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My handloom trails to Madurai

My Handloom trails to Madurai – My wish of visiting the Madurai Meenakshi Temple finally came true after almost 20 years clubbing it with my textile trail.

Beautiful town with very beautiful people. The city of fragrance!

Always preferred walking and strolling down the streets to feel the actual pulse of the city. Talking and mingling with people around who were always keen to help and guide.

Equipped with just the information that was available on the internet and trying to find my way around. Roughed it out on the streets with the sun shining brightly down on me with the temperature of  32°C and I kept flashing my 1000 volts smile back … I won ;), I survived the heat.

The Gharchola Handloom Weavers of Madurai.

So here is the ground reality from my point of view.

The beautiful Gharchola’s of our Gujarat are woven in Madurai, Tamilnadu, in cotton and silk, these dazzling hand-woven Gharchola’s in the grey form (natural colour also known as off-white or ecru) are tied and dyed in Gujarat.

(image sourced from google for representation only)

What does the weaver get paid for weaving one sari? Well! INR 575/- for one cotton saree with zari checks and @ INR 900/- for silk. Been traveling around the weaving hubs and it’s the same song everywhere. Check the price of the silks online which are open to everyone. Weigh your saree.  How much do we pay for dyeing a dupatta in the market? The technique is the same!  Bhandej, it’s a time-consuming, not an expensive affair.

I leave the math to the readers, the price of silk online today shows as @ INR 4000/kg, and the cotton price is INR 350/kg, dyeing charges are roughly about INR 500 per kg. The tying of knots fetches the ladies @ 35 paise to 75 paise per knot depending on the finesse and distance. I may have missed out on many petty miscellaneous expenses, but they can be ignored or add another @ 700 INR. One saree could take from 3 to 5 days, depending on the skill of the weaver and focus.

The handloom sector and the textile sector have been taking the hit always since pre-independence, you just need to refer to the journals available at The Calico Museum in Ahmedabad. We still don’t seem to have a solution!

Times have changed and even though every weaver with the smartphone has access to direct customers is unable to better their lives, it’s the fear factor in marketing and they sell themselves short! This I feel needs to be addressed!

More to come!

Check out the beautiful Handloom Sarees on our online store, CLICK HERE

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Hina Bhatia

    Beautiful collection.. A very understanding seller who works around budget of the client.. Very happy with her

    1. Manju Hinduja

      Thank you so much, Hina Bhatia!

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