Indian Handloom Industry: Benefits and Challenges

Indian Handloom Industry: Benefits and Challenges

Question: Handloom fabrics and weavers are an integral part of the cultural heritage and tradition of India. Discuss how the handloom industry is beneficial and the challenges ahead for it. Also discuss the India Handloom Brand initiative.


- Handloom fabrics and weaves are a part of the tradition of India

- The handloom industry fulfils the basic requirements of human beings

- It also makes sizeable contribution to export and GDP

- This industry provides employment in rural as well as urban areas

- It provides employment directly as well as indirectly

- Handloom is the largest employment generator after sectors such as agriculture in India

- Handloom sector provides employment to 43.31 lakh persons engaged for 23.77 lakh handlooms

- 10% are from SC, 18% belong to ST and 45% are from the OBC in the employment demographics for the handloom sector in India

- Production in the handloom sector recorded a massive figure of 7116 million square meters in 2013-2014. Apart from being productive, this sector is also labour intensive

- During 2014-2015, production in the handloom sector was said to be around 3547 million square meters

- Sector contributes close to 15 percent of the production of clothes in the country

- It also contributes to the export income of the country Close to 5% of global hand woven fabric is from India

- Skills are transferred from one generation to another

- Handloom sector is lauded for its uniqueness, ease of production, openness to innovations, adaptability for supplier’s requirement and support for traditions


- Handloom industry must reorient itself given rapid economic changes

- Societal changes are also impacting the handloom sector

- Technological changes have also led to problems for this sector

- Defect free high quality handloom is the demand for the day

- Handloom sector also needs to provide wages that are sufficient to induce younger persons to accept employment here

- It is vital to produce quality fabrics with fresh designs


India Handloom Brand endorse quality in handloom products in terms of the following:

- Raw material

- Processing

- Embellishments

- Weaving designs

- Other parameters

- Social and environmental compliances

India Handloom Brand was launched in Chennai to give attention to the following factors:

- Producing high quality, zero defect, handwoven authentic niche product

- Authentic and traditional designs

- Zero effect on the environment

- Social compliance

The India Handloom Brand has the following advantages:

- Customers will be assured of product quality as per specification

- Bulk buyers, exporters will directly source quality fabrics and make India the primary market for authentic handwoven fabrics from the nation

- Weavers will be able to garner bulk orders and more wages through direct interaction with the market

- This initiative will empower women and weaker sections of society

Younger generation will be attracted to the traditional profession of production and marketing of rare handlooms which form an integral part of the Indian culture ‘India Handloom’ brand registration is available for the following entities :

- Bona Fide firms/institutions dealing with production of handloom fabrics

- Primary Handloom Cooperative Societies

- SHGs, Consortia, Producer companies, JLGs

- Weaver Entrepreneurs

Facts and Stats

Products identified for handloom branding under the India Handloom Brand:

1) Saris :-

Cotton (includes the following):

- Jamddani,

- Tangail,

- Shantipiri,

- Dhaniakhali,

Silk (includes the following)

- Baluchari,

- Mugasilk,

- Sulkuch silk,

- Khandua,

Cotton Silk Sari :

- Chanderi,

- Maheswari,

- Kota Doria,

- IIKal,

- Gadwal,

- Covai Kora Cotton

2)Dress material -

- Cotton: Odisha Ikat,Pochampalli Ikat

- Silk :Tanchoi, Benarasi, Cutwork, ,Odisha Ikat, Pochampally Ikat, Tassar Fabric, Muga Fabric, Mekhala/ Chadar

3) Bed Sheet: Odisha Ikat, Pochampally Ikat

4) Scarves and Shawls: Kani Shawl, Kinnori Shawl, Kulu Shawl, Tangaliya Shawl, Kutch Shawl, Wangkhei Phee
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  • RE: Indian Handloom Industry: Benefits and Challenges -Ritu pandey (07/02/19)
  • I am interested in starting business in handloom.
    Who should I contact
    Or what would you suggest.