While the Rajasthan government has been trying to boost sales of handloom Kota Doria saris worldover, weavers are suffering due to lack of direct access to the market. Copied powerloom designs offered at a much cheaper rate have been affecting business of most handloom products and no action has been taken against powerloom weavers.
Though the Rajasthan government’s efforts to push sales and recognition of the craft with international designer Bibi Russel has helped the community, the artisans feel that they are not enough to provide them direct market access. The weavers want their products to get retailed online so that their efforts are appreciated and products fetch some good amount for them to grow business.
One positive is the number of looms has increased from 1,500 to 2,500 over the years, engaging around 3,000 weavers, who contribute to the total business of around Rs 85 crores every year. Kota Doria is a fabric made of cotton and silk yarn with square patterns called Khat in local dialect. Zenab Bano of Kotsua (Kota) was awarded the National Award by the President of India in 1995-96 for Kota Doria work. Basheeran Bano of Kota got the National Certificate Award in 2012-13 for her Kota Doria product. After Bibi Russel’s efforts to bring more designs into Kota Doria fabrics, the use of Kanjivaram designs on Kota Doria has increased its demand specially in south India.