National Handloom Day 2022 Photograph:( Others )
July 7 marks National Handloom Day every year in India. On this special occasion, learn an array of ways to promote the Indian handloom and handicraft sectors.
National Handloom Day 2022 is here! And, it's time to celebrate versatile and exquisite Indian handlooms, some of which have their roots going way back to the ancient Indus Valley civilization. Every year on the 7th of August, National Handloom Day is celebrated in India to encourage citizens to wear clothes made by hand by indigenous communities. And this year too, events are organized across the nation to improve public awareness and the contribution of citizens to the socio-economic growth of handloom weavers.
There are tons of Indian handlooms available in the market and they can be distinguished by their weaving methods, use of imagery and symbols, and also by their colour. From Gujarat's Bandhani to Goa's Kunbi and Assam's Muga Silk to Karnataka's Mysore Silk, there are so many Indian handloom options to choose from. And, they can be used to make different types of Indian ethnic outfits. Then why do we see a gradual decline in the sales of Indian handloom every year? Simple! Since Indian handloom weavers, who mostly work in small groups of people in villages, cannot compete with multi-million dollar companies who pay a hefty amount for advertisements, we don't usually see a craze for Indian fabrics. And, as a solution to this problem, National Handloom Day was commemorated in India in 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Now, before we move ahead, let's take a look at the significance and history of this day!
In the year 2015, National Handloom Day was commemorated to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the Swadeshi Movement which started in 1905. The government of India choose the same day the movement started at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Back in 1905, the Swadeshi movement started in Calcutta, now known as Kolkata, as a protest against the partition of Bengal by the British Government. The movement was aimed to motivate people to boycott foreign products and to promote Swadeshi i.e. local goods.
To mark the 110th year of the Swadeshi Movement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first handloom day in College of Madras’ Centenary Corridor, Chennai. Over the years, the Government also implemented a number of schemes to help handloom communities. Some of these schemes are National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP), Handloom Weavers Comprehensive Welfare Scheme (HWCWS), Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS) and Yarn Supply Scheme (YSS).
This year, we are celebrating the 8th National Handloom Day in India.
Buy products from Indian weavers directly
If you want every penny of the MRP to go to the weavers that make your handloom, buy from them directly. If you happen to come across a local weaver in your or another city, strike a deal with them for a couple of sets and revamp your wardrobe.
Buy from stores that source directly from local weavers
There are several brands that source their fabrics directly from the weavers. One such brand is 'Be Desi' which doesn't just believe in supporting Indian artisans and uplifting Indian textiles but also wishes to transform them into contemporary pieces of art for today’s fashion.
You can also identify organizations that keep weaver welfare at heart and make a point to buy directly from them.
Participate in campaigns that support weavers
There are many campaigns and year-round online initiatives that are aimed at promoting Indian handloom to the masses. You can take part in some of these campaigns and show your support for the local weavers. Weaver welfare organisations often share details about such campaigns on their official social media handles.
Be vocal about Indian fabrics
Just the way you sing praises of International luxury brands like Dior and Chanel, share what you like about Indian fabrics whenever possible. Use your voice to help the Indian artisans.
Recommend on social media and to your friends
Social media trends help increase a product's demand. So, the more you post about your favourite handloom brands, the more profits they will earn.
Contribute to fundraisers
Several Indian weavers are in need of support. If you have the capacity to donate to fundraisers, do not hesitate. To help the weavers with their food ration and health or educational supplies, contribute to fundraisers on Milaap and other platforms.
Pre-book their products
Since a lot of investment is required to produce handloom products at a large scale, weavers are always under the dilemma of whether their products will sell or not. When we pre-book their products, they feel more at ease to go big and bold with their collections.
Volunteer for them
If you have some spare time with you then try volunteering for local weavers. Reach out to the local artisans and offer to help them in whatever way possible. You can create a social media account for them to increase their reach. Or you can help them create a website. You can even teach their kids how to do basic mathematics or colloquial English. Go ahead with whatever works for you.