Foreword from Founder

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All of us who have long known and loved our small weaving town of Maheshwar, here in the heart of Central India, are fond of remembering Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar, who ruled her kingdom from the banks of the Narmada River: from 1767 to 1795.

History, both oral and written, credits her with establishing and supporting Maheshwar’s now famous handloom weaving community. And all of us revere her, each in his or her own way. All that I write of below is dedicated to her.

Further in this website you will read of many wonderful things that have been in process here since 1979 when REHWA Society was established to revive Maheshwar’s weaving community. I am privileged to have been part of this revival since its inception. And I can look back on such joys as new looms, a proper school for Maheshwar’s weaver children, a fine housing colony, a growing and confident weaver community and worldwide markets for its textiles.

In the past few years, I have been part of a very rewarding support for female weavers in and around Maheshwar through the activities of WomenWeave Charitable Trust. Established in 2002, WomenWeave has added many women to the story here in Maheshwar and other far places in Dindori & Balaghat in eastern Madhya Pradesh: they are both traditional and non-traditional weavers and we have been able to create many positive changes in their lives.

Most recently, we extended our involvement with handloom across India, through The Handloom School, established in Maheshwar in 2015. We are proud to have now trained over 100 young weavers from many different weaving regions of India.We have been blessed. We have been lucky; and as we grow our weaver community and extend it to other small clusters in Madhya Pradesh and elsewhere India, we are very conscious of our responsibility never to fail these weavers in any way.

Our team is one-hundred percent dedicated to support slow and sustainable growth; to create a sensitive awareness of handloom’s potential; and to continue to build a bright future for our weavers by unlocking handloom’s enormous potential in both local as well as global markets. Mine has been, and still is, a very happy and rewarding journey.

Sally Holkar


WomenWeave Charitable Trust