The heritage of Indian textile sector is on a downstream as the Indian handloom sector has been experiencing negative growth. This is a serious concern for the goverment. As Zohra Chatterji, Textile Secretary puts it, during the recently held Buyer-Seller Meet for handloom products in Mumbai, ” the handloom sector in the country provides direct and indirect employment to more than 4.3 million weavers and allied workers, and currently the share of handloom products in total clothing production is only 11 percent, whereas, powerlooms account for 60 percent of the total clothing production”.
The Textiles Ministry official explained that competition from powerloom and mill sector, availability of cheaper imported fabrics, changing consumer preferences and alternative employment opportunities are some of the factors negatively affecting the handloom sector in the country.
It is necessary to curb the decline in production and exports from the sector to preserve the tradition of exquisite weaving which only handlooms can produce, she added.
The two-day meet, organized by the National Handloom Development Corporation under the aegis of Development Commissioner for Handlooms, along with the support of the National Textile Corporation Ltd., was aimed at enhancing market linkages and capacity builidng of handloom clusters in the country with the participation of Government representatives and other institutions under the Ministry of Textiles.
Around 28 handloom clusters from the country and 22 buyers participated in the event, which brought together weavers, designers and retail brands under the same roof to exchange ideas and establish business relations.