Odisha Weavers Turn To Vegan Silk For Sustainable Handloom Drapes

Bhubaneswar: To achieve sustainable fashion goals, some artisans in Odisha are experimenting with vegan silk to weave the traditional intricate designs on the six yards.

This initiative is being led by the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Bhubaneswar, and Chairman of Textile Association of India (Odisha Unit), Binaya Bhusan Jena.

“We have identified handloom weavers in nearby clusters like Nuapatna and Gopalpur to initially experiment this fabric along with silk of different varieties,” said Jena.

He is collaborating with Austrian firm Lenzing to help the weavers diversify the products.

“The handloom clusters in Odisha predominantly use cotton and silk. For the first time, there will be such an experiment of blending regenerated fibres with other natural fibres so that the cost can be minimised without compromising on the quality and the eco-friendliness of handloom fabric,” he said.

Elaborating further, Jena said TENCEL LUXE is a vegan and sustainable alternative to silk, which is accepted globally. “Artisans in Odisha, particularly in the handloom silk clusters, supported under this programme will be able to reach global markets with this,” he said.

“Once the products in the handloom clusters come out, we can test the market and keep it for feedback from the target customers,” he added.

The vegan fabric is made by Lenzing.

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