National Handloom Day - Celebrating the True Talent of India
August 7th of each year is a cardinal day for the textile landscape of India - it’s National Handloom Day! The country comes alive with vibrant and vigorous celebrations to occasion a heartfelt tribute to artisans and weavers. It’s also a day to cherish the timeless art of saree weaving, which has been an integral part of India’s cultural heritage for eons. The day is an ode to the craftsmanship of the hue-rich gamut of silk sarees - Kanchipuram's, Banarasis, Tussars, Organzas, and Gadwals.
The National Significance
The art of handloom weaving is a hand-me-down one that has seen techniques, skills, and art forms being perfected over centuries. Saree’s exquisite designs, intricate patterns, glorious zaris, a kaleidoscope of artworks, and enchanting colours convey stories of the country’s wondrous handloom history and cultural diversity. From the quaint villages of Kanchipuram to the bustling streets of Varanasi, numerous regions of India can proudly showcase their unique styles of handloom weaving on this day. August 7th is a national reminder of preserving this extraordinary craft.
Textile weavers, handloom workers, and artisans face umpteen challenges in today’s lightning-paced technological world. Machine-made fabrics that are often mass-produced and widely distributed at heavily discounted prices are flooding the clothing market, posing an uphill battle for traditional handloom workers in terms of cost and availability. Over the years, this has led to a natural nosedive in the demand for handcrafted textiles and drove the livelihoods of countless artisans and weavers to a bad tipping point.
August 7th is a chance for us as a society to stitch our spirits together and support these uber-talented people who work tirelessly to preserve our oh-so-rich heritage. Choosing handloom products from popular saree houses like Rasvriti not only empowers the weaver community but also ensures that their handicraft continues to thrive for many generations.
Owing It To Them
In the limelight for us is one of the most celebrated and cherished handloom traditions in India - silk saree weaving. The silk saree is an embodiment of elegance, grace, and beauty. These painstakingly handwoven textiles with shimmering hues, elaborate artwork, and magnificent zaris are nothing short of jaw-dropping.
In India, the town of Kanchipuram is a powerhouse for some of the most amazing silk sarees. The textile quality of Kanchipuram silks, whether they are Korvai, checks, or borderless, are simply put - fantabulous. Serving as a symbol of luxurious tradition, Kancheepuram, and Banarasi silk variants carry an air of opulence, varied zari work, and textile mastery. On this day, let us appreciate the skill and efforts of these weavers who work tirelessly for days, even months on end to craft these gorgeous drapes. Investing in sarees is not only owning a masterpiece and bequeathing it to the next generation but also a contribution to the welfare and upkeep of the handloom workers who literally put their heart and soul into every weft and weave.
Take The Initiative
For the less aware: National Handloom Day isn’t just about draping on a breathtaking saree piece and talking about the day’s significance for a minute to your friends and family. It’s a serious call to action: We can make a huge difference by promoting awareness about the intricacies of textile-making, encouraging local artisans by visiting them and speaking to them about their everyday trade, and purchasing handwoven sarees.
On top of this, the Indian government, NGOs, and various other organisations keep rolling out various initiatives to boost the handloom industry. For instance, the North Eastern Handicrafts and Handloom Development Corporation (NEHHDC) has supported 636 weavers and artisans over the last 3 years through training programs, exhibitions and fairs, capacity-building workshops, and more. By providing weavers with the right infrastructure, resources, training, and fair wages, India ensures the continued existence and sustainable growth of this irreplaceable heritage.
At Rasvriti, the team always trusts in the hard work and dedication of our artisans and handiworkers. Our sarees are the result of tireless efforts of these talents and the complete collection can be browsed here.