Congratulations Samantha on being chosen as a brand ambassador for Telangana Handlooms.
India has the world’s largest number of handloom weavers and rich heritage of handloom products.
Telangana is the home to some of the finest cloth making and dying traditions of the world. Its rich cotton production, with its innovative plant dye extraction history, is undoubtedly famous. Some of the famous sarees made in Telangana are Pochampally and Gadwal Sarees.
Pochampally Ikat is known as Pogudubandhu, Chitki and Buddabhashi in Telangana, where it is produced, in other parts of India it is popularly known as Pochampally named after one of the villages where it is produced. It has its own unique character of the design, different from other Ikat producing areas in India. Today, most of the weaving takes place in Pochampally village where there are over five thousand looms producing this textile.
Gadwal Handloom Centre, established in 1946 by the late Ratan Babu Rao, was mainly responsible for the widespread knowledge and detail regarding the Gadwal Sari. These sarees have been popular since the 1930’s.
Despite such obvious and impressive strengths, India has not been able to ensure sustainable livelihoods for handloom weavers. The grim reality today is that majority of handloom weavers are living in poverty, while many others have left the occupation based on intricate skills to suffer as construction workers and rickshaw pullers. Several have also migrated out of areas earlier known as famous handloom centres.
Handloom weaving required a suitable type of cotton that has now been destroyed and substituted with American Cotton that isn’t suitable for weaving. As many natural forests have been destroyed and/or replaced by monoculture plantations, the support for these weavers got reduced.
We only have a few years left to save handlooms from extinction. And now, the government of the state and many celebrities have come forward to promote this culture. KTR has come forward with a lot of plans to improve the standards of living of the weavers and to bring back the glory of the heritage.
Samantha has come forward appreciating and supporting KTR’s initiatives. She explained to the minister about some specific value additions to works of Gadwal, and Pochampally handlooms, which can greatly enhance the saleability of these fabrics.
She has been chosen as a brand ambassador to promote and support the state’s handloom and textile cultures.
We appreciate the actress and the government for their concern and for letting their hands up front to save a heritage and the lives of the people who kept alive the culture until now.