The engagement of the fashion designer was done under the ministry’s initiative, to engage reputed designers in handloom clusters for product development/diversification, improved marketability and better returns. MoUs were signed with IMG Reliance and other similar organisations on the second National Handloom Day, August 7, 2016, in Varanasi.
Sarkar worked in association with Weavers’ Service Centre, Kolkata in Coochbehar and Udaynarayanpur handloom clusters. It is expected that the products developed will go a long way in supporting handlooms, with the weavers getting higher wages.
The ministry of textiles has sanctioned a large number of projects for comprehensive development of handloom-concentrated blocks across the country. As many as 273 such projects have been sanctioned with 2,30,133 weavers as beneficiaries. These include Coochbehar and Udaynarayanpur handloom clusters in West Bengal, which cover 505 and 640 handloom weavers, respectively. Financial assistance has been provided for various interventions, including design development, said the ministry in a press release.
Bengal is known for its Jamdanis and Balucharis but a larger number of weavers presently produce in plain weaves and basic ‘Tangail’ or plain weave sarees with jacquard borders or even the local towels ‘gamchas’ and ‘Lungis’, which constitute a large segment in Bengal.
This initiative has introduced linen yarn to weave the ‘gamchas’, colour palette was changed to pastels instead of the stark contrasting combinations and the check formation was changed to an uneven gradation according to the forecast, which all of a sudden made the same weave look like an upmarket fabric with extreme drapability and also difficult to replicate in powerlooms. (KD)
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