National Handloom Day

 7th August is celebrated as the National Handloom Day to mark the significance of the Handlooms in Indian history. This day, in 1905, the Swadeshi movement was launched. The foreign clothes were discarded as a mark of protest against the colonial rule and revival of Swadeshi goods, especially the Indian textiles were promoted. 

History of Indian Handloom

The origin of Indian Handloom can be traced back to ancient times. One of the earliest hand woven fabrics had a design of a swan (hansa). Some finely woven clothes were also found in Mohenjodaro which was from the era of Indus Valley civilization. The beautiful Indian Floral prints date back to the 18th century. 

Many renowned personalities such as Bernier, Voltaire, and Daniel Defoe had expressed their love for the fine beauty of Indian Handlooms. The colonial era played a major role in the decline of Indian handloom industry. The machine made British clothes were promoted and Indian textiles were suppressed using heavy duty tax levied on it. This period saw a boom in the machine made clothes which were made available at a very affordable price. 

The Indian Handloom has played a significant role in our fight for independence. Mahatma Gandhi reintroduced Khadi and popularized hand spinning and weaving. The spinning wheel, famously known as the "Charkha" became a symbol of self-reliance(Swadeshi) and boycott of British goods. 

Because of the tough competition with the British clothes, many artisans in India lost their livelihood. Several families of weavers struggled to revive their livelihood in the post-independence period. A number of institutions were established to promote the handlooms. The All India Handloom Board was established in 1945. To popularize the Handloom industry, the All India Handloom Fabrics Marketing Co-operative Society was formed in 1953. Later, in 1982, two institutions were merged to form the All India Handlooms and Handicrafts Board. 

There are different types of textiles made in different parts of India. Some popular works include, Chanderi work from Madhya Pradesh, Muga silk from Assam, Kanjeevaram silk from Tamil Nadu, Pashmina from Kashmir, Phulkari from Punjab, Daccai from West Bengal, Brocades from Banaras, Tie and Dye print from Gujarat and Rajasthan and many more.

The tourism sector has helped in increasing the foreign demand of Indian Handloom. Today, with the growth of international clothing brands, the Indian Handloom industry faces a tough competition. A large number of artisans from the rural and semi-urban areas are involved in the Handloom industry. It is a source of livelihood for many women in the rural areas. 

 These beautiful textiles are made manually, using skilled and detailed work by the artisans. Indian Handloom should be encouraged because it is an integral part of our history and the pride of our culture.

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