Handloom products rooted in traditional Kerala style, but having a distinctive regional identity, were showcased here on Saturday.
The two-day show, inaugurated by Excise Minister K.Babu, was organised by the Indian Institute of Handloom Technology (IIHT), Kannur. IIHT, is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Industries, government of Kerala, and the nodal agency in the State for giving input of science and technology to the traditional handloom textile industry.
Avid lovers of handloom materials look for variety even at the local level. The institute caters to the need by incorporating innovative technology and packaging. The geographical indication (GI) received by the handloom products of Kasaragod, Balaramapuram, Chendamangalam and Palakkad have given a boost to the efforts of the institute. Koothampully and Kannur handloom products too are awaiting GI tag, the institute's executive director Abdul Kareem Cheleri told The Hindu.
Special designs have been woven into the traditional material to give a distinctive style. Designs depicting Thrisur pooram, Padmanabhapuram palace, Yakshaganam, palm groves of Palakkad and Tipu Sultan's fort are among the motifs selected for creating brands with a strong regional flavour.
The response to the show held in Thiruvananthapuram was highly encouraging. Demands for various products are being processed, he said.
One of the key tasks to be carried out by the institute is technology upgradation at the production centres. The institute is offering courses in fashion technology.
The students organise fashion shows in a bid to popularize the concepts being adopted by the industry.
Exports are also picking up. The current measures are expected to give a boost to the ethnic designs which ultimately provide a better livelihood to hundreds of weavers in the industry, according to him.