In some Indian handloom gold or silver or their metallic variants are used to form attractive zari or thread to create attractive borders or decorative patterns or traditional pallus. Lively and colorful combination of fabric is achieved through painting, weaving or dyeing.
One of the most attractive and well known apparels of the Indian handloom is the Indian saree. It is also arguably one of most beautiful creations of Indian handloom known around the globe. Rich and traditional in their handloom weaving, the saree is evergreen and its fashion position is almost everlasting. This is mainly because of the varied fabrics and the unique designs made possible through handlooms. This uniqueness or distinctness is not possible in power loom. Each and every state of India has its own unique weaving. Sarees come in so many variants. Popular among these are – Ikkat, kalamkari, tassar silk, phulkari, Sanganeri, Chanderi cotton, Bananasi, Chikan, Kantha, cotton silk, Gadwal, Jamdhani, Kanchi, Narayanpet, Chettinadu, Mangalagiri, Assam, Nagaland, Pashmina, Madurai, and others. Banarasi brocaded sarees, chanderi glossy weaves, Gujarat Gharchola, Rajkot Patola weave, Mysore silks, Kanchipuram Pattu sarees,
Uppada silks, Dharmavaram and arni pure silk sarees are some of the exclusive collections of Indian wedding wear and bridal attires. In line with recent fashion trends Indian handloom is being applied to salwar kameez, kurti and other ethnic and traditional applications. Indian handloom has carried their exquisiteness and quality for years to become a magnificent part of the Indian style statement. Indian handloom has also witnessed changes in their weaves, motifs, and designs over the passage of time. Salwar kameez which historically have found a place in the Indian and Asian woman’s wardrobe have evolved with the times. Its huge range of various designs has achieved a new dimension. Outside the ubiquitous saree, the impact of Indian handloom has been the greatest in the case of salwar kameez and kurtis. Like saree, these two varieties effortlessly fit into any wardrobe – formal, semi formal, festive, or otherwise. A kurti, for instance, can easily dress a woman for her office going ventures or for informal.