Yojana Summary

May 2024

Topic-5 : The Global Presence of Indian Handloom Industry

Question : Discuss the significance of India’s handloom sector in terms of employment and its status as the largest cottage industry in the country. How does the sector contribute to India’s economy, and what factors make it a strong contender in the global market?

India’s Handloom Sector: A Strong Contender

  • #2 Ranking: India’s handloom sector is the second-largest employer after agriculture, providing jobs to over 3 million people.
  • Largest Cottage Industry: It’s also the country’s largest cottage industry, boasting around 24 lakh looms.
  • Global Recognition: Indian handloom products are renowned worldwide for their unique designs, exceptional quality, diverse range, and long-lasting durability.

Handloom Exports: A Glimpse

  • Pre-Covid Performance (2016-17 to 2019-20): Indian handloom exports thrived, consistently exceeding USD 300 million annually.
  • Post-Covid Decline (2020-21): A significant drop of 30% in exports was observed due to the pandemic’s impact.
  • Partial Recovery (2021-22): A partial recovery is evident; however, pre-Covid export levels haven’t been reached yet.

Key Export Destinations:

  • Over 20 Countries: Indian handloom products are sought-after in over 20 countries, especially developed nations and the Middle East.
  • U.S. Dominance: The United States leads as the top export market, accounting for roughly 40% of the international demand in 2021-22.
  • Developed Nations Drive Demand: Developed countries play a crucial role, reflecting the appeal of these products in affluent markets.
  • Growing Middle Eastern Market: The Middle East is another significant market, indicating their popularity across diverse cultures.

Factors Behind International Demand:

  • Unique Craftsmanship: The intricate handwork and artistry of Indian handloom products resonate with international buyers.
  • Cultural Heritage: The rich cultural heritage woven into each piece adds value and appreciation.
  • Eco-Friendliness: Sustainability is a key factor influencing consumer choices, and handloom products cater to this growing preference.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: The timeless beauty and design of these textiles hold a universal allure.

India’s Top Handloom Exports:

  • Home Decor Focus: Over 60% of Indian handloom exports comprise home decor items like bed linen, curtains, table and kitchen textiles, and cushion covers.
  • Mats and Matting: Mats and mattings make up around 30% of the exports.
  • Key Exporting Cities: Karur, Panipat, Varanasi, and Kannur are major exporting cities, producing a wide range of handloom products.

Branding and Intellectual Property Protection:

  • “India Handloom” Trademark: This mark signifies the authenticity and quality of handloom products.
  • “Handloom Mark” Assurance: It guarantees customers receive genuine, high-quality products with minimal environmental impact.
  • Official Trademark: “India Handloom” is officially registered under the Trade Marks Act of 1999.
  • IPR Protection: The Geographical Indications of Goods Act (1999) and the Designs Act (2000) provide intellectual property protection for handloom producers in India and international markets.

Global Opportunities in the Modern Era:

  • Sustainable Appeal: Despite advancements in machine-made products, handloom products offer a unique and sustainable alternative.
  • Style Meets Sustainability: The new generation of environmentally conscious consumers appreciates stylish products that don’t harm the environment.
  • Handloom’s Unique Value: Handwoven textiles offer a perfect blend of uniqueness, style, cultural significance, and eco-friendliness.

Conclusion: A Tradition Goes Global

Indian handloom products seamlessly blend tradition and modernity. Their unique designs, exceptional quality, and vast variety have carved a niche in the international market. These locally-crafted textiles are making a significant global impact, showcasing the rich heritage of Indian handloom artistry.


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