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Local weavers come up with innovative products and designs at the National Handloom Expo 2015

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-02-10 12:00:00 – Kozhikode

Both major and minor weavers of Kerala state are forced to improvise products to attract customers as they face stiff competition from other states. This was observed at the ongoing National Handloom Expo 2015 which began at Marine Ground in Kozhikode on Saturday.

Earlier, weavers from the State had nothing much to offer than the traditional mundu, set mundu, towels, bed sheets, and shirting materials. Now, they have come up with innovative products and designs to capture the interest of the customers.

Many of the stalls have fancy cotton bags which can put synthetic bags to shame. There are purse size bags, handbags, and schoolbags. Export quality handloom cotton is used for some special bags.

A weaver from Koothuparamba in Kannur said that they engage tailors on their own to prepare the bags whenever there is a big event as there is a great demand for pure cotton bags.

The travel beds have become more compact and come in myriad colours. Cushion covers made of acrylic material, woven into cotton, are also in demand.

A whole range of kitchen accessories such as basin towels, chef caps, cooking gloves, bottle holders, and fruit baskets, all in pure handloom, are also available.

A stall features artistically printed curtains. Many stalls have readymade items such as kurtis, shirts, and trousers. Many weavers have come up sarees embellished with fabric and mural paintings and hand embroidery.

The aim of the expo is to promote local weavers and after three years of trial-and-error learning, it seems to be on the right path.

Weavers cooperative societies across the State over half the stalls. These included the well-known ones such as Koothampully, Balaramapuram, Palakkad, and Kasaragod.

Lesser-known societies from Kannur and Kozhikode districts find the handloom merchants from other States a threat as the crowd tends to flow towards noted brands such as Managalgiri, Chanderi, and Sambalpuri. The unique crafts such as Chikankari from Lucknow, Kashmiri embroidery, Bandni from Gujarat, and Batik from Rajasthan are also crowd-pullers.

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