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The strength of Handlooms lies in innovative design, which cannot be replicated by the Powerlooms Sector.
Handlooms constitute a timeless facet of the rich cultural heritage of India. As an economic activity, the handlooms occupy a place second only to agriculture in providing livelihood to the people. The element of art and craft present in Indian handlooms makes it a potential sector for the upper segments of domestic and global market. However, the sector is beset with manifold problems such as obsolete technologies, unorganized production system, low productivity, inadequate working capital, conventional product range, weak marketing link, overall stagnation of production and sales and, above all, competition from powerlooms and mill sector. As a result of effective Government intervention through financial assistance and implementation of various developmental and welfare schemes, the handlooms sector, to some extent, has been able to tide over these disadvantages. The production of handloom fabrics has gone up to 6536 million sq. meters in 2006-07, from 500 million sq. meters in the early fifties. During 2007-08 (upto Oct. 2007), the production of cloth is 4001 mn. sq. mtr. and it is expected to reach 7,074 mn. sq. mtr. by March 2008. The sector accounts for 13% of the total cloth produced in the country (excluding clothes made of wool, silk and hand spun yarn).
Handlooms form a precious part of the generational legacy and exemplify the richness and diversity of our culture and the artistry of the weavers. Tradition of weaving by hand is a part of the countrys cultural ethos. Handloom is unparalleled in its flexibility and versatility, permitting experimentation and encouraging innovation. Weavers with their skillful blending of myths, faiths, symbols and imagery provide their fabric an appealing dynamism.
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