The Handloom Export Promotion Council (HEPC) will surpass the targeted figure of Rs.1,350 crore in handloom exports for 2010-2011, said Union Textiles Secretary Rita Menon on Wednesday.

Inaugurating the first edition of India International Handwoven Fair, organised by HEPC, at Chennai Trade Centre, she said that the target would be crossed easily as they were making all-out efforts to promote the handloom sector. Last year, HEPC exported handloom products worth Rs.1,252.80 crore.

Sector has great potential

“To cater for the needs of the global market, the manufacturers and exporters have gone in for made-ups and home textile items from traditional fabrics and dress materials. This sector has great potential and our dream is to take it on to a higher trajectory. Here, we are showcasing a whole array of products, apart from saris, on a single platform and it will become an annual affair. We want retail chains and mega stores to allot dedicated space for handloom products,” she said.

According to Ms. Menon, the United States is the leading importer of handloom products that contributed nearly 42 per cent of India's exports, followed by the European Union at 33 per cent.

Beela Rajesh, HEPC Executive Director, said over 80 manufacturers and exporters of handloom products from different parts of the country were taking part in the three-day B2B fair. More than 50 foreign buyers would visit it to source their requirement.

The product list consists of toilet and kitchen linen, table covers, cushion covers, printed bed linen, pillow cases, furnishing articles, napkins, mats including bathmats, wall hangings, fashion accessories and gift articles.

In his message, Union Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran stated that over the years the handloom sector had made steady progress and was poised for further growth and expansion in the years ahead. There was a spurt in demand for the country's handloom products owing to superior quality.