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A ‘handloom’ is a loom that is used to weave cloth without the use of any electricity. Weaving is primarily the interlacing of two sets of yarn – the warp (length) and the weft (width). The equipment that facilitates this interlacing is the loom. Pit loom, stand loom and frame loom are three kinds of looms predominantly used by handloom weavers. The Pit loom is a loom situated on the ground / floor with a pit having two peddles set in the pit for the weaver to operate. Pit loom weaving is considered to be better weaving as the fabric woven retains the character of the fibre and fabric due to the proximity to the ground. The ground absorbs the tension and speed and makes the fabric more breathable.
The handloom fabric is soft, comfortable and durable; which is due to the human handling of the yarn in the weaving process. As a result, yarn and the fabric are much less stressed and damaged. Hand woven fabric has a different texture from mill woven fabrics due to the low speed it is woven at and also the equipment used for weaving. Hand woven cotton is known for its breathability as compared to mill made cotton. This implies that it allows more air penetration making it cooler, softer and more absorbent. It keeps you cooler in summers and warm in winters.
One of the commonly accepted handloom fabric is in the form of handloom sarees . Handloom sarees are a textile art of Indian handloom industry which is very traditional in its own. The production of handloom sarees whether it is silk or cotton, are important for economic development in rural India. The silk and cotton used for handloom sarees are of good quality to give it a lustrous look. Completion of a single saree takes two to three days of work. Different regions of India have their own traditions and design pattern of handloom sarees.
Some of the well known Indian Handloom Sarees are Kanchepuram saree, maheshwari saree, bagh print saree, chanderi saree, tussar silk, banarasi saree, tussar silk saree, baluchuri saree, sambalpuri saree, tant saree, kantha work saree, bandhani saree, munga saree, jamdani saree, muslin saree, garad saree, korial saree, Murshidabad silk saree, etc.