Save The Weave

When human hands and heart work in tandem, that is grace in the making. Handwoven cloth has beauty and grace that is significant. - Sadhguru

Save The Weave

When human hands and heart work in tandem, that is grace in the making. Handwoven cloth has beauty and grace that is significant. - Sadhguru

Save the Weave is a movement initiated by Isha Foundation to bring awareness globally and in India about the need to shift to natural fibres.

India is home to more than 136 unique weaves, mostly in the form of sarees. Traditionally woven in cotton and silk, sarees are the backbone of Indian Handloom sector that is rapidly being replaced by machines and synthetic fibres.

The current generation of skilled weavers could be the last ones engaged in the handloom sector with the younger generation having moved on to newer industries.

The techniques of cultivating organic cotton, preparatory processes for weaving, the intricacy of weaving styles, use of natural dyes in dyeing fabric and printing techniques are all inspired by culture and region. This art form needs to be preserved so that the traditional knowledge is not lost. Traditionally, these sustainable methods have created their own ecosystems for empowerment of local communities, especially women.

Global Consumption of synthetic fibre clothing is a huge concern today, impacting not only the environment but also people's health.

Save the Weave will create a platform for connecting weaver products directly to the market through It will also connect resources in design, natural dye interventions, market access, organic cotton farming, technical support and skill development.

Why Save the Weave

A History of Indian Textiles

For a century during 1680-1780, Indian cloth was the most sought-after fabric in Europe, surging past even spices as the biggest export commodity. The English and Dutch imported a million pieces of cloth a year, and the French about 300,000.

Before the British Raj, weavers as a community commanded considerable bargaining power with merchants. The East India Company passed laws that forbade weavers from buying raw material and enforced selling finished products only to the Company. The Indian weaving industry was systematically dismantled. In 1834, the Governor General reported: “The bones of hand-weavers are bleaching the plains of India.”

The value of textile exports from India fell by 98% between 1800 and 1860 and the value of textile Imports increased by 6300% in the same period.

Our Approach

How to create awareness

It would be constructive if the Government of India runs a campaign (on the lines and scale of Swachch Bharat) to bring nation-wide awareness about the many fine aspects of our natural handmade textiles and their health benefits.

As a part of the campaign, influencers and celebrities should be urged to commit to organic-handloom textiles in a way that at least 25% of their wardrobe consists of such fabrics.

Government school uniforms could be mandatorily cotton (preferably handloom or even khadi). Private schools should also be inspired and encouraged to adopt this as a policy. These initiatives would make an immediate impact on the demand for these fabrics and send a lot of out-of-work weavers back to their looms.

Apart from active involvement from the government, individual designers, corporations and experts from the textile industry can make a meaningful contribution through the following initiatives:

Design Facilitation

When it comes to textile, there is an urgent need to shift from disposable to sustainable. Designers have an importan…

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Adopt a Weave

Institutions and Corporate Houses can adopt specific clusters or looms in need of financial support by contributing c…

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Technical Intervention

Textile experts and institutions can support weaving communities with their technical expertise to help optimize exis…

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Natural Dyeing Infrastructure

India has been home to a wealth of knowledge on natural dyes and dyeing techniques, which are of utmost relevance for…

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Market Access

There already exists a growing demand for environment-friendly and sustainable fashion. While a larger customer base…

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Organic Cotton Farming

Helping farmers move from the soil-damaging and polluting GM cotton to ecologically sustainable organic cotton.

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Skill Development

Weaving is the process of making clothing by interlacing fibre threads. India is a vast and diverse country with a ri…

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