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Weaving Industry in Silchar

Silchar in Assam is is famous for its weaving industry. Eri silk industry, cane and bamboo industry, metal industry and saw mills industry aid in the economic growth of the city. Silchar also has chemical industries, brick making units, rice and flour and other agricultural industries which have served to generate employment for denizens residing in and around Silchar.

Just 338 kms. via National Highway-44 is Sialkuchi (or Saualkuchi) near Silchar, where the entire silk industry of Assam is centered. Indigenously produced silks in and around Silchar include White Pat silk (produced by Bombyx textor silkworms feeding on mulberry leaves), Golden Muga (product of the silkworm Antheraea assamensis), and warm Eri Silk (produced by Samia cynthia ricini which feed on leaves of Castor oil plant). Eri silk is also called Endi or Errandi silk. Designers and weavers in Silchar are experts in their field.


Improvements for Weaving Industry in Silchar

Handloom is a traditional activity in various villages around Silchar. Government has provided training and financial support for up gradation of weaving skills, improved looms and better designs for products including enhanced working conditions and infrastructure for weavers. Urban haats in Guwahati, Kokrajhar, Dibrugarh, Tezpur and Silchar help weavers in selling their products. There are co-operative societies too for aiding them to sell their products in the market.
Some other improvements in weaving industry in Silchar and neighbouring 'silk city' (Saualkuchi) are furnished below:
  • There is a need for an integrated textile park in the state, setting-up of eri-spinning mills at eri-muga production centres, setting up an auction market for selling and purchasing silk yarns at Sualkuchi and a Post Cocoon Resource Centre for eri-muga in Guwahati.
  • Rise in the prices of raw materials of pat and tasar fabrics is a big threat to weaving in Silchar and Sualkuchi.
  • Weavers Co-operative societies must be re-organized and made to function in a more effective manner.
  • Most looms cater to few items only. They need to diversify their items in terms of designs for augmenting their income.
  • Streamlined co-ordination is required between departments and organizations looking after weaving sector.
  • Modern technical guidance must be imparted to weavers as looms are modernized now.
  • Organized marketing is also needed for successful implementation of handloom development programmes.
  • A hike in daily wages of weavers too is a paramount need.

Chittaranjan loom is in use in Silchar. It is a type of hand loom used for weaving yarn and thread into textiles. Brass work and bell metal work are other traditional cottage industries in Silchar.

Well, you will be surprised to learn that here are more than 7,00,000 looms in Assam! Also, this state produces about 10% of total natural silk of India!


Weaving with Cane in Silchar

Gandhi Millennium Youth Peace Centre in Silchar which was established in 1990 as well as Council for Advancement of Peoples Action and Rural Technology have been consistently working for the up liftment of cane and bamboo artisans in Silchar. The artisans get opportunity to interact with customers and sell their products. Raw materials are brought from Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Manipur. These raw materials are treated with chemicals and made termite-proof. Modern technology has aided in bestowing durability to their products.

Artisans are adept at weaving wonder chairs, desks, couch, frames, beds, tables, etc. using bamboo. Hand made paper and other decorative tiles are made from the waste generated as a result of production of cane and bamboo products. Bamboo is used for making handicrafts and paper.

Silchar, no doubt, is witnessing development with increase in its economy, thanks to the weaving industry, agriculture and modern industries setting up base here. Visit Silchar and do visit the artisans weaving magic in bamboo and silk!

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