Handloom weaving is an ancient craft practiced in every region of India and is, through its myriad of sophisticated expressions, a unique art form that to this day supports millions of livelihoods in India.
The beauty and diversity within the Indian handloom tradition have been renowned for centuries. Every weaving community has its own identity woven into the cloth they produce – determined by indigenous technique, materials and design.
Elder handloom weavers are the last living archives of unique traditional skills. Unfortunately, their children and grandchildren often know little of these skills and much knowledge has already been lost.
Now is our last chance to capture what remains of a heritage craft so that young weavers can still benefit from the knowledge of their elders.
However, despite their innate capabilities, weavers today are unable to understand and respond to changing tastes and requirements in their designs. Their inability to meet the needs of the global consumer or international quality standards leaves them unable to leverage the extant global demand to boost their livelihood security.
This leads of widespread attrition of young weavers away from their traditional vocation, into what they consider to be more remunerative and "fashionable" professions. On the other hand, for the continuity, of this age-old tradition, it is becoming increasingly more necessary for the next generation of weavers to take over from the ageing old guard.
It is imperative that their education system is defined, strengthened and made more relevant to address the challenges faced by the young weaving community today. However, there are very few academic institutions that act as a bridge for traditional weavers and today’s business needs. Hence the urgency for an institution which can fill this void.
With the advent of the internet, mobile phones and social media—the handloom sector is undergoing a renaissance of sorts...Read more...