Chendamangalam weavers at a loss as rain torments them for a second straight year

Chendamangalam weavers at a loss as rain torments them for a second straight year
Chendamangalam handlooms

Chendamangalam: The famed Handloom weavers of Chendamangalam in Kerala’s Ernakulam district suffered losses for a second consecutive year as heavy rain wreaked havoc in the state over the past few days.

Yarn on around 60 looms at various houses were destroyed. It would take at least a month to restart the weaving. Till then, the weavers have been denied work and thereby their income.

The weavers' unit had barely recovered from the August deluge of 2018 that when the water rose at the handloom village again.

Yarn on 50 looms of workers of the Chendamangalam Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society H-47 was damaged. Around 64 of the 99 looms, which were destroyed in the floods last year, had been repaired. The yarn on them was lost again this year. The looms of the other units were also damaged.

The only consolation is that the looms were not completely destroyed. The looms were kept at Karimbadam, Thekumpuram, Koottukadu, Kottayil Kovilakam, and Palathuruthu areas in the panchayat. In all these areas, the water rose by 1 to 2 feet. Though the looms were not completely submerged in the water, the cotton yarn was damaged. Each loom would have 100 to 130 metre of yarn. To begin weaving again, the yarn has to be made. That would take at least a month.

As the rain intensified over the past 15 days, the weaving units had been on a standstill. It would take Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 per loom to make the yarn and fix it on to the loom and start the weaving again.

H-47 secretary P A Sojan said that his unit would need Rs 10 lakh to restart the weaving process.

Around 11,000 metres of cloth made as part of the government's school uniform project were stored at the H-47 unit. As the staff feared it would be damaged in the floodwaters, they have moved it to safer places. The weaved clothes meant for the Onam sale too have been moved to the top floor. The unit also suffered a setback as they were not able to dry the dyed threads out in the sun.