Art of Loom Weaving in Pochampally, India by Akhil Pawar via Unsplash
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The Art of Loom Weaving in Pochampally, India

The fine art of Pochampalli weavers

Ikkat weaving in Pochampally, India

Bhoodan Pochampally – Nestled within the cultural state of Telangana, India, is a small town known for its intricate designs of woven products such as dresses, scarves, and clothes. This is the simple town of Pochampalle or officially known as Bhoodan Pochampally. The town’s small population focuses on cultural jobs, especially Loom Weaving, the specialty of the Bhoodan Pochampally Village.

Art of Loom Weaving in Pochampally, India by Akhil Pawar via Unsplash
Art of Loom Weaving in Pochampally, India by Akhil Pawar via Unsplash

With the help of publicity and tourism, Pochampally slowly began to develop and is considered one of the “Best Tourism Villages in the World” by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation. Being nominated to this list is a massive thing for the people of Pochampally as more and more tourists from different parts of the world will visit them and discover the unparalleled beauty of their culture and tradition.

History of Loom Weaving in the World

The fine art of Pochampalli weavers by Akhil Pawar via Unsplash
The fine art of Pochampalli weavers by Akhil Pawar via Unsplash

The history of loom weaving dates back to as early as 4,400 BC in Ancient Egypt, where the loom threads used by Chinese and Colombians were found across the globe. By 700 AD, researchers retrieved horizontal and vertical looms spread across the globe in different continents like Asia, Africa, and Europe. When John Kay invented the flying shuttle in 1733, it revolutionized the textile weaving industry to enable faster and broader production.

More than 6,000 years later, loom weaving is still alive and kicking, specifically in Pochampally, India. This is the only place left in the world that still trusts the abilities of its master weavers to create high-quality textiles. In fact, this industry remains the most significant employment generator in India. So one thing’s for sure, loom weaving is here to stay in India. It is well protected and preserved so future generations can still continue one of the most beautiful cultural arts ever created.

Loom Weaving as an Art

Pochampally Weaving by Saurabh Chatterjee via Flickr cc
Pochampally Weaving by Saurabh Chatterjee via Flickr cc

Weaving is an art mastered by countless ethnic groups from different countries throughout the centuries. Some master weavers, especially from highly developed countries, are already extinct, but some continue the legacy our oldest ancestors left. The tools, processes, and finished products are works of art in themselves, and there’s no doubt that weavers deserve to be treated as artists.

How Does Loom Weaving Work?

Ikkat weaving in Pochampally by Spot Us via Flickr cc
Ikkat weaving in Pochampally by Spot Us via Flickr cc

To put it simply, weaving is the process of making cloth or textiles by interlacing threads perpendicular to each other. On the other hand, Loom is a machine or device that holds the threads in position to help you weave them easily. Basically, you just interlace the threads one after the other repeatedly until you’re able to create a finished product.

Yes, what you’re thinking is absolutely true. Loom weaving requires a tremendous amount of patience, concentration, and skill. This is why master weavers are incredibly talented and almost one of a kind.

The Thriving Business of Loom Weaving in Pochampally

As I’ve mentioned earlier, Loom Weaving has made Bhoodan Pochampally, India, one of the best tourist villages in the world. This is because almost 100% of the small population focuses on the industry of loom weaving. Revenues from their tourism and market sales are slowly making the small town progress and hopefully overcoming poverty if the patronage stays consistent.

Loom Weaving in Pochampally by Rajesh Pamnani via Flickr cc
Loom Weaving in Pochampally by Rajesh Pamnani via Flickr cc

Pochampally is known as the “Silk City of India,” especially for the iconic Ikat Silk Saree. These are beautiful finished products of loom weaving used as traditional dresses of Indian women that perfectly represent the rich Indian culture. When you visit Pochampally, you’ll witness the main street of the village lined up with countless stores selling these beautiful products. So when you get the chance to visit, make sure to buy one!

Why is the weaving craft of Pochampalli in danger?

Despite the awards and recognitions received by Pochampally as the Silk City of India, the small town remains to combat the effects of poverty. Moreover, the master weavers from the village also suffer huge losses from fake competitors who sell replicas of their products online. Sadly, many customers fall for this, affecting the business of loom weavers in Pochampally.

Many weavers are giving up their loom weaving business since silk is becoming expensive day by day. The finished products are being bought cheaply, leaving the weavers with a meager profit.

Several organizations and institutions have already supported and pledged to preserve the magnificent art of loom weaving in Pochampally, India. This cultural art has been with us for more than 6 millenniums already, and we should all do our part to preserve it so future generations can still have the chance to admire them.

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