From the days of Charkha, our handloom industry has come a long way. What Mahatma Gandhi was to Khadi, Jawahar Lal Nehru was to his jacket, so was Indira Gandhi for the woman folk. Handloom evolved from here as people took to it willingly for its affordability and quality.
Over the centuries, handlooms have come to be associated with brilliance in India’s artistry in fabrics. Right from the ancient times, the high quality of handloom products like muslins of Chanderi, silk brocades of Varanasi, the ikats from Andhra and Orissa, the tie and dye from Rajasthan and Gujarat, the phulkari and khes of Punjab, jacquards from Uttar Pradesh, etc, have been famous all over.
Along with the artistry of weavers, the Indian handloom industry demonstrates the richness and diversity of the culture. The level of artistry and intricacy achieved is supreme and beyond the reach of modern machinery, preserving its heritage and culture.
In the entire country, there are more than 38, 00,000 handlooms. The latest statistics of the textile ministry indicate that this sector needs an urgent attention. India’s handloom export has declined by 30 per cent within a year after a gradual rise for several years. This profession has been one of the main factors of growth promoting inter- and intra-relationship between different communities. It has been considered important for the sheer magnitude of people endowed with traditional artisan, craft skills attuned to the local needs and resources.
Parisera, a curated platform offers exclusive and exquisite handwoven sarees which are directly sourced from weavers across India thus, aiming to accord the pride and financial stability. At present, 10,000 weavers and master weavers across India are part of the Parisera. They strive that every single thing that they sell has a unique craft, clear provenance and identity with the top of the line curation. They typically have only one sari a piece. The curation is so evolved that the customer does not have to surf through pages and pages of stock before seeing what she likes.
Here are some of the brands that are available at Parisera.
Weaveinindia: This stands for exemplifying the elegance of the traditional artistry. The brand aims at revitalising the endangered millennial tradition of weaving in Benares, Rajasthan, Patan and other cities of India.
The collection offers a myriad range of hand woven saris that creates a visually stunning story. Each sari is coupled with a beautiful blouse that is crafted with creative strands and the attention to detail is breathtaking.
The diverse collection has a trunk full of masterpieces such as Patan Patolas, Kanjivarams, Kotas, Ikats, Parsi Garas, Paithanis, Banarasis and much more.
Eco Loom: This offers thoughtfully curated collections of handwoven saris that combine the beauty of traditional regional craft techniques with a refined understanding of contemporary taste.
Showcasing the diversity and breathtaking beauty of handloom weaves from around the country; the label is committed to eliminating middlemen and nurturing traditional crafts, while infusing a fresh and contemporary aesthetic into Indian textiles.
Embracing the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi — appreciating the beauty in natural imperfections Eco Loom celebrates the subtle textures and details created by the slight imperfections in handmade fabrics.
Swati and Sunaina: With their incredible handiwork and tasteful designs, Swati and Sunaina leave no stone unturned in creating heirloom pieces complemented with precise details sharing the work gone behind their production.
Founded in 2007 in Calcutta, Swati and Sunaina is an eponymous brand which aims at reviving the lost treasures of Indian woven textiles. The label seeks to achieve perfection with rare details and elaborate hand work bolstered with distinctive designs.
Each sari comes in a wooden box bearing the weaver’s name, design details, a certificate of authenticity, zari weight and its purity details. With such attention to detail and rare pellucidity, the brand certainly establish themselves a few notches higher than their peers.
Heeya: Heeya reinvents the textiles of the North-east in handwoven saris that reflect the rich handloom heritage of the region. Drawing on traditional motifs, patterns and colours, this aims to promote rare craft traditions and revive skills that are in danger of extinction.
Heeya has reinvented traditional garments to create striking saris, both in cotton and silk, woven by women weavers. Founder Jonali Saikia Khasnabish aims to promote rare handloom and craft traditions from under-explored regions and also help connect the art of its women weavers to the rest of the world.
Bindu Giri: This offers luxury in the most subtle manner. Heavenly silks, exquisite Kanchivaram weaves, Ikats, Jamdanis and signature Kalamkaris find space in Bindu’s eclectic label.
The label expresses the basic need to believe in oneself through the exploration of modern elegance and timeless tradition, lavish luxury and sophisticated beauty. The designer Bindu Giri has merged design with craft. She implements various nuances of design technique and stays close to understated class.
The writer is CEO director, Parisera