CHITTOOR / NELLORE: Heavy rains and floods in the Rayalaseema region have a cascading effect on hundreds of handloom weavers in Chittoor and Nellore districts. The handloom weavers said they were not getting fresh orders for the last 20 days.
Venkatagiri and Patur in Nellore and Nagari in Chittoor are famous for their traditional hand-woven cotton sarees. Normally, weavers get raw material and clothes from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and other parts of the country. The regions witnessed heavy rainfall for the last 10-12 days. With this, traders and master weavers have stopped giving new orders to the handloom weavers.
According to sources, there are about 3,000 looms in Venkatagiri and workers weave around 50,000 sarees a month. Traders purchase sarees from master weavers and mini master weavers and stores. Normally, traders and consumers from across the country visit Venkatagiri to purchase sarees. Local traders of Venkatagiri also arrange facilities for traders who visit Venkatagiri for purchasing sarees. Even though there are some raw materials in powerlooms, there are no fresh orders, due to heavy rains and floods.
“We haven’t received any orders for almost a month from the mini-master weavers. We have supplied sarees for Diwali and after that there is hardly any work. The heavy rains affect our work. Even the prices of some of the raw materials increased within a month,” said I Jayavardhan, a trader from Patur, Nellore district.
Almost every household in Patur is some way or the other connected to handlooms, weaving or textile trade. Most of the Patur sarees are made out of silk, but plain cotton sarees with minimal design are also very popular across the country.
“There is no work for us as retailers have stopped giving raw materials. Now, we are forced to get loans from private persons for purchasing essential commodities. We get bulk orders for weaving sarees during the festive seasons. We lost a major order before Ugadi with the effect of coronavirus,” laments K Siddaiah, an artisan from Patur. “Now, with heavy rains and floods, we are unable to travel to sell our finished sarees,” said Ch Subbarayudu, a weaver from Venkatagiri.
Normally, handloom weavers make saree and sell them to traders in urban areas. Even some of the artisans in Patur and Nagari were getting Rs 450 to Rs 550 for weaving a saree and they weave about 15 to 25 sarees in a month if they get raw material from the retailers.
There are 25,000 handlooms in Chittoor district. Srinivasa Reddy Joint Director Department of Handlooms and Textiles in Chittoor said they have been collecting the details of the looms which were damaged due to rains.