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Handloom weaving to get boost with new technology
Dec '09
Handloom weaving in Kashmir which has been a household traditional craft since centuries handed down from generation to generation, will now receive a new lease of life, thanks to a new loom technology, developed by the Indian Institute of Carpet Technology.

At its peak, the handloom sector used to employ hundreds of thousands of people, but reducing incomes and physical distress has kept away the new generation of Kashmiri's who prefer alternative sources of employment.

Handloom weaving requires a weaver to sit for long hours which leads to physical deformities in the long run; however, the new loom, enables the weavers to sit on chairs while weaving carpets and in the process has removed the disadvantage.

The only deterrent is the cost of the new loom, which is higher than the normal handloom. To make it affordable, the Indian Institute of Carpet Technology has written to the Government of India to subsidise the new looms.

The Carpet Institute has requested the state and the central governments to subsidize the cost of the looms by subsidizing 75 percent of the cost, with the rest to be borne by the weavers. As per this formula the cost to the government is Rs 35,000 per loom.

The Institute hopes that if the government accedes to the proposal to give subsidy, it will be able to replace around 40,000 outdated handlooms in a phased manner spread out over a period of five years at the rate of 8,000 looms per year.

It also hopes that the introduction of this new loom would not only make carpet weaving less hazardous, but will also elevate the social status of the craftsmen, saving the industry from its impending breakdown and attract fresh talent.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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