The Handloom School

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With the informal launch of The Handloom School in Maheshwar in January 2013, WW built on its earlier training programs in “barefoot” business, computer skills, English, and design to begin a more holistic, progressive and formalized curriculum that supports, nurtures and incubates a young generation of weaver-entrepreneurs. Through a generous three-year grant of Rs. 1.21 crores from Tata Trusts, The Handloom School was formally launched in February 2015, with an inaugural batch of 15 students.

WomenWeave believes that talented young weavers are capable of building sustainable livelihoods if given the requisite training support, access to networks and technology. WomenWeave also believes that, with the right curriculum, an educational program for weaving youth can be instrumental in solving most of the issues that afflict Indian handloom today.

It is with this conviction that, in 2015, WWCT started The Handloom School project in the traditional handloom weaving town of Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh, as an extension of its "Young Weavers Entrepreneurship Development Program"

The Handloom School is a first-of-its-kind networked learning platform for young handloom weavers and a professional resource centre for the weaving community. In a unique approach, The Handloom School provides young handloom artisans from various regions of India the opportunity to live, work, learn and grow together as weavers, and also as individuals. The overarching goal of the School is to train today’s young generation of weavers to continue, to grow and prosper in the handloom industry, with an evolved sense of pride for handloom as a respectable and financially remunerative vocation.

Through The Handloom School, WomenWeave aims to furnish young weavers with the skillset and competencies necessary to operate in a mercurial national and international business landscape, to interface with remunerative high-end markets and to weave superior fabrics for up-market clients, eventually maturing into weaver entrepreneurs in their own right.

The idea is to make handloom weaving as lucrative and desirable to them as any other profession, so that they rediscover pride and reverence for their craft. This would impede the massive exodus to quit the vocation and create young ambassadors of handloom to carry this age-old tradition forward.

Visit www.thehandloomschool.org for more information on this unique initiative of WomenWeave.