Why are we turning the spotlight on handwoven fabrics made in India? Apart from their elegant air, here are six other reasons why we must support desi weaves.
- Wear India on our sleeves, literally: A fabric tour of India is a stimulating sensory ride across the length and breadth of the country. Be it Kanjivaram, Irkal, Muga, Bandhani or Paithani, each fabric and weaving technique is unique, reflecting the creativity and skill of the weaver and the cultural diversity of the region. Let’s feel proud of our diverse heritage and wear our awesome handlooms with pride.
- Support the weavers: The story of a saree is incomplete without the mention of the weaver who weaves tirelessly on the shuttle, producing intricate weaves that are simply breathtaking. They are our unsung heroes and sheroes, who deserve all the appreciation and honour for the hard work they put in. The best way to show we care is by wearing what they make. As simple as that!
When we wear a handloom silk cotton saree or dhoti or a khadi kurta, we bring a smile across the faces of many weavers who are part of an ancient industry. We may not be able to see the smiles, but we can rest assured that the creators are rewarded and are indeed smiling.
- Sustain handloom tradition: The handloom sector is second only to agriculture in terms of employment. It contributes about 23 per cent of the total cloth produced in the country. So, the more handloom products we buy, the more the industry is benefitted. We thus make sure more and more weavers are enthused to take to the profession and the tradition lives on.
- Go green: Handloom weaves are ecofriendly and natural, as they avoid chemical dyes and require minimal power. When the whole world is facing the enormous impact of global warming and non-ecofriendly practices, the onus is on each of us to inculcate green habits in our daily life. Wearing handloom weaves is a simple and conscious way to leave a virtually-nil carbon footprint.
- Perfect for the Indian weather: Indian weaves are comfortable, breathable and easy on the skin—perfect for the largely tropical climate in India.
- Showcase our individuality: As each handcrafted piece is a distinct creation that cannot be replicated, this is a great way to showcase our individuality. India fabrics are versatile and open to innovations; they are traditional yet trendy, stylish and graceful too! Moreover, desi weaves are not for Indian clothes alone. They can be creatively styled to make western outfits too.
Movements such as Friends of Handloom and 100 Saree Pact led by young people and initiatives by the government like National Handloom Day and Make in India are appreciable efforts that are focused on making handlooms a part of our everyday wardrobe, especially in urban India. All of us can do our bit in this endeavour that seeks to revive the handloom fabrics of our country and preserve the timeless tradition for years to come.