Flawless. Perfect. Unblemished. Untainted.
These are words that will perhaps never be used to describe a ‘handloom’ saree. Handloom - a fabric woven on a loom that is manually operated by the weaver ‘with his own bare hands’. Well, in that case, isn’t it bound to have flaws?
The flaws, imperfections, or so called ‘defects’- maybe an uneven yarn, a tiny hole, a cut, a tear, a knot, an unfinished motif, a faded print, a small stain; are seemingly too many. Handloom is not perfect. It can never be.
But is there still beauty in it? Yes. In abundance.
The imperfectness of handloom is what makes it beautiful. You see those tiny holes are actually the pin marks, resulting from the saree being pinned to the loom. That small stain could very well be of the oil used to lubricate the loom, a drop of which, might have accidently gotten spilt over in an ill-timed moment and that extra black knot on that pristine white saree, could be a strand of lint or black thread that fell on the loom fabric due to the gushing winds that day, and perhaps gotten woven in the process too.
The point is, each of these imperfections has a story to tell. Each handloom piece is unique in itself. And most importantly, each of these fabrics is lovingly created by human hands with utmost patience, warmth, love and hope woven in threads. Isn’t that fascinating?
Handloom is an art. It is an art that involves persistence besides tremendous skill and effort. There is such spectacular craftsmanship involved in fabrics woven all across India. Nonetheless, the sad truth is, despite handloom being a part of India’s legacy since time immemorial, many weavers still struggle to make their ends meet. In fact, more often than not, the entire family of the weaver sweats it out, engaging themselves in the weaving process, so as to increase the production and in turn, earn some more moolah; and a handloom saree rightly demands a higher price.
However, as the masses are drawn to the attraction of lower rate power-loom (machine-woven) sarees; left with no choice, many weavers involuntarily adopt the power-loom, fearing being out of work. Not that there is anything wrong with a machine woven product, but how about sustaining what we have been practicing since ages and not eliminating it completely from the ecosystem? Each time we buy a handloom saree, we are actually doing our bit and contributing to the survival of that family, empowering them,as well as keeping the ancient craft and heritage of India upright. Isn’t that beautiful?
Let us collectively work towards a day when we wholeheartedly embrace the imperfections of handloom and find beauty in its flaws. A day when we are able to listen to even the untold stories of handloom. A day when we don’t just drape a saree, but feel the soul of it.
Browse through our collection of handloom sarees here.
“Thank you for this valuable words. I have learned many things from the your blog and from the handloom studio.https://thehandloomstudio.com/
Yes.. And its our responsibility to embrace our ancient craft..
Yeah, I agree, each n every handloom saree is a masterpiece.