Research/ Review Paper | Textile Articles

A wholesome glimpse of handloom sector in the middle of market

Published: November 28, 2020



Marketing is a really gamechanger in case with handloom sector. The middlemen have a crucial role in connecting to the consumer. The power loom has a major market share in India and have a core preference over the handloom sector due to lack of proper marketing. The handloom retails have a smaller footfall rate usually due to the ineffectiveness of marketing strategies. So, this report is intended to discuss on the basic research problem that can have significant results at the end of the day. The report will include four types of marketing strategies at different levels with respect to market efficiency and effectiveness in the handloom industry. These 4 core players when it comes to marketing i.e. product, price, place and promotion related strategies, and this paper is to make it easier to understand the relevance of  marketing on the basis of how the product has assessment in the market,  how the industry address its problems, what are the marketing strategy currently in run and why the development of handloom sector is still at stake with in-depth discussion of what can be done.

Key words: handloom, marketing, effective and efficient commercialisation


The market for handloom industry is also vast like any other markets and in order to have an understanding of it has been simplified by many researchers. In order to categorise the market, we can categorise it in 4 different parts such as the Village market, the self-consumption sector, the market in distance which is basically the urban market and the export market. In this whole structure, the monopoly players are where the master weavers are collaborated with the private retailers and that covers up around 90% of market catering.  These products are usually traded directly at the trader’s retail houses or are sold by other big-time intermediary wholesalers and the retailers. The other crucial fragment are the merchant exporters who sell the handloom products by vial their international connections with foreign buyers or are indirect connections at the big-time foreign retail houses. Now, the workforce n this industry can be categorised under organised and unorganised sector. There are 3 core players in the textile market, the handloom sector, the power loom sector and the textile mills.

India has a really bigger market potential in the holistic growth when it is about the Handloom sector according to many researchers. According a recent survey, it is accountable for 14% in the field of production, makes a core contribution of 4% in the national gross domestic product (GDP) and also accountable for 13% of the gross total export. Currently, India makes feeds around 95 per cent of world’s total handloom fabric demands. Especially, the handloom fabrics like ikats and the other handloom fabrics which needs utmost intricacy and detailed design intervention, produced in the clusters of India has a vital role to play in global export market and also is a cause of attraction within many foreign consumers.


the origin

Literature Review:

Indian handloom sector is definitely result of its rich cultural Heritage of India. In the handloom sector women has a pre-dominant role to play in to pre and post loom activities related activities dyeing, finishing, winding, bleaching, and embroidery. Indian handlooms have significantly different feature than in comparison to the handlooms of other countries in many aspects. It has a definite balance of both tradition and modernity in a piece of fabric, it has an endless spectrum of colours in the palette which is the expression of heart and soul of Indian weavers, it is suitable looking at the design parameters with respect to the cultural relevance, ethical design and has definitely has that traditional orientation.

The vast history and geography of this territory definitely adds all that is said to be its strength and feature to it. It is known as land of Cotton, most of it cannot be replicated in power looms at a wider scale, it has the majority of skilled, semi-skilled work force, incurs a lower cost range, negligible energy requirements. It has potential in the domestic market, the sector is exclusively financed by NABARD, the services to this sector is provided through WSC, IIHT, NHDC, Textile Committee and HEP etc. There are even provisions of banks for availability of Raw materials, Designs, Apparel park etc. The government has provisioned welfare schemes, textile policies and has inaugurated handloom reservation act for the scope of upliftment in the textile sector. There are actions taken by the government to protect the interest of the artisans such as labor ethics including minimum wages act, maintaining work ethics, eco-friendly regulations etc. by the government.

Now, in spite of all the worthy instances in the government policies, what we always undermined before is to look for the loopholes. Even though the economy has the greatest potential for the higher yield and productivity in the field of handloom and its industry, here lies a missing line of cross checking and monitoring of the how things are working in actual. Now, in spite of all efforts by the government at central and state levels, there are problems related to the adequacy and qualitative parameters of the raw materials. There is always a lack of managerial intellects that are required in order to meet the higher market sales. There has been a universal problem that is applicable in almost all the cluster is that there a lack of standardisation systems in the products that come out of any cluster, because there are no protocols followed to maintain a range and a balancing the homogeneity required in an order. Now, if there is design that makes a good place in the market, it takes more than enough time for any cluster to accept any diversification and this doesn’t only go on the final products but also for the techniques, the machineries and the whole system.  In some of the clusters there are even chemicals used to die the yarns which has been long banned but the innocent artisans are prevailed to do so and are enslaved to their fate or occupation. Even, in some the clusters situated in the remote locations, there are problems like non-viable organisations that have core role to play in the operational activities in the cluster. Now, there are even after production costs that goes unnoticed. E.g. there are no stock houses to keep the over produced products that goes in the dead stock every year, sometimes heavy pricing and uncontrollable overheads.

