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NIFT trains Karnataka tribal women in handloom weaving
Sep '12
The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) is helping tribal women in Karnataka to become self-reliant by training them on various forms of design intervention for handloom weaving. 
“The Department of Handlooms and Textiles aims to do some projects on design intervention for handloom weavers, hence we are training the tribal people in Chikamgalur and Udipi regions,” confirmed Professor Sivalingam, the Founder Faculty of the Textile Design Department at NIFT, Bangalore, in an interview with fibre2fashion.
“There are lots of women who are being trained by the government in order to improvise their lifestyle. These women wish to create their own identity through the fabrics that are being produced in the region. And to support them, the government has recently constructed a weaving shed and also provided new handlooms,” he adds. 
He further reveals, “The government is planning to invest approximately Rs. 20 million in one cluster and Rs. 200 million in another cluster to have a complete set up including a common facility centre, where they can have a design studio, sampling department, manufacturing unit with garment machinery and finishing machines with a small in-house dyeing and printing facility.”
Explaining the unique role of NIFT in this project, he says, “Through the training program, NIFT is playing a vital role in making the tribal people sustainable and lead a better life. The institute will also proactively help them in market linkage and organizing with the retail sector.”
When quizzed about the steps that NIFT has taken so far in the training project, he replies, “We have visited two clusters where a lot of women are showing interest in having their own designs. Initially, we provided nearly 60 designs and trained them to develop their own fabric. Now we are going to implement around 100 designs in each cluster.”
Professor Sivalingam informs that presently the tribal women are working mostly on bed sheets and cushion covers. However, in future the yarn count could be changed to make finer fabrics, which can be further used for product development and diversification into production of various apparels, home textiles and lifestyle products. 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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