In today’s changing global economy, the ancient art of handloom and the rural weaving communities of India are in jeopardy. Threatened by demographic shifts and economic stresses, young weavers are abandoning their inherent talents and migrating to urban centers in search of better livelihoods.
Handloom production and marketing in India are deeply fragmented. Self-interested middlemen control the production and distribution of hand woven goods along regional, technical, ethnic and religious lines. Consequently, handloom weaver’s participation in business and trade negotiations is severely restricted.
Often young handloom weavers are unaware of the larger business community that they are a part of, and they remain in poverty, primarily because they lack the access, capability and technical know-how to find ways to engage directly with the marketplace.