The 3rd Indian Handloom census conducted by the Ministry of Textiles in 2009–2010 estimates that more than 43 lakh people are engaged in weaving and allied activities, a drop of close to 25 lakh compared to the previous census done in 1995–96.
Recognising the need to revive India’s rich handloom heritage, the Indian government launched the ‘India Handloom Brand’ on the occasion of the first National Handloom Day in August 2015 to revive traditional skills and livelihoods and make handloom-weaving financially viable in a sustainable manner. The promotion of handloom also has positive environmental consequences. In contrast to the concentrated, highly polluting, energy and capital intensive powerloom sector, handlooms are a cost-effective and environment-friendly mode of fabric production. Being largely dispersed and relying on the use of hand-operated units and natural dyes, they represent a sustainable, zero-waste alternative to mass-produced mill-made textile.
India is renowned for its wide diversity of weaving traditions, patterns and motifs, influenced by each region’s unique geographic factors and its particular historical and socio-economic experiences.
Take the quiz and weave your way through the handloom traditions of India — from the cozy Jamawars of the north and the vibrant Chettinads of the south to the flamboyant Patolas of the west and the delicate Angami weaves of the east.