National Handloom Day 2016

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Today the 2nd National Handloom Day is being celebrated across India. We paused and thought of the numerous handloom weavers that are partners and sell on Shopatplaces.com, and the numerous journies we have undertaken to meet them, train them and educate them so that their craft reaches across the world.

Celebrating National Handloom Day 2016

Celebrating 2nd National Handloom Day

 

Today, we are sharing with you one such story - of our journey to Kota to onboard India Handloom Brand certified handloom weavers of Kota Doria sarees, suits, dupattas and more.

National Handloom Day 2016 - Weaving A Kota Doria Saree

Weaving of a Kota Doria Saree

 

A month back our team traveled to Kota from Delhi. Kaithoon was the place that was to be our destination. We had found out that it is 15-20 kms from Kota city and decided to leave early in the morning for Kaithoon.

As we have partnered with Ministry of Textiles for promoting India Handloom Brand and Handloom Mark products on Shopatplaces, we were received by a representative of the Ministry, Mr. Anil at CFC, Kaithoon. Kaithoon is a small hamlet where hundreds of Kota Doria weavers live. After meeting Ruchi Yadav, head of WSC Jaipur, who introduced us to the weavers, we had to move from house to house to train them in uploading their products online. Needless to stay, the staff of the Ministry of Textiles was very helpful throughout our visit. Their houses double us their weaving centers and as their shops too.

India Handloom Brand marketing at Kota

Marketing of India Handloom Brand at Kaithoon, Kota, Rajasthan

 

Ministry of Textiles staff at Kaithoon, Kota, Rajasthan

Helpful staff of WSC, Jaipur, Ministry of Textiles

 

The first weaver we went with to his home was Mr. Nasruddin Ansari. Nasruddin is a National Award winning artisan. He helped us understand the intricacies of the weaving process and told us how to differentiate an original Kota Doria saree from a fake one. Hint: New blog post coming soon ;) 

National Awardee Nasruddin Ansari - Kota Doria Saree

National Award Winning Kota Doria Weaver - Nasruddin Ansari

 

We helped him and his brother, Jameel Ahmed, who is a State Awardee, understand the process of taking their Kota Doria sarees online - from photography to editing to content writing to uploading the products. They were very excited with this new avenue opening up to take their craft directly to connoisseurs, without going through middlemen.

Kota Doria Saree Quality Check

Checking The Warp and Weft Of A Kota Doria Saree

 

Silk Yarn for Kota Doria Sarees

Pure Silk Yarn Used In Weaving Kota Doria Sarees

 

Jameel Ahmed, a weaver of Kota Doria sarees

State Awardee Kota Doria Weaver - Jameel Ahmed

 

After onboarding their products, we moved on to another vendor, Mohd Akram. Akram has been weaving Kota Doria sarees for the last 23 years. It was a pleasure to see him work on his loom and our camera couldn't stop clicking. :D

 Kota Doria Saree weaver - Mohd Akram weaving on his pit loom

Mohd Akram Weaving A Kota Doria Saree

 

Handloom Day 2016 - Announced by PM Narendra Modi

Pit Loom Used To Weave A Kota Doria Saree

 

He helped us understand how designs are made first, and the thinking that goes in creation of each new design. It was fascinating. He wanted inputs on the color schemes that he is using as well as the on the designs he was making. We gave him our inputs and connected him directly with our Design Team at Delhi, so that they can give him relevant feedback to design sarees as per customer requests and intelligence. After spending a considerable amount of time with him explaning to him the intricacies of selling at Shopatplaces and making his products live, we had a sumptous lunch and moved to another India Handloom Brand weaver, Abid Hussain.

India Handloom Brand and National Handloom Day 2016

India Handloom Brand Certification

 

For Abid, as for others, Kota Doria craft runs in the family. He learned it from his father and now his son works with him. True exemplification of knowledge passed on from one generation to another. He was very happy with the activities being carried out by the ministry to promote weavers, especially by India Handloom Brand. After answering his questions related to selling his sarees on Shopatplaces, we filled his vendor registration form and explained him the entire process to directly sell to customers.

Shop Kota Doria Sarees - India Handloom Brand certified

Lovely Kota Doria Silk Saree

 

Buy Kota Doria Saris Online In India on National Handloom Day

Pure Silver And Gold Zari Is Used In A Kota Doria Saree

 

That is how a satisfactory day was wrapped up. We bought a few Kota Doria sarees for our families too.

We are happy that the small efforts we are making are having a meaningful impact on the lives of handloom weavers in small towns and villages of India. We need to promote our heritage, our handlooms and for this, initiatives like India Handloom Brand and National Handloom Day are very much required.

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