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Home > Profile> Prespective > Textiles > Globalization > Government > Internet

Future scenario of the clothing industry

Comprehensive Package for setting up of Handloom Development Centers and Quality Dyeing Units The Government of India has been implementing a large number of schemes for the benefit and welfare of handloom weavers who constitute a very important segment of the national economy. While these schemes did make a significant impact on maintaining the traditional skill and the level of employment in handloom sector, the coverage under the schemes was limited to a small percentage of handloom weavers. It was, therefore, necessary to introduce a scheme which ensured extensive coverage of the handloom weavers in a comprehensive manner and took care of their major problems in the areas of inputs supply, production, design, development, training and marketing. This is the genesis of the scheme for setting up of Handloom Development Centers. The scheme of setting up Handloom Development Centers (HDCs) is a central plan scheme designed to take care of the basic problems of the handloom weavers in a coordinated, integrated and comprehensive manner.

The main objectives of the scheme are :

1. Bringing 30 lakh weavers with 7.5 lakhs looms in the cooperative fold so that the benefits of the various schemes accruing to the handloom cooperatives are available to them.

 2. Arranging the supply of essential inputs including yarn and dyes and chemicals to the weavers covered by the HDC's.

3. Tying-up the marketing of the cloth produced by members of the HDC in the domestic market as well as for exports.

4. Providing training to the weavers in improved dyeing practices and also in new designs.

5. Providing additional employment to the handloom weavers, keeping in view the fact that there may be a substantial reduction in employment in the handloom sector due to the phasing out of the Janata Cloth Scheme. 500 Quality Dyeing Units (QDUs) would be integrated with these HDCs to make quality dyes & chemicals available to the weavers and also important training to them in the improved dyeing practices.

The QDUs would have the following three components.

1) 100 Domestic Dyeing Units for which necessary equipment and dyes & chemicals would be provided on 50% grant and 50% loan basis.

2) Micro Yarn Dyeing Units at the village or primary society level, particularly for vat dyeing to be funded equally by loan and grant.

3) Training in improved dyeing practices through Weavers Service Centers or any other suitable agency to be funded entirely by Government grant. Each HDC would cover a weavers concentration in a radius of about 5 kms.

Except in hilly areas or sparsely populated areas. The concerned State Government would identify the weavers concentration and also the agency for running the HDC, which would be either a primary cooperative society with a clean track record and good record of performance or a good and viable Non Governmental Organization (NGO) which has the required infrastructure in terms of building, storage, staff, transport, etc. for running the center. The gaps in the infrastructure would be filled by the State Government.

The management and functioning of the HDC would be free from bureaucratic control. Both the central and the State Government would, however, oversee and monitor the functioning of the HDC with a view to rendering necessary assistance to ensure its successful functioning and play the role of only a promoter and facilitator. Each HDC would consist of at least 250 looms and about 1000 weavers, and on an average, produce about 2.5 lakh metres of cloth every year. The first task of the HDC would be to tie-up the marketing of this cloth through State Handloom Development Corporations, Apex Handloom Cooperatives and other agencies and also with mills. Besides participating in the international and State level exhibitions, the HDC would organize exhibitions at the district and 'taluq' levels for which necessary assistance would be provided under the scheme. The HDC may also open rural retail outlets for which also a provision has been made in the scheme. For exports, the HDC would tie-up with the Handicrafts & Handlooms Export Corporation, Handlooms Export Promotion Council and also directly with export house.

The HDC would prepare a 'Production Plan' based on the marketing tie-ups, and make yarn dyes & chemicals and other essential inputs available to the weavers covered by it accordingly. It would also arrange training in improved dyeing practices and new designs through Weavers Service Centers , Indian Institutes Of Handloom Technology at Guwahati, Varanasi and Salem and other suitable agencies to enable the weavers to produce cloth confirming to the market demand. The entire cloth produced by the weavers covered by the HDC would be purchased by it at remunerative prices. The scheme for setting up 3000 HDCs and 500 QDUs is the biggest scheme ever launched for the handloom weavers in the country involving a total outlay of Rs.849.19 crores of which,Rs.321.325 crores would be Central Government grant and Rs.527.375 crores concessional credit through NABARD refinance. It also designed to increase the coverage of handloom weavers by cooperatives from the existing about 20% to more than 50%, which would give a tremendous boost to the cooperative movement in the sector. About 30 lakh weavers who would be covered by these HDCs would also become eligible for assistance under several other schemes being implemented by the Central and State Governments.

