Waves of weaves

Conserving the diversity of handloom weaving in India and preserving the craftsmanship of the artisans keeping it alive is the goal of Antaran, a Tata Trusts programme aimed at rejuvenating a fading tradition. Four weaving clusters — two in Nagaland and one each in Odisha and Assam — have been chosen for the programme based on the their distinct handloom weaving styles. When all its pieces are in place, Antaran will work with 3,000 weavers and pre-loom and post-loom service providers over a five-year period.

A weaver at work in Odisha’s Maniabandha village, renowned for its intricate Ikat weaving style
‘Ikat’ from Odisha’s Maniabandha village is still woven on throw-shuttle looms, the way it has been for thousands of years
‘Loin looms’, the preferred style in much of the Northeast, requires high levels of skill and dexterity
A weaver based in Assam’s Dhemaji district displays her creation: the ‘mekhela sador’, an Assamese dress
A worker and her modest equipment in Maniabandha, where weaving often involves entire families
Unlike in other places, in Assam women handle the entire spectrum of weaving activities, and the sale of fabrics too
A woman artisan in Maniabandha readies her yarn for dyeing, an elaborate and time - consuming process