Indian brocade weavers face a threat from Chinese dragon

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Varanasi, June 21 (ANI): Centuries old Indian craft of brocade weaving from Varanasi is finding it hard to survive as it is facing the challenge of machine-made Chinese imitations.

The brocades woven here are also used for religious purposes in monasteries of India, Nepal and Tibet.

For many years, thousands of weavers have been trying to restore the brocade weaving craft, but today faces the risk of going into oblivion.

"Our profession is as old as 200 to 250 years. But we are facing lot problems at this time. Not many people are buying our products. Earlier, we used to export our products to Kathmandu and Tibet, but now it cannot be exported because people are buying cheap quality products," said Hafijjur Rehman, a weaver.

Finding it difficult to fight market trends, the highly skilled weavers are now turning to farming and odd manual labour.

"Earlier we used to supply at very good rates. Now the situation is such that some countries are imitating our products and selling it at a low price. Because of this, our sale in the market has reduced," said Haseen Ahmad Ansari, an exporter.

The exclusive fabric woven by these artisans is prepared in the most pious way, as the weavers perform a typical cleansing ritual before they get on with their job at their looms.

The community of these weavers is facing the most difficult time countering imitation against artistic honesty. (ANI)

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