HYDERABAD: The sway of handloom continues to warm the hearts of those aware of this fine craft. The humble weaver is not only carrying on the glorious tradition handed down by generations, but aided by urban advice, is reinventing himself and the craft.
Weavers Cooperative Society is finding their feet again thanks to the restoration of certain concessions. And the customers are standing by them.
Frequently-held handloom exhibitions provide quick liquidity, exposure and bring in an element of market savvyness. They want people, particularly the younger generation to gain insight into how a handloom weaver works so as to appreciatehis craft and the painstaking effort that goes into “wrap-and weft magic.”
The three-day exhibition, Chenetha Santha being held at Jiddu Krishnamurthi Center Punjagutta is conducted by Chenetha Chaitanya Vedika, an organisation that supports handloom weavers and artisans are brimming with ideas and confidence.
Step in, and he will spread out bedspread after bedspread, waiting to see which one catches your fancy. Onces he sees that glint in your eye, his sales talk starts. Even there, he does not have to exert himself too much. “Twenty percent discount sir. Durable cloth...” and before he is through with the sentence, cash would’ve changed hands.
“That,” says weaver Ravichander, “is the magic of handloom.” Once a person uses handloom, it is very difficult to be comfortable in any other weave.” About 14 stalls with wide range of garments like sarees and fabric for dresses, shirts in Khadi, trousers, towels, lungis and many more hand woven garments that the buyer is spoilt for choice, have been put up by the society, from several districts of Telangana which will be on till Sunday.
Magic of handloom
Buyers agree. “This is cheap and best, they say. Another advantage is the extreme durability of handloom, be it furnishings, bedspread or saris,” says Niveditha who has bought sarees for her mother.
Sometimes it works out as the disadvantage too. “People end up buying four or five sets and never return for the next 7-8 years.We know the reason and are happy, but it’s bad for business,” says an exhibitor at the handloom exhibition.
Though handloom cotton and silk sarees are a big draw, weavers are making an effort to attract more clientele. Come summer, one thinks of cotton shirts. To cash in on the opportunity, a weaver Srinivasulu from Mahbubnagar district has got ready-made khadi shirts and kurtas giving it a fancy look.
This only shows that weavers are trying to cater for the needs of varied sections at an affordable price.
Sales have been brisk in the fair, with prices ranging from Rs 200 for a single bed sheet to Rs 650 for a good quality double spread in the stalls put up by weavers from Karimnagar district, who are expecting a profit of Rs 30,000 by the end of three day fair. Sarees both cotton and silk are available at an affordable prices with cotton sarees ranging from Rs 250 to Rs 3,000 and silk saris with a price range up to Rs 11,000.
“These exhibitions are really good since we get the investment back fast,” says Nirmala of Pochampally district, who has stall of cotton and silk saris.