Web Exclusive | October 2016
New lease of life Khurda handlooms!
Handlooms sector in Khurda district of Odisha, which was facing a crisis due to weak demand for cotton lungis and towels for the last few years, has received a new lease of life with the production of linen and mercerised cotton fabrics. The Department of Textiles and Handlooms is now creating awareness among local weavers to produce linen and mercerised cotton fabrics to meet the high demand and get better remuneration.
Khurda weavers has carved a niche for themselves in the cotton garments sector of the State in the post-Independence era. Cotton lungis, sarees and towels produced by local weavers were the most sought-after garments for people across the state in the 1970s and 1980s. The garments even had a good market in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.
However, mass production of cotton garments in textile mills at Coimbatore, Surat and Mumbai had dealt a death blow to Khurda’s handlooms sector in the 90s. Better quality and low price of machine-made clothes had virtually wiped out handloom products of local weavers.