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Once ignored India’s handloom becoming latest trend among millennials

Being part of India’s legacy and timeless traditions, handloom weaving has sustained and grown over the years by transfer of skills from one generation to another.

Handloom weaving is largely decentralized, and weaving families are mainly from the vulnerable and weaker sections of society, who weave for their household needs and also contribute to the production in the textile sector. These weaving families are keeping alive the legacy of traditional Indian craft of different regions. The level of artistry and intricacy achieved in handloom fabrics is unparalleled and certain weaves/designs are still beyond the scope of modern machines.

The handloom sector can meet every consumer need ranging from exquisite fabrics, which take months to weave, to popular items for daily use. As per the 3rd Handloom report carried out in 2009-10, more than 43 lakh people are engaged in weaving and allied activities. Remarkably around 77 percent of adult weavers are women and only 23 percent are men. Around 23.77 Lakhs looms of varied designs and construction are used by these weavers. A total of 7200 million sq.mtrs of handloom textiles were produced in India during 2014-15 and 2246 Crores of handlooms were exported.

In addition to being the 2nd largest employment provider in the unorganized sector (after agriculture), the Indian handloom industry is also unique as a sector which employs over 75% women. In today’s India when young people from rural/semi-rural areas are constantly tempted to desert their traditional vocations and migrate to urban areas for employment, the handloom sector provides these weavers/artisans, the opportunity to earn decent wages and at the same time preserve India’s beautiful weaving heritage.

Despite being such a large industry and more importantly where 75% of the artisans are women, this section has not received the recognition which they deserve. There are few E-Commerce platforms that are touching lives of more than 1000 weavers every month in a mission to democratize access to fine Indian handlooms sourced from a plethora of weaving clusters across the country.

Digital platforms have the potential to innovate and scale up volumes of Indian handloom products, both in the domestic and international markets. This has huge potential for the Indian economy as it holds the key to providing large scale employment to over 4 million weavers spread all over the country in rural & semi-rural areas. There are few E-Commerce platforms like us that are touching lives of more than 1000 weavers every month in a mission to democratize access to fine Indian handlooms sourced from a plethora of weaving clusters across the country.

In the new Digital economy, top class digital platforms could be the ‘x-factor’ that will catalyze the widespread usage and growth of traditional handlooms. And thus help in weaving an alternate story for the Indian weaver. DMZ International wants to play a vital role in this mission.

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