A Tapestry of Vibrant Weaves

With more than three decades in the UAE, Handloom House has kept the centuries old art of handloom alive through its timeless weaves

By Muhammad Ali Bandial

Published: Fri 16 Sep 2022, 12:22 PM

Last updated: Fri 16 Sep 2022, 5:24 PM

Handloom sarees are a traditional textile art of India. The production of handloom sarees is important for economic development in rural India. Completion of a single saree can take from 15 days to a month and sometimes up to six months to complete, depending on the intricacy of its designs and patterns.

Some of the well-known Indian Handloom sarees are Kanjeeevaram, Maheshwari, Ajrakh, Parsi gara, Chikankari, Shibori, Patola, Chanderi, Tussar, Banarasi, Kantha Stitch, Bandhani and Munga. Handloom House has ensured that this heritage continues to thrive and becomes a part of everyday life. The flagship store started in the year 1983, at the same location, under the name of Al Humaidi & Co. The shop was the first saree shop in the UAE to cater to the Asian expat community. Subsequently, the brand changed its name to Handloom House in 1990 to address and promote the handloom sector of India, which was in decline due to the automation in textile industry.

A Service Like No Other

The aim was to introduce and raise awareness about a niche craft that might be well-known within India, but was not that common outside the country. That purpose led to the establishment of Handloom House as a brand in the UAE.

Since then, the brand has endeavoured to stick to its mission of promoting handloom products, especially the techniques that were being obsolete. The brand strives to source directly from weavers and craftsmen through the length and breadth of India, whilst curating a collection that will never fail to delight its loyal clientele. Because of the loyalty of its customers, Handloom House has never had to advertise or offer any promotions other than the annual sales. Another reason is that the brand has stuck to its core of maintaining honest pricing policies. The brand established this brand identity to engage with its clients who believe in the mission, the story and helped them in achieving them. The staff at Handloom House are specially trained and educated before they present an attire to a client because each brand tells a story that they need to be well-versed in. It has always been the aim and mission of Handloom House to raise awareness and educate the people about this unique and centuries old art. And this can be ascertained by the glowing reviews they have received from customers.

Over the course of its 32 years, Handloom House has successfully raised awareness about the art of handcrafted textiles, educating people about the science of handlooms and the time and expertise that goes behind silks and embroidered and hand-crafted fabrics that they were not aware of previously. The brand’s success can be gauged from the fact that by not deviating or expanding beyond handloom-made fabrics. It has also ensured that the knowledge and appreciation of the public in the craft has been significantly raised to the point where they now acknowledge it.

Handloom House sells only hand-crafted genuine fabrics and do not indulge in the sale of artificial and machine produced products, which though produced in large quantity, lack the finesse and delicate attention to detail that has come to become the hallmark of Handloom House.

Handcrafted For Generations

Today, 90 per cent of their products are handcrafted. The art of handloom is an age-old traditional technique and custom that has been going on from time immemorial. A handloom is a loom powered manually rather than by industrial means. Basically, all looms are frames that hold the warp threads, those that run vertically for the length of the intended fabric, in tension. The warp threads are then interlaced with weft threads at a right angle, thus forming a weave. In Indian weaving vocabulary, sometimes the warp threads are called the tana and the weft threads are called the bana.

The young generation does not have the patience for these timelines, and they would rather move to bulk production through power loom. Similarly, the connoisseurs of handloom are also dwindling, and it is an art that needs to be appreciated.

The customer of today is very aware as they will know if a textile has been produced through a power loom, it means that the quality of the cloth is not high because power loom produces in bulk and genuine authentic fabric that is of high quality is not produced through power loom. This is why genuine lovers of quality fabric appreciate the high price because they know that when they acquire a Handloom House textile, they acquire an asset which will only appreciate in value over the course of time. And that is basically what handloom crafted products symbolise. These are timeless pieces that are passed down from generation to generation. So that one grandmother will pass on her handloom crafted fabrics to her daughter who will then hand them over to her daughter or wife. Unlike fashion which is fleeting and is constantly changing, owing to the latest trends, timeless fabrics are works of art that never go out of vogue.

Handloom House has a strong bond with its artisans who have been with the company over the years. In the face of advancing technology, the art of handloom is a dying art that needs to be kept alive and the Indian government and introduced initatives towards that end. Handloom House has also played its part and the artisans have passed down their knowledge and skills to their children who continue to work with Handloom House and create breathtaking designs.

Loom BLoom

Ida Kapoor

“Handloom House is my go-to place in Dubai for formal/festive/wedding wear. It houses a vast range of textiles, which cater to every age and taste. The staff is also very friendly and knowledgeable.”

Kamala Iyer

“They only deal in pure handlooms and their staff is knowledgeable about every weave, making them really unique. I am passionate about Indian handlooms, and that they are too, makes them truly special.”

Kavita Ravi

“Handloom House for me is a ‘home away from home’. It has the best collections. I have been a patron for the past 22 years. Most importantly, the staff is amazing. Always polite, humble, friendly and welcoming.”

Radhika Darapureddy

“Handloom House is very unique and distinctive for its exceptional variety of fabrics, product quality, guidance and beautiful displays. Their customer service is unparalleled.”

Rituparna Mahapatra

“I have been going to Handloom House for more than 10 years. It is a one-of-a-kind place in Dubai, which has an exquisitely curated collection of pure handloom textiles, most of the times better than any store in India. Sometimes to just visit the store and look at each piece, is like looking at art and it’s therapeutic.”

— ali@khaleejtimes.com

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