India's weaving traditions and styles are rich and diverse, but in many parts of the country this extraordinary craft is in decline and weavers are struggling to continue working at their looms. Their incomes are falling, they have to compete with cheaper powerloom-made fabric, and they get little state support.
At PARI we are documenting weavers and their work not only because of the unparalleled quality of their craft and their painstaking labour, but also because they could be the last practitioners of centuries-old skills.
Our stories are many – about an elderly weaver with a portable loom in Sneymo village of Ladakh, the makers of exquisite tussar in Bihar’s Banka district, the suicide of a weaver in Dharmavaram in Andhra Pradesh, why the skilled weavers of Arani in Tamil Nadu work as helpers in canteens and on buses.
These and many more stories told through photo essays, films, articles and photo albums constitute PARI’s growing archive on weavers and their work. Presenting them as a collection here:
Ladaiti Devi of Salmata village in Uttarakhand is a self-assured and wise warrior, who other women look up to. She tried many ways of earning some money despite her family’s displeasure, until she found her calling in weaving durries – and now her fingers weave a magic that is locally renowned
May 10, 2017 | Puja Awasthi
Most of the handloom weavers in Pedana in Andhra Pradesh are elderly, as are many of the town’s Kalamkari printers – a lack of state support and poor incomes have impacted both industries and forced the younger generation to migrate for work