Indian designers are helping to revive the centuries-old tradition of handmade textiles by taking them global. The Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) is encouraging designers to revive the country’s handloom industry by incorporating handmade fabrics into high-end fashion and couture.
Working with fabrics ranging from Eastern Indian silks to cotton fabrics spun into thread on hand-powered spinning wheels, famous Indian designers like Rohit Bal, Shruti Sancheti, and Rina Dhaka, put their handloom collections on display in Amazon India Fashion Week.
Indian fashion designer Gautam Gupta says while there is an increasing awareness and demand for handmade fabrics, designers have an important role to play in popularising the industry.
India currently produces the majority of world’s handwoven textiles, and the Indian handloom industry is the second largest employer in rural India after agriculture, according to Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF).
According to IBEF, in 2015-16, India exported around $360 million USD of handloom products, that’s almost a three percent increase on the previous year.
Top buyers of Indian handloom products were the US, the UK, and the UAE.