A Study by NABARD on Credit, Marketing, and Sustainability Issues of Handloom Industry in and outside Cooperative Sectors

The handloom industry in India has a rich history and cultural significance. It is an important sector that provides employment to millions of weavers, especially in rural areas. Recognizing the importance of this industry in promoting sustainable and equitable agriculture and rural development, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) conducted a research study to analyze the credit, marketing, and sustainability issues of the handloom industry.


The handloom industry has faced numerous challenges over the years, including mechanization, competition from power looms, and lack of financial and marketing support. The NABARD research study aims to identify the key issues faced by the handloom industry and suggest strategies to promote its growth and sustainability.

Objectives of the Study

The primary objectives of the NABARD research study on the handloom industry are:

1. To assess the credit requirements of handloom weavers and identify the challenges they face in accessing credit.
2. To analyze the marketing practices in the handloom sector and identify the issues affecting the marketability of handloom products.
3. To study the sustainability aspects of the handloom industry in both cooperative and non-cooperative sectors.
4. To recommend measures to address the challenges faced by the handloom industry and promote its sustainable development.


The research study involved a comprehensive analysis of the handloom industry in various regions of India. Both primary and secondary data were collected to understand the credit, marketing, and sustainability issues faced by handloom weavers. The study also involved interactions with stakeholders, including handloom weavers, government officials, industry experts, and financial institutions.

Findings of the Study

Credit Issues

The study found that handloom weavers face significant challenges in accessing credit. These challenges include lack of collateral, high interest rates, and complex loan procedures. Many weavers do not have access to formal financial institutions and rely on informal sources of credit, which often charge exorbitant interest rates. The study recommends the need for simplified loan procedures, lower interest rates, and financial literacy programs to address the credit issues faced by handloom weavers.

Marketing Challenges

The marketing of handloom products also poses significant challenges for the industry. Lack of market information, limited market linkages, and competition from cheaper synthetic products affect the marketability of handloom products. The study suggests the need for market intelligence systems, marketing support services, and branding initiatives to enhance the marketability of handloom products.

Sustainability Issues

Sustainability is a critical aspect of the handloom industry. The study identifies several sustainability issues, including the availability of raw materials, skill development, and technological upgradation. The handloom sector needs to adopt sustainable practices, such as organic dyeing techniques and eco-friendly production processes, to ensure its long-term viability. The study recommends the promotion of sustainable practices through capacity-building programs and research and development initiatives.


Based on the findings of the research study, the following recommendations are made to address the credit, marketing, and sustainability issues of the handloom industry:

1. Credit: Simplify loan procedures, reduce interest rates, and promote financial literacy among handloom weavers. Establish dedicated credit facilities for the handloom sector to ensure easy access to credit.

2. Marketing: Develop market intelligence systems to provide weavers with real-time market information. Strengthen market linkages through the establishment of handloom clusters and marketing support services. Promote branding initiatives to enhance the marketability of handloom products.

3. Sustainability: Encourage the adoption of sustainable practices in the handloom industry, such as organic dyeing techniques and eco-friendly production processes. Provide skill development and training programs to enhance the capabilities of handloom weavers. Support research and development initiatives to promote technological upgradation in the sector.


The NABARD research study on the handloom industry provides valuable insights into the credit, marketing, and sustainability issues faced by handloom weavers.

Save Handloom Foundation

In light of the research study’s findings, several recommendations have been formulated to address the credit, marketing, and sustainability challenges facing the handloom industry by a Bangalore based Public Charitable Trust, ” Save Handloom Foundation” ( www.savehandloom.org ). These recommendations are aimed at making the industry more accessible and lucrative for novice individuals as well as seasoned professionals. Let’s delve into how the Save Handloom Foundation intends to tackle these issues:

1. Credit Issues:

Challenge: Weavers often face hurdles in accessing credit and procuring quality raw materials.

Solution: Save Handloom Foundation aims to simplify the credit process by providing guidance on acquiring top-notch raw materials. Additionally, the foundation will assist weavers by advancing the funds necessary to purchase these raw materials upfront, effectively eliminating the complications related to raw material procurement.

2. Marketing Issues:

Challenge: Weavers struggle to market their products effectively, hindering their ability to reach a broader customer base.

Solution: To combat this, the Save Handloom Foundation‘s sister concern, “DMZ INTERNATIONAL IMPORTS & EXPORTS PVT LTD,” operates an e-commerce platform called “Handlooom.com.” This platform buys handloom products from weavers at fair prices and then markets and sells these items globally. This approach not only ensures a reliable market for handloom products but also connects weavers directly with customers worldwide.

3. Sustainability Issues:

Challenge: The handloom industry faces sustainability challenges, including the need for eco-friendly production methods and skill development for weavers.

Solution: Save Handloom Foundation is committed to promoting sustainable practices in the industry. It provides training to weavers and artisans on organic dyeing techniques and eco-friendly production processes, utilizing only 100% natural fibers. Furthermore, skill development and training programs are implemented to enable weavers to create contemporary designs, attracting younger consumers to handloom products.

The Foundation also takes proactive measures to educate consumers about the benefits of using handloom products and raise awareness about the health and environmental hazards associated with synthetic fiber clothing. This education and awareness campaign is conducted through various media platforms and channels.

Lastly, research and development initiatives are undertaken in collaboration with industry experts to drive technological advancements within the handloom sector. These efforts aim to upgrade existing methods, automating processes while preserving the authenticity of traditional techniques, and reducing production time.

By implementing these solutions, the Save Handloom Foundation strives to enhance the accessibility, market reach, and sustainability of the handloom industry, making it more appealing and understandable for both newcomers and experienced weavers & artisans.



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Nishanth Muraleedharan, also known as "Nishani," is an IT engineer who transitioned into entrepreneurship, driven by a profound passion for the textile industry. As the president of Save Handloom Foundation, (SaveHandloom.org) and the Founder & CEO of DMZ International Imports & Exports Pvt Ltd., I am passionate about reviving the Indian handloom industry and empowering the weavers and artisans across the country. With 25+ years of experience in the textile industry, I have developed deep market insights and a rich network of handloom weaving societies, master weavers, and self-help groups, who exclusively make products for our trust.