The Indian states like West Bengal, Manipur, Assam, Telengana and Madhya Pradesh under the Make in India initiative are keen to create their own state-owned brands by focusing on promoting traditional textiles.
Huge budgets have been allocated for this purpose. These traditional and indigenous textiles are being promoted on national and international platforms. The fashion designers have also been roped in to enhance the commercial viability of the products.
State-run initiatives are bringing fabrics like Pochompally, Baluchari, Narayanpet, Kutch Kala Cotton and Muga to the limelight, with many state governments assigning a day in the week as handloom day. Telangana, for instance, has their government employees sporting handloom wear on Mondays every week.
Damoder Seetha, director at the Pochompally Handloom Park, Telangana said that with Rs 325 crore allocated for the promotion of handlooms in the Telangana state budget, the state is taking up aggressive research and development and also looking at organising fashion shows to promote the fabrics.
In West Bengal, a lot of commercialization of state handlooms is on the cards. While the state already runs two brands, Biswa Bangla and Club Muslin, it has also come up with a new Baluchari dedicated to reviving of the fabric under the mentorship of designer Abhishek Dutta.
Handlooms from Telengana, like the Pochompally, Garwal, Narayanpet, Siddhipet and Gollabhama are getting modern touches under the mentorship of designers like Rahul Mishra and Chelna Desai.The fabrics are also fetching attention through corporate tie-ups with brands.
Besides planning to develop a state-owned brand of Telangana handlooms, the state has also roped in South Indian actress Samantha as the brand ambassador handloom promotions.
In Andhra Pradesh too, government officers have been urged to wear handlooms on Mondays. Students too have been urged to wear handlooms, and some schools may soon have handloom uniforms made by weavers.
The state is also concentrating on the development of weavers and the Andhra Pradesh Handloom Weavers' Cooperative Society (APCO), is concentrating on increasing their e-commerce business through APCO's website.
Johar Basha, MD, Society for Welfare of Weavers in Andhra Pradesh said that it is only through the welfare of the weavers that the handlooms can be revived and brought to the limelight. Under a recent partnership of Snapdeal and the University of California, Berkeley and Andhra Pradesh government, Snapdeal will provide local handloom weavers direct market access to buyers across the country, through its platform.
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