Weaving in Meghalaya a prosperity the traditional way

Shillong,April 17: Sericulture and Weaving in Meghalaya are the two most important cottage based, eco-friendly industries in the rural areas. These twin industries portray the cultural ethos and rich heritage of the people of the State. In the absence of a textile industry, Sericulture and Weaving plays an important role for the production of Silk fabrics and hand woven fabrics of ethnic designs.

In preserving and exhibiting the rich cultural identity and heritage, eco-friendly sericulture weavers of Meghalaya have come a long way in perfecting their art and designs with  Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious project ‘Make in India’.

It may be mentioned that Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani Irani along with Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, had inaugurated Meghalaya’s first state-of-the-art apparel and garment making centre at Ampati. The Rs 14.26-crore project was commissioned under the North East Region Textiles Promotion Scheme, (NERTPS)

The Union Minister said her ministry is pumping Rs 70 crore into sericulture and weaving sector and has already sanctioned Rs 32 crore of the proposed Rs 53 crore for promotion of handlooms.

The Union Textiles Minister had earlier praised the quality of dyes in the entire North East and Meghalaya in particular and urged local weavers to register with the India Handloom Board, which will bond them directly with multinational companies.

Mawlong is one of the village in Ri Bhoi District is under the North East Region Textiles Promotion Scheme, (NERTPS)NERTPS and is growing gradually perfecting with their skills.

There are 12 seed farms, 6 for mulberry, 3 for Eri and 2 for Muga. There are 9 nurseries to rear planting materials in different Districts. There are two training institutes located at Ummulong (Sericulture) and Mendipathar (Weaving) which are meant foe imparting various courses of training and also issue of certificates.

Weaving Inspector, A.Khonglam said that under the NERTP schemes a survey was made and Mawlong area was found to be feasible for the scheme. As most of the villagers in Mawlong are silk rearers also the area had a large number of weavers weaving their own yarns and converting them into fabrics in a traditional way and method.

 Khonglam further said that under NERTP scheme that it should not have less than 300 weavers in one area, but due to the terrain and population the centre has consider and now at Mawlong have over 60 members. The intention of the scheme is to gather the people and form a cluster and a cooperative, register them so that they can work together and produce their product in uniformity and meet the market demands of the products.

Lots of technical thing however needs to be improved for which the department has taken up the cluster development executive from the district handloom office- Nongpoh in which they are in-touch with Mawlong area to take up the matter so that the scheme will continue till they reached the stage of marketing the fabrics, he added.

A beneficiary of Mawlong village also a member the weaving cooperative Lianda Myrdong said that she dye the fabrics using natural resources available like ginger, black rock, turmeric, nuli leaves besides few other leaves. The grinded mixture is soaked together with the fabric and boiled and later drained and dried. For one kilogram of thread twenty litre of water is required to boil with the ingredient, she added.

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