A 10-day exhibition of handloom products, organised by The Karnataka Handloom Development Corporation Ltd (KHDCL), began here on Tuesday.
It has handloom products from five of the 18 clusters that come under the Integrated Handloom Cluster Development Scheme. Each cluster gets a funding of Rs. 60 lakh for three years, said Mohammad Mohsin, Managing Director, Karnataka Handloom Development Corporation Ltd.
Mr. Mohsin said that customers think that handloom products were expensive. However, it had to be borne in mind that although marketing and quality of the products was not a problem, there were other challenges that the weavers faced.
These include the rising price of cotton and silk (which has almost doubled) raw material and the disinterest of the younger generation in taking up weaving as an occupation.
In-house designers as well as designers from the National Institute of Design (NID) and the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) provide guidance for colours and design of the handloom products, said Mr. Mohsin.
Under the Vidya Vikas Scheme, the KHDCL supplies school uniforms to the government under different schemes.
He said that this year, 90 lakh metres of cloth was used by KHDCL for stitching school uniforms.
He said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) had been signed for five years and this would mean continuous work for 13,000 weavers.
KHDCL had showrooms in all district headquarters of the State and in metros such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Mysore, Kanpur, and Hyderabad.
“All of them are doing well except the showroom in Jaipur, which may be closed down.
“I will be visiting the showroom next month to see if it can be revived. If attempts to revive it fail, it will be closed down,” he said.
Mr. Mohsin said four face-to-face buyer-seller meets would be held this year in Mangalore, Bangalore, Hubli, and Goa.
The garments on sale at the venue (Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan) include silk saris and cotton home linen.
All silk products bear the Silkmark, said the weavers.