The scheme would also generate employment for a large number of handloom weavers. The implementation of the scheme would substantially raise the earnings and income levels of the handloom weavers covered by it by diversifying their production according to the domestic and export demand and ensuring remunerative prices to them. It can reasonably be expected that this scheme would go a long way not only in bringing prosperity to the handloom weavers but also in preserving and promoting the development of their traditional skills and craftsmanship in weaving for which they are known internationally. 4. International Scenario 5. There are no apex societies in Sikkim, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland

Brocade, atlas and damask - these costly fabrics have been directly related to Syria's textile luxury. The wealth and reputation of Syrian cities and their suqs were based on them, and their variety and fine quality have aroused admi­ration and enthusiasm in visitors of all periods.


Damascene brocade. Damascene damask

Silk damask and gold brocade were and are the most costly of the traditional textiles produced in Damascus. After the collapse of the textile market in the mid-nine­teenth century, Damascus deliberately concentrated on the production of these luxury fabrics for a well-heeled local and European clientele. But despite many efforts and the introduction of Jacquard looms, the production of the beautiful fabrics with their delicate and complicated patterns has now almost vanished. Of the old looms only a handful are still in operation, most now lie unused as sad piles of timber.

There was nostalgia in the eyes and voice of the merchants and the old weaver of Nassan & Co. in Damascus when they showed us their brocades and explained the patterns with their romantic names: one pattern that is still sought-after is called "Queen Elizabeth" or "Lovebirds". According to the stories, Queen Elizabeth of England was asked at the time of her coronation what she wanted as a present from Syria. Her reply was silk brocade. When she was asked about the pattern, she is supposed to have drawn the "Lovebirds", which were then woven by the weavers. Also impressive are patterns such as the "Rose of Damascus", "Narcissi", in the silk damasks fine paisley patterns, the "Fighting Crusaders" and "Para­dise Lost" - the latter only exist as pattern samples kept with their punched cards in the hope that they may one day be ordered again by a customer. Nassau & Co. is a family business. During the Ottoman Empire and at the beginning of the century it was still a large factory and untaxed, with such a big turnover that the owners could afford the money necessary to spare their staff military service. Until around 1958 two workers operated each of the twenty or so looms, weaving the brocades in three, five or seven colours with the corresponding patterns.

Today only two looms are left. In the past die making of brocade and damask was almost exclusively the preserve of Chris­tians, but gradually an increasing number of Kurdish weavers have been moving into this field. The cards for the few Jacquard looms still in operation continue to be made by Armenians. Until the 1960s tourists were still frequent customers, but now production is mostly for the local market, since damasks and brocades have become very popular as upholstery materials, and are hardly used at all for clothing. The goods for sale are accordingly sorted, above all by colours and patterns, and new ones to suit the wishes of the customers are designed to order. The new patterns are not, however, woven on the old looms oper­ated by hand, but on the electric looms. Nevertheless brocade is still a very costly textile and, like Syria's other traditional fabrics, it is coming under increasing pressure from the cheaper textiles made of artificial fibres. Among these other textiles no longer produced in Damascus is Damascene ikat. The introduction of artificial silk around 1930 caused the first setback for ikat cloth, then in 1947 the war in Palestine meant the loss of the traditional market for the material, since Damascene ikat had been bought mainly by Palestinians.

It is probably too late to increase the production of brocade and damask - and this is true also of other tradi­tional crafts. The old weavers are no longer working and there is no new generation to follow them. So these precious fabrics seem destined for a marginal existence, appreciated by only a few and by foreigners. Some of the merchants are less sentimental. Some people die at the right time, said one of them, perhaps the weaver will die when nobody wants his textiles any more. Of course this is very sad, for the silk will die with him.

The old weaver, bent over his loom with tired eyes, concentrating hard, paused in his work to show us with a smile the damask he was weaving. Presumably lie never possessed a piece of this cloth himself. The fine silk damask with its shimmering colours was exquisitely beautiful. We were allowed to take a pattern strip with us - we chose "Paradise Lost" in blue.

The production of fabrics
 The twister

 The making of a fabric generally beginning with the spinning
(wool, cotton) or reeling (fine silk) of the fiber. In the cities the processing today starts with the twister (al-fattal). Because of the large supplies of factory-made yams, the twister in Syria today has hardly any commissions, so he is forced to take on a second skill, that of a warp- layer (al-musaddi), as well.

The work of a fattal was particularly important for the twisting of tine silks to produce the traditional silk weaves, such as ikat, qutni., damask and brocade.

For twisting and warp-laying a fa.ttal-musad.di needs a drive wheel (dulab) and spools. Today these are modern factory spools, with and without yarn. Nowadays the traditional kufiya used in the past is hardly ever used, since the yarn arrives in the workshop already on a handy spool. The kufiya used to be an indispensable piece of the twister's equipment in the time when the yarn did not come from the factory but in skeins directly from the spinners. The skeins could easily be placed over the kufiya, unwound, twisted and wound up again. After the twisting the laying of the warp begins.



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