Handloom Weaving: A Tough Competition

NEW Bureau

Handloom textiles are a part of the cultural heritage of India from time immemorial. It constitutes one of the richest and most exciting features of the Indian cultural heritage. It is also the country’s second largest employment generation sector next to agriculture. The weaving community consisted of a wide range of ethnic groups reflecting their caste and community identity in the weaving pattern, workmanship, style, motif and colour combinations.

The handloom sector has a long tradition of excellent craftsmanship in India. Handloom is totally different from the mill made, semi automatic and power loom sectors. The creative urge of the people found expression in innumerable forms of exquisiteness and the artistic textiles had never-ending charm.  The exceptional and multifaceted combination of weaving prevailing in India and the production methods, lends these products a unique and naturally occurring quality and fashion which has won the support and recognition all over the world for well over a century.

The profession of handloom weaving has been one of the main factors of growth in Indian economy, and has traditionally been one of the most surviving sectors of mass employment. It forms the highest employment generating, labor-intensive and export-oriented industry especially in rural and semi-urban areas in India. Despite the fact that Indian Handloom Industry is a source of livelihood for millions of people and contributes a major part towards employment, in large parts of India, handloom weaving lost its fame and prosperity.

 Business world is highly competitive for any sector and they have to face so many problems. The handloom weavers are no exception to this. They face tough competition from various players in the market.  Handloom, a part of textiles, comprising cotton, jute, silk, wool, artificial fiber, special fibers and sericulture faces intense competition from power loom and mill sectors and from foreign countries like china, Bangladesh etc. The emergence of industrialization with the wake of the industrial revolution in England had an impact on India’s handloom sector. It brought out many transformations in the handlooms and it directly affected the empowerment of weaving community. Moreover, the liberalization of the international trade along with change in the reforms of indigenous economy, have affected negatively to handloom weaving industry.

In this modern world of technological advancement, the societies face various problems in many fields like production, marketing and finance. The major problem which is faced by handloom sector is non- availability of good quality of raw material such as yarn, dyes and dye materials at reasonable price. Handloom weavers again faces harsh livelihood crisis because of adverse government policies, globalisation and changing socio-economic conditions. In the present set-up, the handloom workers are mainly from the susceptible and weaker sections of the society, the poorest of the lot, least respected, socially and economically deprived, living in debts, which weave for their household needs and also contribute to the production in the textile sector. As we are all aware, financial source is important for any industry to become successful.  Despite being one of the crucial parts of livelihood for rural people, the weaving sector has not been given proper attention in various budgets and Government policies. Lack of information to weavers regarding various policies and schemes is no less a significant cause for the declining fortunes of the weaver community. Thus the weavers are attracted to power looms than on handlooms because working on power looms requires less energy, fetch more wages and good quality of yarn supplied by them.

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