Indians have rediscovered and rekindled their love for handloom sarees and raw silk fabric. India’s Bollywood’s leading ladies are flaunting the warp and weft, it is ruling the runways and handloom is also the back with a bang on the streets.
All thanks to the millennial, who aren’t following the herd and sticking to labels. They are warming up to handloom, maintaining the traditional sensibilities while giving it a makeover to suit their contemporary palate.
Unlike, their predecessors, they don’t find handloom and all-handmade things to be reserved for their grandmothers. They have taken a certain liking to quirky and cool prints of ajrakh, ikkat and Madhubani. The millennial are proud of their Indian heritage, but can’t do away with a cool and contemporary silhouette, which is compatible with their modern ideology.
While the youngsters are embracing it and their parents are opening up to the idea of wearing handloom on special occasions, there are still a few myths and queries regarding handloom products that remain unaddressed.
Here’s the lowdown on the most pressing questions regarding handloom so that it doesn’t just remain a buzzword that fades away with time and you get the best value for your money.
Why should I wear handloom and not machine looms?
Handloom is sustainable and eco-friendly. It is spun on a Charkha or a loom that is operated manually. The rhythmic coordination of hand and feet is required to weave the yarn. Only organic and naturally procured colours such as henna, indigo, turmeric and pomegranate are used to dye the yarn.
Machine fabrics, on the other hand, aren’t skin-friendly. Fashion is the second most polluting industry globally. Fabrics like polyester don’t decompose for years and end up in landfills or oceans, causing severe ecological damage.
A pair of denim requires 2,000 gallons of water to be treated. Your formal wear, which is non-wrinkle and stain-resistant has been treated with over 2,000 chemicals to be the way it is. Every day, when we are struggling for basic needs such as clean air and organic food, does it make sense that you pay an exorbitant price for chemical-laden clothes?
Many A-lister brands have women’s tops in polyester and elastane – the fabrics that don’t require ironing but don’t absorb sweat either.
You slip in your own sweat puddle- around the armpits and on the back- resulting in BO, breakouts and various skin issues.
Why handlooms are expensive?
Handloom sarees or raw silk fabric are a bit on the pricey side because of their unparalleled artistry, intricacy and efforts involved in the making. It is a labour-intensive and time-consuming process. A jamdani saree takes months to prepare.
The design and weaves of handloom are beyond a machine’s scope. And this is why you might pay a bit more. An heirloom saree like Banarasi or Kanjivaram is forever- so, it is worth the investment.
However, not all handlooms are expensive either. If you are eyeing a routine cotton kurta or a linen saree- it is priced at par.
Besides, each handloom is exclusive and durable – much likely to stay with you more than your favourite top or pair of denim.
Handlooms are good for ethnic wear. How do I incorporate them into my style?
It is yet another popular misconception about handloom. On the contrary, it is quite versatile. Take a handloom fabric such as linen, cotton or silk and turn it into your own line of haute couture.
Be it a skirt, a tunic, a palazzo, a salwar suit, dhoti pant, dhoti saree- unleash your creativity, upgrade your wardrobe and do some good for the environment!
How do I tell the difference between a real handloom saree and a fake one?
It is very tricky given the markets are now flooded with A-copies and celebrity replica sarees. It takes attention to detail and a lot of experience to tell the original from a fake one. To save yourself from the trouble, you can look for GI tags.
It is recommended to always shop from the authentic and reputable marketplace if you are shopping handloom online. Silk fabric and sarees come with Silk Mark, a certification by Central Silk Board of India, bearing the authenticity of the fabric.
Hope this helps you to include handloom fabrics and sarees in your wardrobe.
Elevate your style quotient and make your skin and environment happy!