Recently I have been reading Selvedge magazine and found an interesting article about hand loom production in India. Apparently, India is a leader country for hand woven textiles as there are a lot of places where this fabrics are manufactured (Selvedge 66, 2015). This incredible tradition is fighting against modern technologies and mills production in order to survive. As the author wrote in the article, “India leads the world in skill, creativity and expertise […] but there is a need to protect this beautiful but vulnerable tradition” (Selvedge 66, 2015).
Of course the background in Europe is different, in Italy for example there aren’t so many cities that carry on the handwoven production but there is still a solid tradition. Some of the issues that emerged from the paper are the same in European countries; little recognition by the government for instance, is one of the biggest problem that Italian manufacturers are experiencing. Lack of investment in skills is another one, while in India some schools to preserve hand loom weaving tradition were set up in the last decades, in Italy unfortunately we are still far behind.
The buyers of hand woven fabrics are usually people how have some knowledge or understand crafts says Ramji (Selvedge 66, 2015). Everyone should therefore be thought to love, understand and preserve traditional skills. We are in need of an informed customer for our products otherwise the market is going to collapse.
Hand weaving requires a lot of time and this collides with the “fast fashion” trend (Selvedge 66, 2015). It is therefore important to focus on other attributes.
This helped me realize how the problem of hand weaving production is addressed in other countries compare to Italian situation.
Craftsmanship needs to be preserved more and each country should invest in their traditional values.
Clifford, R., Rajgopal, U. and Tyajbi, L. (2015) ‘The power is in your hands: The future of the handloom’. Selvedge, 4 (issue 66): 62-65.