Handloom, understated trendsetter connecting masses with classes

From the country’s apex fashion body giving prominence to handwoven fabrics at shows to the Ministry of Textiles collaborating with top-notch fashion brands and designers for collections promoting indigenous textile, and social media buzzing with hashtags like #IwearHandloom, 2016 saw a new wave of awareness of handlooms among both the classes and the masses. Some of the best-known designers like Ritu Kumar, Anita Dongre, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Madhu Jain and Wendell Rodricks, who have always emphasised on the use of skin-friendly fabrics with their handloom-inspired collections, have also urged the Indian government for extra support in this regard.

“The fashion industry is also a major job provider, especially with the recent craze of Benarasi and Chanderi handlooms. So, this interest needs to be taken care of. If you have government backing, a lot of doors open up,” designer Madhu Jain, who has been in the industry for nearly 30 years, said. Having worked with weavers closely, she feels they become more “receptive” if they know that a designer has come with a “government recommendation”.

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