Hand-weaving of silk sarees requires a great amount of skill and effort. This ancient art has been preserved for many generations and is now facing stiff competition from power looms. Read more to know about what can be done to encourage this art form.
A Change in perspective
One of the main challenges weavers face today is the poor social status associated with weaving. A skilled weaver , weaving bridal Kanjivaram silk sarees, can earn a very respectable income. However, weaving which was once looked upon as a skilled profession is often associated with a low socio-economic status. Reeducation and public interest in the art of weaving are necessary to impart a new perspective on this profession
Reducing the burden While weaving is a delicate art that requires good hand-eye coordination and a knowledge of the tools involved, it also requires a great amount of physical strength. The hooks of the jacquard machine are lifted using a lever operated by the weaver’s legs. Over a period of a few years, this can lead to joint pain in the legs/back. While there are many ways to approach this problem, we have taken the pneumatic route. We use compressed air to do the work, greatly reducing the level of physical effort needed to operate the loom.
A weaver using a pedal to lift the jacquard hooks. Using this pneumatic setup, the force required to operate the pedal is a fraction of what it used to be.
Promoting handloom silk sarees While production of power loom silk sarees is on the rise, the finish and designs produced using hand looms are superior. There are several ways to distinguish between the two and the proper knowledge of the differences is vital to the survival of the hand loom.
What the future holds Twenty years ago, one might have predicted the inevitable demise of hand loom weaving and the use of hand-woven silk sarees due to the rapid decline in production. While the production has indeed declined over the last two decades, the appreciation for hand loom silk sarees and their use certainly hasn’t. What the future holds for the handloom largely depends on how well businesses are able to market and promote genuine hand loom silk sarees and the public interest in preserving this art.
A weaver weaving a bridal Kanjivaram silk saree in one of our weaving units located at Kanchipuram, India.