Handloom School uniform concept catches on

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Handloom School uniform concept catches on

The State government’s proposal that uniforms made of handloom cloth be worn by school students one day a week is being implemented in a phased manner.

The proposal – to be implemented on a voluntary basis – has evoked good response with many schools buying cloth from the Kerala State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society (Hantex), which has been vested with the responsibility of supplying the fabric.

Despite initial hiccups, both the educational authorities and Hantex are confident that the scheme will catch on over time.

Speaking to The Hindu here on Tuesday, Regional Manager of Hantex, Kozhikode, N.K. Bhaskaran said that handloom fabric valued at Rs.22 lakh had been supplied by Hantex to schools in Kozhikode, Kannur and Wayanad districts.

Circulars Sent

“We canvassed schools and order was placed for 12,000 metres of suiting cloth, and 44,000 metres shirting. Schools have purchased half the quantity – totalling 6,234 metres suiting and 21,183 metres shirting,” Mr. Bhaskaran said.

Deputy Director, Education, Vinod Babu said that as per the directive, circulars were sent to schools to implement the proposal on a voluntary basis.
Some schools have implemented the order by introducing white handloom shirts for Class VIII students. The initiative can be extended to other classes over time.

Educational authorities were willing to cooperate with Hantex in the endeavour, Mr. Vinod Babu added.

Body-Friendly Fabric

Hantex had to contact the district authorities as some schools did not procure the material that was ordered citing technical reasons. These schools are being convinced to buy the cloth.

St. Joseph’s Upper Primary School in Kallodi, near Mananthavadi, in Wayanad district has procured 1,000 metres of the fabric as part of a project to popularise the environment and body-friendly fabric.

Supplying the fabric on a massive scale was difficult initially since processed polyester-cotton yarn of the appropriate colour had to be supplied to the primary cooperative societies for weaving the fabric.

But now, adequate yarn to meet the demand has been supplied.

The processed polyester-cotton yarn for the uniform cloth is woven by 23 of the 30 primary cooperative societies in Kozhikode district, and six of the 35 societies in Kannur.

Though many schools are eager to implement the informal order, the initial non-availability of handloom fabric on a mass-scale has been cited as a reason for the programme not taking off as planned this academic year, sources say.

Cabinet decision

It was the decision of the State Cabinet to informally request school authorities to have students use handloom cloth as uniform one day a week from the current academic year.

Government employees were also requested to wear handloom or khadi for one day a week as a promotional measure for the fabric.


While government officials in the Secretariat wear handloom/ khadi on a regular basis, the trend has not caught on with employees at district headquarters, sources point out.

The aim is to promote the handloom cloth and there by up lift a sector that provides jobs to traditional weavers.

  • Hantex vested with the responsibility of supplying the material
  • Fabric valued at Rs.22 lakh supplied to schools in Kozhikode, Kannur and Wayanad

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