International Journal of Textile Science

p-ISSN: 2325-0119    e-ISSN: 2325-0100

2020;  9(1): 17-20


Received: Aug. 14, 2020; Accepted: Sep. 2, 2020; Published: Sep. 10, 2020


Policies in Handloom Industry in India: Short Review

Sanjay Shrivastava

Director, National Institute of Fashion Technology, Patna, Mithapur, Patna, Bihar, India

Correspondence to: Sanjay Shrivastava, Director, National Institute of Fashion Technology, Patna, Mithapur, Patna, Bihar, India.


Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Scientific & Academic Publishing.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).


Handloom sector has become a major concern for Indian textile economy and overall economical inclusive growth for India. Ever increasing importance of holistic growth in Indian handloom sector in directly affected by many factors such as individual growth of organized and unorganized textile industries, social and political influencing parameter and by even various governmental policies especially in textile sector. In this current work provides a systematic review on present scenario of Indian handloom sector. The overall facts and findings can help the stakeholder from this sectors to formulate apt strategies through adding vast knowledge to the existing literature body of handloom current state.

Keywords: Handloom Sector, Indian Textile Economy, Organized Textile Industries, Unorganized Textile Industries and Governmental Policies

Cite this paper: Sanjay Shrivastava, Policies in Handloom Industry in India: Short Review, International Journal of Textile Science, Vol. 9 No. 1, 2020, pp. 17-20. doi: 10.5923/j.textile.20200901.03.

1. Introduction

Certainly the mention of the word handloom evokes the reader 's thoughts about India. This is because this undeniably was vital to the country's development to the point that it was important for its past. The word definition simply means the loom driven by the hands or legs, or by the combination of both. Handloom industry in India implies more than the above description. This is because it has had an enormous effect and was without a doubt crucial to shaping the society of the country and the economy over the years. India is a country which has developed its own niche in the development of high-quality fabrics. Those who acquired their skills as handloom weavers or hand spinners were key elements of Indian culture in the sense that over the years their services were certainly on the highest demand. Handloom makes up nearly 15% of cloth production in the country and 95% of the hand woven fabrics worldwide come from India. Handloom sector in India provides more than 43 lakh weavers and allied workers with almost direct or indirect jobs.

2. Handloom Business Background in India

The weaving industry in India is reminiscent of the days of civilisation in the Indus Valley. This was when the textiles and spinning fabrics of cotton found their powerful appearance. This was the same time when people used cotton mainly for spinning looms and other textiles. Any of the finished goods were fine knit cotton and the cotton textiles. The shuttles on the excavated sites were found in the form of the unused material mainly in the form of the raw material. One of these sites which certainly stand out is the Mohenjo Daro site, one of India's most renowned textile industries. Over the years, images of the first Indian fabric have been taken that have been effective for many years. With the introduction of technologies, the industry may have changed, but there is indeed much of the history of the initial handling industries before the recent modernisation.
The achievements of the industry depended primarily on the available demand. That is since, over the years, the sale of fine goods to other areas of the world, especially China and Indonesia as well as the Far East, has been substantial. This was mostly the case just before the Europeans began to enter India in the 13th century. Later on, some parts of Europe also expanded on the market. After agriculture, the textile sector is the second best jobs in India and stimulates 14% of the overall industrial output and accounts for around 30% of India's total imports and exports. Therefore, say, we can certainly look after this industry and it is absolutely necessary to say that every component of the textile industry needs to be taken care of to ensure that country growth and economic growth are guaranteed. In India, textile industries have been divided into four mainly;
A. Centralized textile sector
• Handloom industries
• Modern textiles mills
• Garments and
B. Independent power loom or decentralized textile sectors
The Handloom area plays a key role in the economy of the nation. Economic liberalization, uniqueness, production flexibility, openness to innovations, supplier desire adaptability, a cluster approach, aggressive marketing strategies and the implementation of different social welfare measures has now shown a positive sign of growth in Indian handloom sectors. The standard of Handloom lies in the imaginative outline given, which can nevertheless not be replicated by the power cloth output. In this way, Handloom forms a piece of Indian legacy and represents innovation in design and product color with decent diversity and our nation and the aesthicity of the weavers.
Figure 1. The Textile chain in India (Mudiyanselage et al., 2014)

3. Types of Weaving Traditions

It was divided into three different weaving categories or traditions because of the diverse and wider size of the market. The rural, classical and tribal were there. The rural category of weaving tradition was mainly the familiar and unchanging patterns that synonymized Indian rural life (Agnihotri, 2015). The design of the woven material showed figures of things so familiar and easily identifiable to every Indian living in the rural part of the nation. This is actually evident when it comes to the kind of images that appealed to all animals , plants and humans. That is why these are just what most projects have certainly condensed.
The second category as first mentioned is classic. This tradition of weaving certainly centered on royalty and court life. The icons and the shapes of the weaving patterns relied on who possessed the influence of the monarch. This is so evident that it was also important in that it was a sort of patronage for the country's ruler and often even the region's ruler, and hence, many distinctive designs focused on nature and temperament as well as the varied list of the items that the ruler wanted. Since every region had its leading role, all of the fabric which was woven to some extent must have the form of elements or elegance that surely showed it.
The final category is nothing but the tribal. In comparison to the impression provided by the name of the weaving practice, this was done mostly to display the simple geometric patterns. These designs were mainly produced in solid primary colors and mostly in plain bamboo looms.

