Indian handlooms are probably the one category of product that truly expresses India’s “Unity in Diversity” credo. India’s heritage handlooms, renowned the world over, are one of the largest and oldest cottage industries. They represent the traditions, cultures and skills of the peoples of the Country. From the rustic hand-spun cotton fabrics to the finest of silks, India has a multitude of hand-woven textiles to offer.
Under the patronage of the Mughal dynasty, exquisite creations in weaving techniques like Jamdani, Benarasi brocades, Jamewar, etc. saw immense growth. By the 17th century, 25% of the world's textiles were being produced in India. During the era of colonialism under the British, handlooms saw a downfall due to the unfair trade practices implemented. The Industrial Revolution and easy accessibility of mass made foreign fabrics further impacted the sector negatively. With Mahatma Gandhi’s call to the Swadeshi Movement during India’s freedom struggle, there was a revival of the handloom sector.
Post independence, there have been major steps taken by organisations under the aegis of the Government to further boost the popularity of handlooms. Quite a few textile revivalist organisations and individuals have been working steadfastly to make sure the traditional textile techniques of the country are preserved and today with the world waking up to conscious design choices and sustainability in creation, there has been an influx of interest in the handloom and handicraft sectors.
The designers at Amrich - Amit & Richard have a deep appreciation and respect for the richness of Indian handlooms and the vast variety of textiles woven all across the country. They have been working closely with craft clusters in a number of states of India for much over a decade creating textiles for the label as well as providing design intervention in a number of areas. The label uses only natural fibres and proudly supports handlooms by making use of almost 80% of hand-woven textiles in their lines. They work closely with the skilled heritage artisans from across the country to learn about the possibilities and limitations of each and every cluster. This allows them to innovate at stages from the yarn to the actual fabrics to create the novel handcrafted textiles which owe their birth to the generational skill sets but appeal to a more global audience looking for contemporary avatars of the traditional techniques.