What Are Handloom Fabrics?
Handloom refers to a variety of wooden frames used by experienced artisans to weave fabrics made mostly of natural fibers such as cotton, silk, wool, and jute. The tools that are used to operate a loom are made from wood, bamboo, or both, and they do not require power to operate. Because it is done handmade and natural products are used in the process, looming is one of the most environmentally friendly method to produce clothing.
Handloom fabrics are woven by hand on a handloom, which is a type of weaving machine. It is done by tying a set of vertical threads, known as "warp," to a set of horizontal threads, known as "weft." The loom holds the warp threads to make it easier to weave the weft threads over and above the warp with a weaving shuttle. Handloom fabrics have a long history that made them become traditional.
History of Handloom Fabrics
In the past, fabric production process was entirely manual as it was a cottage industry in which an entire family or community was involved in the cloth-making process. They could do everything from spinning the yarn to coloring it and weaving it on the loom.
It is said that the earliest known handloom was made around the time when silk production first started in China. Lady His-Ling-Shih, the wife of the Yellow Emperor, who is considered to have ruled China around 3,000 BC, is said to have created both silk manufacture and handloom weaving. Many more kinds and forms of handloom designs emerged as looming moved from China to Southeast Asian countries including Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao, Brunei, Malaysia, and others. Even today, many looms work on the same principles as some of the first looms.
In 1801, Joseph-Marie Jacquard invented the jacquard machine, which was one of the most significant advancements in weaving. With a device attached to the loom, punch-holes were made to create elaborate patterns and designs. As a result of this invention, highly valuable pattern fabric became considerably more accessible to the general public. Weavers favored the jacquard loom when it arrived in India in the mid-nineteenth century, and the textile industry boomed. Indian weaving was extremely popular around the world, and it was exported to Egypt, Arabia, and China. Today, handloom is seen and used as an environmentally responsible option for production of clothing.
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Manufacturing Process of Handloom Fabrics
The manufacturing process includes gathering raw materials, in order to produce handloom fabrics using different techniques, and dye them. Most common raw materials for handloom weaving are cotton, silk, wool, and linen. Each material creates different types of fabric which can be used for various purposes. By choosing the right type of raw material and the correct technique in the production of handloom fabrics, you can guarantee the best results.
Benefits of Choosing Handloom Fabrics
One of the most important benefits of choosing handloom fabrics is to produce higher quality handmade clothing rather than machine-produced ones. Since natural raw materials and fibers like silk, cotton, linen, and wool are used in the making of handloom fabrics, that makes the fabric as high quality as the materials themselves. Clothes made with high-quality fabric will last longer and be more resilient.
The production process also plays an important role in the quality of the fabric. Unlike in mass-produced clothing, weavers that make handloom fabric pay close attention to creating high-quality and long-lasting fabrics.2. Unique
The beauty of hand-loomed fabrics is that no two are the same. Each piece is a work of art and a one-of-a-kind example of workmanship, reflecting the weaver's dedication, love, passion, and perseverance. Even today, there are sophisticated handloom patterns that are still above the capabilities of machines. Patterns and colors can be custom designed and be one of a kind. This cannot be achieved by mass-produced machine-made clothing. Having a high-quality article of clothing that no one else has makes it more special than any other piece of clothing.3. Environmentally Friendly
From production to fabric selection, dyeing, and weaving, every stage of weaving process is environmentally friendly. Handloom fabrics are not produced using complex machinery and electricity. These fabrics are produced using natural fibers such as cotton, linen, silk, and wool and since they are natural, handloom fabrics do not create waste the same way as mass-produced clothing.
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Also, the dye used for handloom fabrics are created naturally. Natural materials such as turmeric, indigo, henna, dogwood bark, and dandelion are commonly used as fabric dyes because they are harmless for the skin and the environment. Fabrics are mainly produced by order, resulting in reduced waste. Leftover materials are repurposed into new designs and the loom is manually operated, requiring no energy or water and emitting no carbon dioxide. With all these important facts, it is clear that handloom fabrics are more environmentally friendly and sustainable compared to mass-produced fabrics and clothing.
Looming and handloom fabrics have been popular again nowadays in numerous countries and cultures. Because it’s a sustainable option that offers high-quality products, it has the potential of becoming a worldwide phenomenon.
Since it has become a necessity to be more environmentally concious to protect our world, brands like The Handloom aim to provide clothing made with sustainable and high-quality handloom fabrics to arm’s length for everyone. If you want live an eco-friendly life and aim to have less wasteful clothing, look no further than The Handloom for high-quality and sustainable clothing.