4. Strategies for Intervention

a. Marketing and publicity support
b. Welfare measures
c. Infrastructure supports
d. Composite growth based schemes
e. Modernization and machinery upgradation in technology
f. Development in import and export scheme
g. Wages, employment and livelihood issues
h. Competition and unfair competition from mills and powerlooms
i. Enhancement of Value
j. Budget allocations
k. Intermediaries (individuals/institutions)
l. Cooperative system
m. Patenting designs/varieties
n. Design improvements
o. Raw material supply and prices
p. Adequate and timely credit supply
q. Supports of raw materials and management
r. Protections through product reservation
s. Extensive research
t. Market expansions
u. Corrective misperceptions
Table 1. Strategical implementation in Indian handloom sector (Hasanbeigi, September, 2010, Choudhury, 2014, Chapter 3, Uttar Pradesh Development Report, Vol-2, 2002)

5. The Performance Based Factors for Indian Handloom Sector (Ramchandra, 2015, Bhalla et al., 2018)

The employment structures in the handloom industries are based on few important factors and which are very crucial for the profitability and economic growth of the artisans near future (Agnihotri, 2015);
• Total workforce engaged in handloom sector
• Number of men, women and children engaged in this industry
• Distribution of handloom workers by employment status
• Distribution of weaver by gender and by nature of engagement (full time- part time)
• Distribution of allied workers by gender and by nature of engagement (full time-part time)
• Distribution of workers by age-groups
• Distribution of handloom households by number of days worked in a year
• Distribution of weaver households by percentage of total income derived from handloom
• Contribution of handloom to total household income
• Average earning of handloom households
• Competition from power loom sector
• Failure of co-operatives societies
• Ineffective implementation of government programs
• Illiteracy and poverty among weavers
Various schemes have been launched by Ministry of Textiles, Government of India to cater those issues as (Annual report 2017-18, Min. of Textiles, GOI);
• National Handloom Development Programme
• Concessional Credit for Handloom Sectors-Weavers Mudra Scheme
• Block Level Cluster Projects
• Marketing Incentives
• Handloom Marketing Assistance
• Deendayal Hastkala Sankul (Trade Centre & Museum), Vanarasi
• Promotion of India Handloom Brand (IHB) and Handloom Mark
• Yarn supply Scheme
• ERP and E-Dhaga App
• Handloom Welfare measures
• Handloom weavers Comprehensive Welfare Scheme
• Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana (MGBBY)
• Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY)
• Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY)
• Health Insurance Scheme (HIS)
• Educational facilities to the children of handloom weavers by IGNOU and National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) and 75% fee concession for SC, ST, BPL and women weavers families.
• Outreach Programmes for weavers
• Bunkar Mitra help line
• Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS)
• Implementation of Handlooms (Reservation of Articles for Production Act, 1985)
• Awards and Recognitions
• Sant Kabir Award (SKA)
• National Merit Certificates (NMC)
• Export Promotion Strategies
• Weavers Service Centres (WSCs)
• Indian Institute of Handloom Technology (IIHTs)
• National Centre for Textile Designs (NCTDs)
• Association of Corporations and Apex Societies of Handlooms (ACASH)
• Handloom Export Promotion Council (HEPC)

6. Conclusions

The Government is conscious that the strong rivalry in powerloom and mills market, the emergence of cheaper inputs, hypercredit lines and rising credit prices, shifts in customer tastes, alternative employment and economic liberalization have disrupted the vibrancy of the handloom industry. The Government of India has pursued a policy of promotion and promotion of the handloom sector through a number of programs and plans. Owing to numerous policy policies and scheme interventions such as cluster strategy, vigorous marketing campaign, subsidized yarn and loan, enhanced quality, design innovations, technical changes and social security steps, handloom sector has sustained a handloom fabric output level and income level following a decline in the number of handlooms and handloom weavers. Various policy interventions therefore help the weavers manage the changing situation. However, in order to successfully execute these projects, the officials of the State Government and Central Government are reviewed/ supervised during field visits and regular evaluation and adequate progress has been made.


[1]  Agnihotri, M.P., 2015. Dead End at the Silk Road: The Possible Revival of the Banaras Handloom Industry. Prabandhan: Indian Journal of Management, 8(8), pp.30-38.
[2]  Annual Report, Ministry of Textiles, 2017-18, Government of India.
[3]  Bhalla, K., Kumar, T. and Rangaswamy, J., 2018. An Integrated Rural Development Model based on Comprehensive Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Khadi-Handloom Industry in Rural India. Procedia CIRP, 69, pp.493-498.
[4]  Chapter 3, Uttar Pradesh Development Report, Vol-2, 2002.
[5]  Energy-Efficiency Improvement Opportunities for the Textile Industry, Hasanbeigi Ali, China Energy Group, Energy Analysis Department, Environmental Energy Technologies Division, September, 2010.
[6]  Roy, C., 2014. The silk handloom industry in Nadia district of West Bengal: a study on its history, performance & current problems.
[7]  Sudalaimuthu, S., 2006, Handloom industries in India,
[8]  Ramchandra, K.P., 2015. Towards improving productivity of solapur based textsitles SMEs.
[9]  Choudhury, A.R., 2014. Environmental impacts of the textile industry and its assessment through life cycle assessment. InRoadmap to Sustainable Textiles and Clothing (pp. 1-39). Springer, Singapore.
[10]  Mudiyanselage, H. and Herath, R.P., 2014. The strategic importance of supply chain management in small and medium sized enterprises: A case study of the garment industry in Sri Lanka.