Photographer Mayur Ghurka is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. From the project ‘Hand loom – On the verge of extinction’. To see Mayur’s body of work, click on any image.
Hand loom dates from the Indus Valley Civilization. Traditionally, the entire cloth-making process was self reliant. From the procurement of raw materials to the production of finished cloth, everything was done on a local level. But the advent of globalization and use of modern technology has to a significant extent disrupted the art of weaving.
Hand loom refers to wooden frames of different types which are used by skilled artisans to weave fabrics using wool, silk, cotton, etc. Right from spinning of yarn to weaving them into usable materials is done by these artisans. Products including cotton clothes, hand loom sarees, bed sheets, pillow covers, doormats, knitting threads, etc., are manufactured out of the hands of weavers. These local artisans usually live in close proximity to where they work. Though the government is trying hard to support these cottage industries from being extinct, these industries are lagging behind in the technological race and are facing competition from cheaper imports. Lower demand for handmade products is making it unaffordable for the weavers to continue production and more and more handloom factories are being shut down to become extinct.
My documentation of these weavers is about the struggle and persevering hard work by a certain group of people who are keeping this craft alive and preventing the art of weaving from being extinct. Along with that, a certain group of people are still an existing market for these products who are keeping the demand moving.
All images and text © Mayur Ghurka
By Mayur Ghurka
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