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Welcome to Ichakdana

Ichakdana embodies in itself the purity of its origin and integrity of its being. It is a conceptual brand which encapsulates treasures of tradition in a modern & fashionable way. Born as a passion to its creative director, Sneh Tyagi, today Ichakdana is a brand which recognizes the value of the faceless artisan.

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Why Handwoven Sarees or Handloom Sarees are Expensive?

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Before we start throwing heavyweight facts at you to substantiate our point that handloom sarees have a solid reason to be expensive, we just want to ask you-

  1. Have you ever stopped to observe how do you feel when you wear a Handloom Saree?
  2. How your body feels so fresh and not exhausted even after wearing a saree for the entire day?
  3. The satisfaction that you get when you realize that your money is not wasted in contributing to more waste.
  4. Have you realized how much character and history each piece of Handloom Saree has in it?

And, if you have observed all this you will know why the Handloom Sarees are priced as they are. To throw some more light on the same fact, let’s discuss some aspects that completely justify the expensive price tags on your cherished Handloom Saree –

   1. Time, Labour, and Effort –

Handloom Saree, the fruits of relentless efforts of the artisans who sit for hours at stretch, cautiously weaving and wrapping each loom one after the other with no sort of mechanical involvement.  The process of making a handloom saree takes somewhere around a couple of weeks might be months depending on the pattern required, to complete one single piece.

Artists work on looms manually which are often, set up in their own humble abodes and they keep working at those looms weaving beautiful pieces that ought to be cherished and loved.  It will amaze you to know that, where on one hand a machine-made saree takes around 2 to 4 hours to be manufactured a handloom might take 20 days or more than a month to be manufactured. The circumstances in which these artisans make the sarees are not ideal, moreover it’s a challenging situation many times, still these artisans with an undying enthusiasm keep on working for their livelihoods.

   2. Exclusive Designs and Patterns –

To date, there are some designs that cannot be machine-made and need a human hand to give it the details and intricacy it requires. Also, it’s rare that you will find two handloom sarees of the same print and quality, and even if you do, it will take some time for you to receive it, unlike machine-made sarees which are produced in bulk and can be seen on a lot of people when you walk around in public areas.

Handloom Sarees are always one of a kind and it’s the exclusivity that one pays for apart from, of course, the time and effort put in by the artisans. Be it your hand-loomed easy-breezy cotton saree or your luxurious handwoven silk sarees, all have a unique way of creation and labour when it is on a handloom.  A real handloom saree will always have different weaves and stitches from a fake one. A fake Handloom will never have the amount of finish that comes in a real handloom saree.

   3. Sustainability –

Believe it or not, but the textile industry is the second-highest pollutant of clean water bodies and thus, the negative impact by it needs to be reduced. This will only happen if we as consumers use our power to say no to mill produced clothes and go for handlooms and sustainable fashion. Handloom Sarees make use of natural dyes and products made out of resources available locally and organically and do not involve any use of any chemical dyes, this process helps in reduction of the carbon footprint and also saves the skin from any kind of allergies, as the natural products are hypoallergenic in nature.

The kind of chemical dyes that are used in power loom sarees end up harming the skin in the long run due to its toxic nature, and thus it’s not advisable to expose the skin to such chemicals on a daily basis.

Whereas handloom sarees which use naturally available dyes made from vegetables and plants can be brought in contact with the skin without worrying about any harmful effects. However,  these natural dyes are not readily available and the artisans have to take the raw materials available through a lengthy and tedious process to get to the final natural dye that is used to give the handloom sarees colours that please the eyes and do not look garish and blinding.

The use of chemical-free colours gives the fabrics a property like wax which lets the fabric contract in winters and expand in the summers thus, keeping you warm during winters and cool during summers. Moreover, the natural dyes also help in making the fabric sturdy enough so that it can last you longer.

   4. Craftsmanship –

Handloom Sarees can be easily compared to a “home-cooked meal” which is always comforting and nutritious for our body, but we always tend to get tempted to order outside…. right???? Most definitely we know that a warm bowl of a simple dal and rice made at home will be much better for us than an outside meal, as it will never cause any harm, but we end up eating the outside food and keep relishing it and by the time we realize the hard truth our body is out of our control.

Something similar happens when we end up settling for a cheap and” in trend” saree compared to an intricately handwoven saree. The mill made saree surely pleases our eyes and pockets, but it has major disadvantages that go unseen mostly. We get blinded by the short-term benefits of fast fashion and end up demeaning the immense efforts put in by the artisans to create every single piece.

Machine-made sarees can never match up to the detailing that an artisan gives by hand, these artisans have been practicing their crafts for generations and can do a decent job even when they are asleep, so if a handloom saree is priced higher it is for this level of expertise that you are paying.

if you observe a handloom saree closely, they are at times laden with patterns and designs like Amru, Ambi, and Domak, which are inspired by the Mughal era. A Machine-made saree will always miss on the essence of these traditional motifs and those patterns will end up lacking life. it’s these minute details that make the handloom sarees expensive and priceless at the same time.

The main reason why we feel that hand-loomed or handwoven products are overpriced is the lack of awareness, or maybe ignorance. With so much content available online and days being dedicated to highlighting the importance of handloom many of us are fully aware of the hazardous future we are helping to create by following fashion trends blindly, just because they are pocket-friendly. But we forget that what is light on the pocket right now will weigh heavily on our future generations.

If we actually see the blood and sweat the artisans put in to make these products, the efforts to make it without harming the environment, facing the day to day challenges imposed by life and lifestyle. To get one piece to the final stage an artisan must be at the world for days and nights, stand hopeful with the fluctuating weather conditions. If we sit to consider the importance of our traditional crafts which are kept alive by these artisans we will feel that the price mentioned on the tags is nothing if compared to the value that these products add to our life.

Handlooms will always be the saving grace of your wardrobe stuffed with fast fashion products and the “sustainable fashion” is here to stay. So, let’s be a responsible shopper and invest in products that are quality.

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