Much before the organised globalsociety made an appearance, the fashion scenes of individual countries werepredominantly ruled by traditional clothing industry. With advent of the globalsociety, designers started enjoying liberty to merge various cultures and designapparel that catered to the international audience. Conversely, the magnitudeof fashion going global also impacted the local art and tradition. Thetraditional methods of making fabric and apparels were transformed. Thus,Pakistan's zari work was altered as per the needs, requirements andunderstanding of global consumers.
China managed to stay close to itstraditional dresses, but finally the charm of other countries influenced theChinese textile and apparel world. India's handloom industry, which was once acynosure of all eyes, lost its Midas touch for a brief period of time. Thehandloom industry was considered unfit to compete with commercialmanufacturing. On the constructive note, with fashion world becoming moreacceptable to traditions and cultures of various countries, the handloomindustry of India is once again on path of revival.
The handloom industry of India hasbeen getting applause for its refreshing break from past and contemporaryinclusiveness that it offers to the consumers. Though, India's 6.5 millionworkers' handloom industry is still finding it arduous to compete atinternational level, but with several cooperative handloom enterprises croppingup the worst is already over for the handloom industry. The handloom industryof India has evolved a lot and today it comprises of not only Khadi, but alsobrocades from Banaras, Madras checks from Tamil Nadu, tie and dye from Gujaratand Rajasthan, jacquards from Uttar Pradesh, ikats from Andhra and Orissa,phulkari from Punjab and daccai from West Bengal.
The Indian handloom industryproduces 13 percent of the total cloth produced in the country and out of thetotal handloom produced, 16 percent is exported. The Indian handloom is notabout dull and drab designs anymore. The handloom industry that produces widerange of textile products like fabrics, bed linen, table linen, toilet andkitchen linen, towels, curtains, cushions and pads, tapestries and upholstery,carpets and floor coverings, et al provides wonderful designs that areattractive and lively. The wide variety of choice with regard to designs andcolours is ensuring that Indian handloom industry gets the limelight itdeserves.
Till now the handloom weaversencountered problems like unawareness about market trends, lack of innovativedesigns, out of date looms, yarn not of required count and poor quality ofyarn. These aspects hindered the handloom exports. In order to give a faceliftto the Indian handloom, these issues are being resolved with the support fromthe government. The government of India has played a significant role inhelping the handloom industry find a revered place at the international level.The statutory body Handloom Export Promotion Council (HEPC) working under India'sministry of textiles promotes exports of handloom products including fabrics,floor coverings, carpets, home furnishings and others. The HEPC supports andguides the handloom exporters regarding trade fairs, exhibitions andbuyer-seller meets around the world.
The HEPC also markets Indian handloom products at global level in order to ensure that there is awareness among the consumers worldwide regarding the Indian handloom. The council sets target for handloom export each year and since last three financial years the handloom industry has achieved these targets with ease and lan. The Handicrafts and Handloom Exports Corporation of India is also ensuring that the Indian handloom industry gets its due.
The government has taken another step forward to ensure that the handloom industry of India gets the ideal platform and for this purpose steps are being taken to promote the handloom products like tapestry, apparel, fabrics, etc. via on line shopping websites. This contemporary approach has ensured that handloom sector does not stay behind times as far as promotions and marketing are concerned.
The domestic demand and also the export demand of Indian handloom are on rise. The handloom is eco-friendly, gentle on skin, completely organic and represents tradition of India. Currently, the textile ministry of India has approached the government to grant certain concessions to handloom products and the ministry is hoping that if the decision goes in favour of the industry this could lead to a substantial rise in handloom exports of India.
The face of Indian handloom is fast changing and the future looks very promising. The handloom sector's products are finding acceptance by international textile community and are being identified as of top-notch quality. The current generation of designers and also consumers understand the exclusivity and distinctiveness of the Indian handloom.
Fabrics and clothing reflect the attitude of the society. The handloom industry of India is shaping the perceptions of the rest of the world regarding India. Though the reality and the journey of Indian handloom industry have not been dreamlike so far, but, the awareness among the designers and consumers has warranted a smooth going for the handloom sector from now on.