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National Handloom Day (2/3)


In the last article we discussed about the onset of the handloom industry in Kerala and how the present state of the handloom community came into being. In the 2nd article in this 3 article blog series, we shall look at the existing range of products manufactured in the #handloom industry and have a look at the places where such handloom industries are found.

The traditional Kerala #kasavu sarees with their fineness of colors, texture and gold borders also popularly known as kora cloth holds a special place in the Indian garment and export industry. Traditionally, Balaramapuram in Trivandrum district was the epicenter of such handloom weaving

activity. The traditional handloom weavers belonging to Saliyan community migrated here from Karnataka during the time of Balaramaverma approximately 250 years ago. They were entrusted with the job of producing # Mundum Neriyathu, a traditional royal garment piece for the royal family of Travancore. This tradition of producing superfine fabric then spread from Balaramapuram to other adjoining areas. They traditionally produced Mundu for men with 0.4 cm width kara with black garn.

Another important sect, the Devangas migrated from Karnataka and settled in Koothampali in Thrissur district. However, the #Kasavu sarees produced here were mostly half-line jeri. The middle class preferred this due to its cheap price and considerable quality. Another important place in Kerala where handloom industry flourished was Chendamangalam in Ernakulam district. The main product of these handloom industries was #double dhoti, Mundu and #Neriyathu.


Below is an analysis of the district wise handloom activities in the State.

1. Trivandrum district

The capital city owing to its historical importance with the royal family has always been an important part of handloom industry. Around 349 co-operative societies are registered in the state. Balaramapuram still acts as the epicenter of this industry. Some of the key products which are produced in the district include #Kasavu with grey jari, #Set Mundu, #Mundhu, Earezha Thortu, Melmundu. The handloom factories are mostly located at Parassala, Cherayinkeezhu and Kulathur.


2. Kollam district

The handloom industry in the district is small scale and around 80 co-operative societies exist. Apart from the normal products some other handloom products are terry towels and jacquard durries. They are made for the local market and the prices are quite low. Kollam, Karunagapally and Chathannur are the main places of handloom industry in the district.


3. Pathanamthitta district

Only 7 co-operative societies are registered in the state and the main products are lungies and dhoties catering to the local market


4. Alappuzha district

Alappuzha is mostly famous for coir products. It is considered as another wing of the handloom industry since it is done by hand only. There are around 25 co-operative societies in the district.


5. Kottayam district

Kottayam district has 16 societies mainly producing products like earezhathorthu, #panimundu and lungies. They also produce bed sheets and sarees. Kidangoor, Karingannoor are major centers of handloom production.


6. Idukki district

Idukki district has around 11 co-operative societies and the main product are sarees and lungies etc.


7. Ernakulam district

There are 30 co-operative societies in the district. The main products are double dhoties, synthetic and #silk sarees, thorthu and variety of bed sheets. However, one particular product i.e. #‘Chennamangalam saree’ is famous. Also, the double dhoties produced in Paravoor is also famous in Kerala.


8. Thrissur district

The cultural capital of the state has around 30 co-operative societies producing products like mundu, half jari, dhoties and lungies. Also, the #‘Koothampally saree’ is famous throughout Kerala for its exquisiteness.


9. Palakkad district

The district houses around 45 societies where products like sarees, dhotis and silk sarees are produced. Chittur, Pundunagaram, Kollengode, Peruvemba and Karimpuzha are the main centers of handloom production.


10. Malappuram district

There are around 13 societies in the district. However, predominantly being a Muslim dominant district, most of the weavers are Muslim there being the products also being similar catering to the local market.


11. Kozhikode district

Two exquisite handloom varieties are famous in this region i.e. the #Malabar loom and the Calico loom which is found only in Calicut. Also, one of the earliest garment trading companies like the ‘Common wealth trust’ was established in Calicut. Most of the products are meant for export. This include products like furnishing, jacquard products, bedsheets, table mats etc. The main centers of handloom industries are Kozhikode, Quilandi, Vatakara, Chombal and Maniyur. There are 41 co-operative societies in the district.


12.Waynad district

Not much handloom industries are there in Wynad district. Only 4 co-operative societies exist in the district.


13. Kannur district

Famous Cannanore sports shirting varieties like Crepe are the donations of the district. The weavers are mainly seen to be working in industrial societies. Also, most of the export products are produced in Cannanore and Kozhikode district. This include sateen sheets, crepe and the famous Cannanore Mundu. The main centers of production are Cannanore, Azhicode, Chirakkal, Kanhirode, Panoor, Kuthuparambu and Kalyassery. Around 73 co-operative societies exist in the district.


14. Kasargod district

There are around 11 co-operative societies in the district. However, the silk sarees produced in the district have an intermix of Kerala and Karnataka design and are ornamented with zaris. Kasargod and Mancheswaram are the main centers of handloom production.

Thus, in this article we had a look at the types of products produced in the various districts of the state and the main centers of such handloom activities.


In the next article post, we shall see some real shots of handloom machines operating making various products like Set Mundu, Silk sarees and other products. Until then stay tuned!

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