Lilong Handloom Cluster

Reviving Tradition: The Story of Lilong Handloom Cluster

October 27, 2023 | by

In the small village of Lilong, nestled in the heart of Manipur, a group of women weavers are keeping the tradition of handloom alive. Known as the Lilong Handloom Cluster, these talented artisans have been weaving intricate designs and patterns for generations.

Handloom weaving is not just a craft for these women, but a way of life. Passed down from mother to daughter, the art of weaving has been a source of empowerment and economic independence for the women of Lilong.

The Lilong Handloom Cluster is a testament to the resilience and creativity of these women. Despite the challenges they face, such as the lack of access to modern machinery and the decline in demand for traditional handloom clothes, they continue to produce exquisite pieces.

Each piece of clothing produced by the Lilong Handloom Cluster tells a story. From the vibrant colors to the intricate motifs, every thread is carefully woven with love and passion. The cluster specializes in producing traditional Manipuri attire, such as phanek (wraparound skirt), innaphi (shawl), and sarong.

What sets the Lilong Handloom Cluster apart is their commitment to preserving the traditional techniques of handloom weaving. Unlike machine-made fabrics, handloom clothes have a unique texture and feel. They are also more sustainable and environmentally friendly, as they do not require electricity or produce harmful emissions.

However, the Lilong Handloom Cluster faces numerous challenges in today’s fast-paced world. The rise of cheap, mass-produced clothing has led to a decline in demand for traditional handloom clothes. Many young weavers are also choosing to pursue other professions, as they see little financial stability in weaving.

To address these challenges, the Lilong Handloom Cluster has been working towards creating awareness about the beauty and value of handloom. They have participated in various exhibitions and fairs, showcasing their exquisite creations to a wider audience. They have also collaborated with designers and fashion enthusiasts to create contemporary designs that appeal to the younger generation.

Support from the government and non-profit organizations has also played a crucial role in sustaining the Lilong Handloom Cluster. Financial assistance, training programs, and access to markets have helped these women weavers expand their reach and improve their livelihoods.

By supporting the Lilong Handloom Cluster, we can not only help preserve a dying art form but also empower these women and their communities. Every purchase made from the cluster directly contributes to the livelihoods of the weavers, enabling them to continue their craft and pass it on to future generations.


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