NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FASHION TECHNOLOGY CHENNAI PRESENTATION ON CRAFT CLUSTER STUDY HANDLOOM WEAVING SUBMITTED BY: RAHUL ARYA SHIBI CHAKRAVARTHY.D SHIVANI SHARMA SNEHA KUMARI TANMAY MISHRA TANUSHREE
INTRODUCTION This documentation is based on the study of craft clusters(weaving) , based in Madurai, Tamilnadu. It explains how Madurai became a hub of weaving, its specialities and the history. A survey was taken to know about the weaving clusters of Madurai, their products, lifestyle and complaints. The objective was to identify various societies and clusters doing weaving and know about the craft and the craftsmen. In this documentation we have concentrated on weavers from a particular area called Nilayur, Madurai weaving Kodambakkam sarees.
MADURAI Madurai is one of the oldest cities of India, with a history dating all the way back to the Sangam period of the pre Christian era. Madurai flourished till 10th century AD when it was captured by Cholas the arch rivals of the Pandyas. The Cholas ruled Madurai from 920 AD till the beginning of the 13th century. In 1223 AD Pandyas regained their kingdom and once again become prosperous. Pandian Kings patronized Tamil language in a great way.
Between 1623 and 1659 Thirumalai Naicker was ruling in Madurai. He invited the Saurashtrians weavers to Madurai to make silk dresses for the Royal family and as a result they came down to Madurai and settled there Madurai is popularly known as the temple city of South India. Alagar Koil, Meenakshi Temple, Thirupparankundram Temple, Koodal Azhagar Temple, Pazhamudhirsolai are few famous temples.
GENERAL FACTS ABOUTMADURAI AREA - 22 Sq. Kms ( 8.56 Sq. Miles) POPULATION - 3041038 (according to 2011 census) ALTITUDE - 101 meters (330 ft) above sea level LATITUDE - 9.58 N LONGITUDE - 78.10 E LANGUAGES - Tamil, English, Sourashtra STD CODE – 0452
HANDLOOM WEAVING Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. The longitudinal threads are called the warp and the lateral threads are the weft or filling. A handloom is a machine used for weaving. In a wooden vertical-shaft looms, the heddles are fixed in place in the shaft. The warp threads pass alternately through a heddle, and through a space between the heddles (the shed), so that raising the shaft raises half the threads (those passing through the heddles), and lowering the shaft lowers the same threads—the threads passing through the spaces between the heddles remain in place.
HANDLOOM WEAVERS Hand loom weavers were mainly men- due to the strength needed to batten. They work from home sometimes in a well lit attic room. The women of the house would spin the thread they needed, and attend to finishing. Later women took to weaving, they obtained their thread from the spinning mill, and working as outworkers on a piecework contract.
THE PROCESS OFWEAVING Each and every thread of the Kodambakkam saree is hand woven. All the process involved in weaving a saree is carried out manually; no machine is used in any of the steps. The process starts with dyeing the silk/cotton material. In short the coloring process includes dipping the material repeatedly in the boiled color water. Utmost care is taken while dyeing the silk/cotton to make sure that the color is uniform throughout the material and it doesnt affect the quality of the material.
Once the yarn reaches the weaver it is then arranged on theloom. First the warp yarns/ pavu (art silk) is rolled on the warpbeam and are passed through the heild shaft.Totally on an average 60 gaja yarn is rolled in the beam whichcan make upto 10 sarees. Finally the warp yarns after passingthe reed are rolled on the cloth beam.
Then the weft yarn (nool) is rolled over thebobbins using charkha or the chakram.In case of kodambakkam saree cotton yarn isused for weft.
INBA VINAYAGARSOCIETY The Inba vinayagar Society was established in 1976. It was started by the weavers back then and now has 672 active weavers within Madurai and around it in a radius of 8 kilometers. Since then the office is located on the CMR road, Madurai with 4 clerks working there. One is the manager Mr. Rajendran and 2 women and 1 man working under him to do the accounts and other organization works.
Mr. Rajendran told that they are havingcontinuous profits since 7 years (18 – 20lakhs per year).No particular serious problem but justthe occasional ones like yarn breakagesand insufficient funds for the weavers.
ANALYSIS OF THE SURVEY TAKEN FROM THE WEAVERS SEX EDUCATION MONTHS OF EXPERIENCE ILLITERATE PRIMARY 120 TO 300 300 TO 600 MALE FEMALE SECONDARY20% 3% 26% 40% 80% 60% 71% WORKING FOR TYPE OF HOUSE PLANNING TO TEACH THEIRPRIVATE OWNER SOCIETY PUCCA SEMI PUCCA CHILDREN YES NO 7% 7% 27% 93% 73% 93%
Weavers were all Saurashtrians. Since 500 years the saurashtrian trait is followed in Madurai. Weavers of this generation do not know how to write or read saurashtrian script. One of the weavers says ―When we move outside Tamil is the language which is commonly used by everyone. But once we enter home, saurashtrian automatically comes up‖. Weavers do not get the yarn or source any raw materials. They get the yarn from a society or a private owner and they are paid wages for weaving. They are Rs.280 – Rs.340 for weaving a Saree. More than weaving there are many initial process like spinning the weft thread, taking warp yarn etc, for which the weaver has to pay Rs.500 which is not provided by the society or the private owner who gives them the wages.
Most of the weavers do not have a bank account. Few people who have also have more loan than savings. They do not leave any gap in their work they work throughout the year. Weavers say the same reason that they don’t have enough income even if they work for 12hours a day. So, they can’t stop their work. If stopped it’ll be a problem for the income. More than 90% of the weavers are not planning to teach weaving to their next generation because there is no good income, no good future. They complaint that the subsidies, pension, etc. allotted for the welfare of weavers and senior citizens are not being circulated properly by the government offices. Coming to the market side. The actual cost of production including weavers wages is 600- 1000 if it comes to Kodambakkam saris. The private owners mostly try to push the saris out of state.
If Madurai handloom products are sold in Madurai itself there is no question about demand for the product because Madurai is a tourist spot, where the product will be sold during all seasons. Otherwise the demand is maximum during festivals like Diwali, Eid etc.
MARKET SURVEY According to market survey, public societies sell their manufactured handloom products through Co-optex and some other government outlets and private sector sell their manufactured handloom products through private shops to the market. According to Mr. Rajendran, manager, Inba Vinayagar Society, out of the total production 50% are sold directly to the customers in the office and other 50% through agents via shops like Co-optex, Pantex Anna Salai etc. 10% through Co-optex 90% Pantex Anna Salai
Kodambakkam sarees with different patterns Rs.6000 (heavy work on border) Rs.1500(less work on theborder)
CONCLUSIONIn the end we would conclude by saying that it was a great learning experience. More than technically we were feeling like we were a part of the weaver’s family, trying to understand their problems and how they live. With our study we have identified various clusters doing weaving and how they bring their products into the final market. It was a great experience and a memorable one.