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Kashmir's handloom society wants to focus on tweed

The J&K administration is helping artisans in Pulwama district and other parts of the valley to manufacture different products in a bid to promote handicraft

Tweed, the rough, woollen fabric, is usually woven with a plain weave, twill or herringbone structure.
Tweed, the rough, woollen fabric, is usually woven with a plain weave, twill or herringbone structure. (Unsplash)

The Jammu and Kashmir government is helping societies in Pulwama district and other parts of the Kashmir valley to manufacture different products, including tweed, to promote the handicraft and handloom sector.

"In 2014, we established a unit. We got the registration from the handloom department set up by the government in 2014. They made our unit. Before 2014, we used to work for the local traders, but now we have started our work," Dilawar Malik, artisan and member of the Handloom Society told ANI.

"We invested our own money and we also got a loan from the department. We bought raw materials, and we started our work. There are 11 members in this society. We make tweed, shawl, ruffle, but mostly we make tweed. From the last one or two years. We earned a lot of profit and the government helped us a lot. They gave us a shop in Jammu also," added Dilawar.

Also read: How the government is reviving the handloom industry

Pulwama district, which is famous for milk production, is also playing a vital role in promoting industrial units and manufacturing of tweed cloth. It is one of the activities that are increasing day by day with the help of government schemes, resulting in the number of people getting employment and earning their livelihood.

"In Pulwama, we registered our society and it has 10 members. We gave financial support to them through govt's help. Everything is handmade. We make tweed. We export tweed also. We provide them with the market facility and they are able to sell it in Delhi Haat and Jammu," said Mohammad Ashfaq Hussain, district handloom and handicrafts officer Pulwama.

"There is a lot of scope in the handicrafts and handloom in Kashmir. There are a lot of crafts in which people can start their own business. Earlier, one lakh rupees support was given at 7% subsidy but now according to the new scheme, they are giving two lakhs. We identify artisans and help them," stated Hussain.

For the last few years, the government is promoting different societies including milk societies, social welfare society and handloom society also. The handloom society, namely Azmat, has 11 members working and preparing superior quality of tweed cloth and sellout to any market direction.

Initially, the society was not so strong to sell out their product directly in the market but in 2014 after getting proper registration by the government people belonging to the societies several benefits.

They are getting 2 lakh for raw material and 7% subsidy. The societies are preparing a number of items including blankets, coats, shawls and other things also but they are focusing on tweed cloth. Because for the last three years the government has been helping these societies at large in the form of exhibitions where the people belonging to societies are out the products made by tweed in good quantity. 

Earlier this month, a release by the ministry of textiles said 10 more design resource centres, or DRCs, are in the process of being set up by the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) at weavers' service centres (WSCs) of Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kannur, Indore, Nagpur, Meerut, Bhagalpur and Panipat.

These centres are being set up with the objective to build and create design-oriented excellence in the handloom sector and to facilitate weavers, exporters, manufacturers and designers access design repositories for the sample and product improvisation and development.

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