Handloom weaving is a home based cottage Industry in Kerala. The basic feature of this industry is it is simple and co-operative. In fact it is the co-operative movement that resulted in the formation of various societies in this field particularly in north Kerala. Be it in Balramapuram, Kannur, Kuthampully, Chennamangalam or Kasargode , the future of Kerala handloom appears bright and sunny.
Hantex or the Kerala State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society is the main co-operative society of handloom weavers in Kerala and was established in 1961. It has nearly 5 production centers at various places in Kerala and a distribution network and sales outlets widely spread. Latest machineries and equipments are provided in the industry that is very diversified. Be it the home furnishings, handicrafts, fabrics, wares or garments everything is designed and manufactured with eco friendly measures and norms. Hantex is one of the largest earning societies in Kerala and has an annual turnover of 180 million rupees. Hantex range brings dhotis, mundu, bed sheets, table cover, wall hangings besides the usual shirts and the sarees. Hantex has its retail outlet across all the major cities and towns of Kerala.
Khadi has an unquestionable contribution towards the Indian freedom movement. Gandhiji had urged the youth to shed the foreign clothes from their wardrobe and wear Khadi instead. Gandhiji also weaved his own dhotis in his charka, and to this date Khadi is a symbol of non violence and purity though the integrity of that has been lessened by some corrupt politicians. The Kerala Khadi and Village Industries are the body responsible for the development and distribution of Khadi products in the state. The industry was formed after the Khadi Village act was passed by the government in 1957. The board organizes variety of programs with many registered subsidiaries and spread the message among youth and children about the importance of Khadi in modern day life. There are more than two hundred outlets through which Khadi products are sold. The board also encourages the Khadi weavers to participate in various international trade fairs and festivals.
Another important brand name of handloom in Kerala is Hanveev. It is a brand promoted by the Kerala State Handloom Corporation. Hanveev is promoted globally and nearly symbolizes the state itself. Hanveev has over the yeas build a reputation for itself in the international market, thanks to the quality of their products and good marketing strategy. Hanveev has its main centre at Kannur and was established in 1968. Skilled weavers and dedicated vision have accounted for its success over these years. Hanveev also receive funds and grants from both the state and central governments. Though Kannur hosts its corporate office, Hanveev also has offices at Kochi and Trivandrum. The main motto behind Hanveev is the financial security of its weavers since handloom is a disorganized sector. The products offered by Hanveev are almost the same offered by Hantex.
Another main retail outlet that caught the eye of the Keralites is Kasavukada and Karalkada. Normally apart from Hanveev and Hantex outlets it is these two shops the malayalees go for purchasing handloom products. Since hand woven fabrics are a must for all religious and auspicious functions for malayalees the demand of the handloom products are endless. Well then who does not want to wear traditional dress isn’t it, ok it is tough for bermuda and chino clad generation like me but the comfort of a dhoti or mundu are unexplainable.