A Handcrafted Revolution: A guide to Embracing Handloom in Fashion!

Culture, craft and textiles are the core of Indian heritage. In fact, India stands as the second largest exporter of textiles in the world. A country that has produced khadi, ikats, jamdani, Venkatgiri, Chanderi, Kanjeevarams and so much more, can proudly claim the self sufficient status on the fabric front. August 7 was chosen as the National Handloom Day to commemorate the Swadeshi Movement which was launched on this day in 1905 in the Calcutta Town hall to protest against partition of Bengal by the British Government.

The handloom is a manually operated machine for weaving cloth, and the power loom is an automated loom that weaves fabric. With the advent of technology and machinery, the textile industry had adopted the power loom for faster and economical production. In the bargain, the handloom industry took the hit. But lately with all the talks on slow-fashion patronage from celebrities and actresses trying to do their bit in popularising handloom fabrics in the fashion game.

Ritu Kumar, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Anavila Mishra, Gaurang Shah – these designers have been reviving the traditional crafts for quite some time now. In fact, for labels like Anavila and Gaurang, handloom stands strong as their USP.

5 Benefits of shopping and wearing Handloom!

Handloom is light, airy, sustainable, economical and absolutely beautiful. While the benefits of using handloom fabrics are far too many, let’s highlight another one.

By promoting handloom, we enable all those skilled artisans and craftsmen who have been part of our country’s rich and varied heritage.

It helps us reconnect with our roots by adopting a fabric that’s versatile and exquisite.

It’s an art that is nearing its end with master-weavers no more as active and their prodigies looking for better paying and fruitful jobs.

By promoting the handloom sector, we strive for a more sustainable future and re-empower artisans who ran family businesses earlier.

Fashionistas have been donning the fine fabric with an aim to reach the masses. Sonam Kapoor has been leading the movement with her affiliation to designers using the handloom material. The misconception that the handloom is restricted to Indian wear is a myth that these celebrities are helping us break. Summer dresses, palazzo pants, overcoats, crop tops and so much more are now available. Down south, Samantha Ruth Prabhu has been revolutionising the handloom fabric by sporting it almost everywhere- from red carpets to holidays.

Styling Handloom

New Delhi: Actress Aditi Rao Hydari showcases creations of fashion designer duo Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla during “Khadi Goes Global” programme, in New Delhi, on Feb 21, 2019. (Photo: IANS)


Sustainable and a classic inclusion to your wardrobe, khadi is no longer a boring plain option. With the recently wrapped up Lakme Fashion Week shedding light on sustainable fashion, the khadi has got a fun update. Turn to designers like Abu Jani Sandeep Koshla, Rohit Bal to deliver grandeur and elegance by creating modern innovative twists to our country’s age-old fabric. From flowy gold Anarkalis that are worn with palazzos, golden skirts to lehengas, khadi carries with it an old regal charm that cannot be replaced. So if your wardrobe does not have this honorable fabric, it’s time to invest in one.


Taking tips from our very own celebrities, here’s how to style handloom to look fresh and up-to-date.

  • Keep it simple. Handloom fabrics have their own beauty and charm, underplaying the ensemble will work best. Add some statement earrings or lip colour to infuse that quirk to your outfit.
  • Layering with handloom materials is a great idea – one, because of its light weight and two because of the subdued colours it is available in.
  • Play around with the silhouettes; get boxy with loose fitting dresses, tops or kurtis.


When it comes to ethnic jewellery there are varied options in the market. Pair your handloom kurtas with delicate silver jewellery, tribal jewellery, or even the ever-popular circular hoop earrings. You can even style them with baubles, chaandbalis or colourful tassels. Choose your accessories strictly based on the occasion you are dressing for. While light jhumkas can be worn for daywear, you can save your shoulder-grazing hoops and crystal droppings for the night. For the footwear, give slides, mules, jutties or platforms a shot. When it comes to your arm-candy, experiment with geometry and shapes in bags, like an arc sling or a cube box bag. You can also try the on-trend potli pouches.


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