About 12 years back it was estimated
that the numbers of weavers in Kutch
exceeded 2000. Today the number
has reduced to fewer than 1200 weavers.
The biggest product of these weavers
is shawls made of acrylic yarn.
The price of the yarn has almost
doubled in the last few years but
the selling price has been almost
same. This has greatly reduced the
wages and profit after accounting
for inflation. Many of the bigger
weaver families diversified into
other fibers like finer quality
wool, cotton and silk. This has
increased their income and stopped
the decline to some extend. This
however is at a very small level.
More qualities of yarn, fiber and
designs need to be introduced. One
major bottle neck in weaving in
other yarns is the non-availability
of yarn in all colors. The dyeing
done by the weavers is of very poor
quality. No proper dyeing equipment
is available. A resource center
with proper dyeing facility of yarn
will further enhance the competitiveness
and quality of the Kutchi weavers.
Traditionally these weavers specialized
in course count weaving. Due to
shift in demand towards finer count
fabric in cotton and wool they have
become uncompetitive. A whole new
range of fabric constructions and
designs need to be developed in
medium and course count which can
be done by these artisans and embellished
with their traditional designs.
A range of products need to be made
which uses these fabrics.