The Handloom School

Handloom is a national treasure of India with a marvelous past and sadly, a questionable future. Many weavers no longer wish to practice handloom as they believe their hereditary profession to be both non-remunerative and unfashionable. Handloom weavers need and deserve a school where their skills and rich heritage can be utilized and where further training will enable them to pursue new opportunities for their future.

The creation of a unique Handloom School specifically designed for young weavers in Maheshwar, Central India, is an innovative initiative launched by WomenWeave. Its intent is to provide a rigorous, nontraditional education for students who possess traditional weaving skills but no access to a conventional academic education.

The Handloom School proposes to offer a work-study program with a specialized curriculum in design, textile technology, business, and sustainability. The aim of this signature program is to provide both traditional and cutting edge training, which permits weavers to earn a dignified and equitable livelihood as well as gain a broader perspective of handloom.The proposed school will unfold in three phases of development: Phase one will be a prototype school; phase two will establish the permanent school; and phase three will become a network of satellite programs in many regions across India. In addition to this learning component, it is anticipated that the school will become a central repository for handloom weaving knowledge and practices, a place where one of the world’s great cultural assets – handloom – can be preserved, developed and evolved.

WomenWeave believes that weavers can become empowered custodians of the resources and processes of handloom in the contemporary marketplace. This belief inspires us to establish The Handloom School.ImageImage


About WomenWeave

WomenWeave, a registered Charitable Trust based in Maheshwar, MP, has supported and developed the role of women in handloom weaving since 2002. WomenWeave (WW) WomenWeave’s mission is to work towards overcoming the vulnerability of women who weave on handlooms (either part-time or full-time) and work towards making handloom a profitable, fulfilling, sustainable, dignified income-earning and life-improving activity. The primary role of WomenWeave is to serve as a bridge to better lives ( by • Creating a community of weavers and connecting them with potential customers; • Providing craft skills training, and organizational and design assistance; • Valuing and integrating traditional design and cultural heritage to realize more marketable products; • Generating selling opportunities and market connections in India and abroad that would otherwise be inaccessible. WW is developing principles to further implement fair trade/fair value for labour, environmental restoration, socio-cultural vitality via long-term integration and collaboration with local and global apparel/fashion markets.

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