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Handlooms

  • History of the fabric that shaped India's freedom struggle – Khadi

    “For every minute I spin, there is in me the consciousness that I am adding to the nation’s wealth.” – Mahatma Gandhi.

    What is khadi? How is it important to us as Indians? These are just a few questions which we will be answering in this blogpost. Let us first start with the basic question. What is Khadi? Well, Khaadi is one of the most ancient fabrics in the world. Khadi or khaddar, as it is also known, is a hand spun and hand woven cloth which is mainly made from cotton on a spinning wheel known as a charkha.

    However, if we were to delve deeper, we will realize that it’s not just a fabric, it is an entire movement which laid the foundation for the freedom struggle as we know it today. The Khadi movement was started by The Father Of The Nation himself as a means to an end. The movement itself aimed at boycotting all the foreign goods and encouraging the use of Indian products. Spinning of the charkha to produce khadi had a huge significance because it promoted self-employment and the reliability and dependency on one’s own self was improved. Indians boycotted the use of industry made clothes from Britain and instead chose to wear Indian made khadi clothes, which in turn made khadi an integral piece of the Swadesi movement.

    Image Credit - Pixabay Image Credit - Pixabay

    Whenever you wear khadi, you are helping other Indians and fulfilling your social responsibility of helping all the people who are directly or indirectly involved in the manufacture of the khadi fabric. Khadi is also an eco-friendly fabric which decomposes in the earth in around six months unlike the other synthetic fabrics. Another benefit of wearing khadi over synthetic clothing is that you are exposing your skin to just organic stuff and there are no health hazards involved. Khadi helps your skin to breathe. When you wear khadi, you are also respecting the spirit of patriotism attached to this fabric.

    We however usually feel that khadi, nowadays, is more expensive than the regular fabric. This is a flawed argument because it is not the right perspective to look through. Comparing an exclusive, hand crafted product to the mass produced machine made products should be a crime upon itself.

    A nation will not prosper if its handicrafts and industries are not developed. Importing everything from outside and not focusing on helping the local products and industries grow will only create a dependent and lazy nation.

    Go on, flaunt you style with Khadi! Make the statement.

  • Tamil Nadu Looms

    Textile plays a very important role in Tamil Nadu’s economy. Tamil Nadu has a wide range of looms to facilitate the weaving of wide range of textiles and fabrics. The textile industry has both handloom and power loom, and employs 11.64 Lakh weavers in the state. There are 3.20 lakh registered power looms covering 24,000 looms. The state houses the country’s largest spinning industry accounting for almost 80 per cent of the total installed capacity in India. When it comes to yarn production, the state contributes 40 per cent of the total production in the country.

    Image Credit - wikipedia Image Credit - wikipedia

    Weaving is a special skill which only certain communities living in certain specific areas of Tamil Nadu possess. These techniques are usually handed down from generation to generation. Thus Handlooms are an integral part of the livelihood in many of the villages and towns in Tamil Nadu. In fact, it is the family tradition for many of the households in various regions. Loom products are not only environment friendly, but they also represent the glorious cultural heritage of India while providing employment and self-reliance to the rural population. What differentiates power loom and handloom products is the level of intricacy and detail that can be achieved manually in a handloom. Each region in India specialises in unique products like Kancheepuram silks, Madurai Sungadi, Pochampalli tie and dye, Chanderi silks, and Banaras silks. In the world of handlooms, Madras checks from Tamil Nadu are world famous.

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    The region around Coimbatore, Tirupur, Karur, and Erode is referred to as the "Textile Valley of India". Salem too is a major textile centre of Tamil Nadu with more than 125 spinning mills, weaving units and garment units. Today you see large-scale cooperative handloom weaving and marketing units in these regions making loom products globally popular.

    The latest fashion can be fused with tradition. Designer products can be made to specific order using only handlooms. Coimbatore is often referred to as the "Manchester of South India" due to its cotton production and textile industries. Tirupur is the country's largest exporter of knitwear for its cotton production. Kanchipuram and Arani are world famous for their pure silk sarees and handloom silk weaving industries.

    Tamilnadu Handloom Weavers′ Co-operative Society Ltd., popularly known as Co-optex, was established in 1935. Co-optex is engaged in marketing of Handloom fabrics produced in Tamil Nadu. This body has helped to keep alive the rich tradition of handloom weaving of the state. The organization helps to boost the unique range of fabrics in hundreds of designs, colours, and textures and the well-honed skills of the weavers of Tamil Nadu.

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