Fabindia established in 1960 by John Bissell, a popular Indian chain store which stocks and sells garments, furnishings, fabrics and other ethnic products handmade by craftspeople across the country has begun retailing Manipuri textiles, the brand recently purchased textiles worth Rs 14 lakhs from weavers in Manipur.
Two Delhi-based designers provided training to the local weavers to help them understand market demand and to ensure quality products that appeal to customers across the country.
This initiative aims to upgrade the skills of the weavers and make their products available in National and international markets.
Manipur is said to be the original home of the mulberry silk worm, and it is said that it went from there to China. However, most silk-weaving is eri weaving. The use of tassar is also being encouraged. One of the prominent traditional textiles of Manipur is the phanek.
Textiles in Manipur have evolved from the traditional hand spun yarn weaving technique to modern day mill made yarns.
Although in Manipur, many households are associated with the handloom industry, they have been unable to capitalize on their skills for many years due to the lack of adequate market links. Fabindia aims not only to empower women in Manipur but also promote and showcase North East textiles.
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