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Weaving is the method by which threads are interlaced to make cloth. The principals of weaving have not changed through the ages. Modern textile mills do quickly on machines what ancient peoples did slowly by hand.

History of weaving in India

The Indian cotton Fabrics had a worldwide importance and was exported to foreign lands during the Buddhist period. Indian excellent handloom products were in great demand not only inside the country but in much foreign land. They were sent abroad in sizeable quantities even in the da) s of lord Buddha. Since ancient days handloom continued to flourish and in medieval times as well as her cloth manufactured were famous of high artistic skill of craftsman through out the world. Indian cotton was demanded by eastern market from Cairo to china as well as by European market. India exported more than 200 varieties of the cotton through out the world; some of its famous products were Muslin of Decca known as Ab-I-rawan (running water). Bahati hawa (woven air) and shabnam (evening dew). The art of weaving is one of the oldest arts known to mankind. Many of odds and ends of civilization that existed at the beginning of the history show evidence of the art of weaving. It was very early that this art reached a degree of development from a standpoint of texture. beautify and utility that compares favorably with the products of today. The tapestries of the middle ages are unrivalled. as are the silk of ancient China. The modern manufacturer has produced no new products but utilizes the improvements in the process of production that have been brought about in modern times. The spinning wheel has been replaced by the modern automatic Power loom.


India has more than 500 specialised handloom weaving clusters spread across the country. Responding to the changing consumer demand in the modern world, handloom weaving in India is evolving each day. If Madras Check, Cheesecloth and Seersucker, became a craze in the Western world in the 1960's and 1970's, several characteristic innovations like heavy casement, recycled rugs and jacquard woven fabrics in thick cotton and silk fabrics are a popular choice today. Celebrities and designers globally continue to make 9 fashion statement around Indian handlooms.

A large number of Handloom Weavers' co-operative societies too are constantly at work to improve the quality and working conditions for hand weaving. Nine Indian Institutes of Handloom Technology located across India impart specialised training in handloom weaving to the Gen next to ensure continuity of hand weaving heritage.

Today Indian hand weavers offer vast range of decorative and furnishing fabrics for homes in cotton and silk. They have become global style statements. Over 50% of India's hand woven exports consist of home textile products like bed linen, curtains, table & kitchen linen, cushion covers and durries.

It is difficult to distinguish a handwoven fabric from a machine woven fabric. Therefore, in order to stamp the authenticity of handwoven textiles, the Government - of India has introduced "Handloom Mark".


The idea of starting factory production of cotton cloth and yarn in India took shape during the first two decades of the nineteenth century. The first cotton mill in India was established in Calcutta in 1818. The second cotton mill came into existence in 1830 in Bengal. The industry however found its most hospitable home in western India and especially in Mumbai. The first cotton textile mill called the Bombay Spinning and Weaving mill came into existence in Bombay in February 1856.

The Indian textile industry consist of:

  • a. Traditional handloom sector with primitive technology
  • b. Power loom sector which is technologically improved from of handlooms and
  • c. Composite mill sector with its advanced technology.

Among all the three the handloom sector is more scattered and spread through-out the country, and is seen in the villages, power loom sector is decentralized-scattered in and around some identifiable centers and the mill sector which is well organized and integrated to a large extent, a part of which is composite having spinning, weaving and processing, under the same roof.

The decentralized power-loom sector plays a pivotal role in meeting the clothing needs of the country. Production of cloth as well as generation of employment has been rapidly- increasing in the power-loom sector. This sector not only contributes significantly to the cloth production in the country but also provides employment to millions of people. The power-loom industry produces a wide variety of cloth. Both grey as well as processed with intricate designs. The contribution of power-loom sector to the total cloth production is to the extent of 59.15% and it contributes significantly to the export earnings of the country.