A ‘handloom’ is a loom that is used to weave cloth without the use of any electricity. Hand weaving is done on pit looms or frame looms generally located in weavers’ homes. Weaving is primarily the interlacing of two sets of yarn – the warp (length) and the weft (width).

fabric care for handwoven silks

Select villages in India have been processing the silk threads from “silkworms” or caterpillars for 3,000 years. The various fibre and fabric properties depend on the type of worm or moth, the food that it eats and the way in which the fibres are processed. Fabindia uses several varieties of silk, such as tussar and matka, which are indigenous to India and processed and spun by hand without the use of harsh chemicals. For example, tussar silk is a wild silk characterized by an irregular yarn with thick and thin portions, creating a “slubby” or highly textured fabric. The lustre and sheen varies from type of silk as well as the texture and the softness of the handle. Overall, silk is the strongest natural fiber, has a beautiful drape and is naturally crease resistant. The drawback of silk is that it loses its strength when wet and therefore needs to be treated gently during laundering.

Handloom cottons


Handwoven cotton fabric has the added value of allowing more air penetration and is therefore cooler, softer, more absorbent and breathes better than highly uniform, compacted machine made cotton fabric. This added breathability means you will stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Handwoven cotton fabric also has a textural beauty and visible character which is not present in machine made fabric. Cotton is a very strong fibre, even when wet, so it holds up very well to repeated laundering.