India has always been an eminent producer of handmade textiles that have global recognition for their exquisite nature. Handloom production is an important aspect of the textile industry since it constitutes around 15 per cent of the cloth production in India as per the statistics provided by India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF). The authentic designs under handcrafted textile using knitting, weaving and embroidery have gained massive appreciation in the global textile market therefore pushing forward the indigenous segment of textile production and giving a push to employment in this sector.

Latest surveys have accounted for the recent growth in handloom textiles, as the handwoven fabric from India constitutes a whopping 95 per cent of global production.This certainly emphasises on the exceptional performance of handcrafted textiles in the recent time frame. The demand has largely been run by the shift of preferences of people towards natural and handwoven fabrics, as synthetic fibres have detrimental effect on the health of an individual mainly owing to the climatic conditions of the country. This trend is also backed by the rising awareness of the cause of sustainability. Indian couture designers like Sabyasachi Mukherji and Neeta Lulla have started using hand-spun fabrics like khadi in their apparels thereby promoting the use of handwoven fabrics.

Not only has the apparel and garment industry seen this rise in handloom production, but also has the home textiles industry seen a rise in the demand of handwoven carpets, curtains, embroidered cushions and covers. Interior designers are working on blending these textiles with Home decor for a more aesthetic as well as contemporary look. Home textile suppliers have reported on the rise in demand for handcrafted home decor and home textiles as they are increasingly used in the houses by people. Production of Indian handwoven and embroidered carpets has now gained pace and brought more employment opportunities resulting in a more inclusive and sustainable growth.

The employment in the handloom sector has seen an impressive trend in the last decade. As per IBEF, 4.3 million people have been employed in the handloom industry. This sector is responsible for providing work to the rural population skilled in their indigenous craft. This has also been driven by the rise of exports of handloom products which stood at US $ 199.42 million between April and October as reported by Directorate General of Commerce Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI).

There are still some loopholes in this industry like inadequate marketing, lack of designs and inefficient procurement of raw materials, which needs government support and initiative for this industry to flourish. The handcrafted textile industry has a lot of potential for further growth that promotes the goal of inclusive growth through employment and sustainability.

Author's Bio: 

Radhika Ahuja is an expert on apparel, home textile and fashion industry. His articles are based on latest apparel industry news, textile news and/or analysis of the dynamics of global apparel trade, and fashion industry.