The policies, welfare schemes and the handloom act are there to ensure the pre-staged interests of the handloom workers but due to the unnoticed monitoring of its implementation, it has given rise to some threats, that government now needs to put a heavy eye upon. There are several threats to

this industry which is corroding tits future away at this moment. In almost every clusters in this twenty-first century the weavers are migrating to other trades and even some of the well earning weavers are very aware of the very uncertainties, so they don’t see their coming generations to involve in what they do. There is always a clash of design ideology, lack of design thinking and sensitivity in almost all the clusters, which has given it a heavy competition from the power loom industries because at this moment, the power looms are in technological upper hand to imitate the designs of the handlooms. The final products from the handloom industry often isn’t at an upper hand in the final pricing in the global market due to low maintenance of product standardisation. The weavers are at a crisis to realise and care about using eco-friendly elements in their production process which gets a tough competition with the mass-produced products in the market. According to a sury, 99% of the rural producers are unaware of the LPG ( liberalisation, privatisation, globalisation) and also, there is a very under-maintained cohesion in the rural institutions which acts as a potential threat to the existence of the handloom-clusters.

Market study and trend analysis:

Now, the traditional structure of market with holding the idea of production will drive consumption has changed to consumers will rule over what to be produced! Now, everything starts with a market research at first then it goes under the design process to come up with a set of prototypes or a prototype. Once the prototype is produced it goes through the closer inspection of the consumer panel and is rectified according to the reactions and scanned feedbacks, after which it goes for the final commercialisation and advertisement.

Followed by the market demand analysis USA (United states of America) is evident to be the biggest client for Indian textile products with an estimated amount of $5.321 trillion during 2014 , with a rise of 5% for the year from $4.0 trillion during 2009. Even the smaller countries in Asia for e.g. Malaysia initiated with an import order of US$ 0.85 Million from India during 2009-10. But we at this moment has our crucial market in the abroad centres points such as Europe as the second biggest client country and other smaller countries. Even if we compare our hourly labour wage with other countries, its comparatively more than at 22 among 25 countries with Rs. 67/ hour, where Switzerland has the maximum pay for per hour labour cost of Rs. 3300/hour and America with Rs. 1008/hour but its more than other Asian countries such as Pakistan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines and Bangladesh.


The Indian handloom sectors have seen even the hardships and the good times. The government has taken many steps by its, welfare schemes, policies and acts such as Janata Cloth Scheme, Textile Policy-1985, Handloom Reservation Act-1985 and Hank Yarn Obligation scheme but now it’s the time the government has to think beyond creating co-operatives. Now, it’s the time that government has to make necessary steps in making these weavers as the next generation exporters and if we go by all the data analysis and the studies, the handloom industries should target the global market to have a better life than just being sufficient. There are even big-time clusters those are in potential of selling their products directly in the global market, so the government should look more into finding ways to boost more sales export at various clusters. There should be provision for creation of State level export cell where there could be trend analysis reports, the style study, the color study and even the material analysis. There should be more involvement of the clusters in the international exhibitions and competitions which can boost the exposure and the diversification scope in the weavers. The weavers should come up with such designs which can not be replicated by any power looms and which can also obtain a good amount in the final market and pay off the craftmanship of the weavers at the same time. Now, it has been a common problem of scarce availability of wider looms in many clusters which becomes very essential in creating home products such as bedsheets and curtains. Apart from these many things even there should be the product tagging or Trademark approvals should be provided to the final products as it gets extra willingness from the international consumers. Lastly, the clusters should give much focus and restriction on using eco friendly materials and the deadstock disposal should be avoided at all costs.


India always has the potential to produce the 95% of the world’s handloom products but now its not being sufficient to pay our weavers and artisans involved in this sector. The times ae such that there are specific threats which has shaken the future prospects of its existence due to certain negligence we have discussed above but with the necessary steps taken it can be taken from the family trait to the passion of the next generation of our weavers. The handlooms at this point are worn usually on the occasions which seems more like just a hope for its existence but not the real solution because of many reasons. So, its high time that the sector has to identify its market and has to maintain the standards to keep its pace up in all different perspectives.


Related Posts

COVID-19 Lockdown: What’s the rationale behind keeping the factories open?