To understand the handloom industry, she travelled across Tamil Nadu. Kalaiyarasi found that sustainable organic cloth weaving would be a suitable solution to address the current environmental and human health-related crises. “We have to encourage the eco-friendly handloom industry rather than power looms that are energy and infrastructure intensive. To an extent, handloom fabrics help in reducing global warming. By supporting and encouraging handloom weaving, we are preserving the rich textile heritage and art of India. This industry can generate and sustain employment for millions of people, with no additional need for infrastructure or extra energy,” says Kalaiyarasi.
A senior weaver from Erode; Raatai handloom product
After quitting her job, she learned the art of weaving. “We are reinventing traditional embellishment and dying techniques on handloom fabrics. Raatai’s handloom garments are made from certified cotton yarns and natural fibers by skilled weavers and coloured with natural dyes. As of now, 28 weaving families are involved. Through this venture, I wanted to support the livelihoods of weavers and make it attractive for the new generation to learn this skill and art,” she adds.