National Handloom Day 2021: National Handloom Day is celebrated every year on 7 August.
- The day is celebrated to honour the contributions of the handloom weaving community in the socio-economic development of India.
- It is also observed to raise awareness about India’s handloom heritage, to protect it, and empower the handloom weavers and workers with greater and better opportunities.
- Through this observance, the government aims to honour handloom workers in the country and to empower them with greater opportunities.
- The day also aims to shine a spotlight on the need to protect our handloom heritage.
Why was 7 August chosen as National Handloom Day?
- To commemorate the Swadeshi Movement, 7 August was chosen as National Handloom Day.
- Swadeshi Movement was launched on 7 August 1905 in the Calcutta Town hall to protest against the partition of Bengal by the British Government.
- On this day 116 years ago, prominent Indian freedom fighters – Lajpat Rai, Bipin Chandra Pal, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and others launched the Swadeshi Movement urging Indians to boycott British-made textiles in favour of homespun products for self-reliance.
- The spinning wheel soon became a symbol of the mass movement against British rule in India.
- The objective of the movement was also to revive domestic products and production processes.
Significance of Handloom:
- Indian handloom holds a great cultural significance in history.
- The handloom sector provides livelihood in rural and semi-rural areas of the country.
- It is one of the largest income-generating sources in the country.
- The handloom sector addresses women empowerment as more than 70 percent of all weavers and allied workers are women.
- Handloom is unparalleled in its flexibility and versatility, permitting experimentation and encouraging innovations.
National Handloom Day: History
- First National Handloom Day was celebrated on 7 August 2015 and was presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Chennai.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the 75th year of Independence, has urged all of us as a nation to buy Indian Handloom products and showcase their grandeur by associating with #MyHandloomMyPride.
- At the National level, “My Handloom My Pride Expo” is being organized from 1 August to 15 August 2021 at Dilli Haat, INA, New Delhi by National Handloom Development Corporation (NHDC) to celebrate the 7th National Handloom Day.
The Government has also implemented a number of schemes like the National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP), Handloom Weavers Comprehensive Welfare Scheme (HWCWS), Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS), and Yarn Supply Scheme (YSS).
Handlooms of India:
Almost every Indian state has its own unique designs and prints.
Here are a few of the handlooms of India.
Ikat from Odisha:
- Ikat is weaved in several parts of the country but Odisha seems to have pretty much mastered the Ikat art of weaving.
- Ikat weavers in Odisha are more often than not the members of communities like the Meher or Bhulia who have inherited the art form and have mastered the trait over the years.
- They strive to bring the rich Oriya culture to life in their Ikats with their unique dyeing techniques.
Bandhani or tie and dye from Gujarat:
- Tie and dye or bandhani is a derivative of the Sanskrit word ‘bandh” which means ‘to tie’ and is one of the most popular textile arts of India.
- Considering they come from one of the most culturally rich states of Gujarat and Rajasthan, bandhani in its full glory is a burst of vibrant colours and glasswork.
- The authentic bandhani features square or round motifs that are a result of the dye—the more intricate your tie and dye the more authentic your bandhani.
Kalamkari from Andhra Pradesh:
- One of the most prominent features of Andhra Pradesh, Kalamkari is a kind of hand-painted or block-printed textile art that dates back to the Indus Valley Civilisation.
- With a history of 3000 years, Kalamkari is known to have evolved during the Mughal era and has managed to retain its grace to date.
Brocades from Uttar Pradesh:
- Banarasi saris are one of India’s most precious textile art forms and wearing one is like wearing a piece of art.
- The weavers of Varanasi are nothing short of artists themselves as they weave with fine gold and silver metallic threads to create exotic delicate brocades.
Patan Patola from Gujarat:
- Made in pure silk, Patola saris are the ultimate manifestation of the weaving prowess that the artisans of Gujrat have attained over several centuries.
- In the Patan town of Gujarat, this silk cloth with double Ikat patterns is brought to life as weavers work diligently for over five months to weave one Patola sari.
Kanjivaram Sarees from Kanchipuram:
- Kanchipuram was the cradle of civilization during the Pallavas reign and is among the seven sacred cities in Hinduism.
- The legend goes that the Kanchi weavers are descendants of the Sage Markanda who was the master weaver of the Gods and is said to have woven tissue out of a Lotus fiber.
- The silk sarees in Kanchipuram are woven out of pure mulberry silk thread.