Varanasi handloom cluster cries for help
May 9, 2011
Note: this article reminds me of how often I see bridal shops – even in India – that are full of cheap, milled fabric or even just nylon netting with beads. Handloom saris have become so difficult to find. ~ Smita
[Summary] Even with 4-Billion INR annual turnover for Banarasi handloom, this artisan craft struggles to survive. While the Banarasi weaver is still valued for their ‘exclusive’ brocades, these designs are more easily replicated by mills. Another challenge is meeting the demands of export buyers without any guidance. Whether high-end or lower-end, Banaras handloom generally sells as saris, and a mere 2% - 3% is estimated to be exported. The Banaras weave industry lacks the marketing systems to attract and meet orders for overseas markets, and lacks the market branding to develop a dedicated customer base.