“My closet is filled with tales woven with deft hands of un-named artisans.. Because I only wear Handloom…”
― Diti Swain
Every year on the 7th of August we celebrate National Handloom Day to pay homage to our weavers and craftspeople that are so crucial to our economy. They are also the guardians of our heritage and timekeepers of our history. At least once a year we need to widely acknowledge the amazing work they do and make an active pledge to support them and to keep our rich crafts and handmade tradition alive.
A nod to the Gandhian route
Mahatma Gandhi, one of the most passionate advocates of the handloom industry once said, “I do regard spinning and weaving as a necessary part of any national system of education.” His passion for handlooms, and his mission to make it an integral part of our way of life makes perfect sense especially in a contemporary context.
Handloom products are individual, sustainable, unique and never replicated exactly. Quite unlike mass produced mill-made stuff. If you examine seemingly similar handmade products you will discover slight differences in design, pattern orientation, borders or motifs. Why? Because handloom products are created by hand, not manufactured by machines. Painstakingly made by artists and like most artists or skilled professionals the world over; they take pride in the fact that each piece is special and carries the trademark of the person who created it, however subtly.
It is a tragedy when people do not understand the true worth of handloom. Not only is it an heirloom product that defines the pulse of India, it is also a symbol of unity in our vast diversity. The handloom sector empowers a vast section of rural Indian society and provides a mainstay to India’s rural economy. Each handloom product is woven with skill, devotion and care.
In Martha Grahams words: “You see, when weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out. ”