Thread by thread and knot by knot, history is being made in India. The Indian textile industry now accounts for 14% of industrial production, and employs more than 45 million people. Textile workers labour day and night to produce fabrics and rugs for international markets, with competition from the Middle East driving India to be the best textile market in the world.

It's big business, but beyond the strong export numbers and economic boost, the textile industry is giving Indians an opportunity to create a better future. Women, men and children are all involved in production process, contributing to an industry that dates back to the sixteenth century.

Devendra Singh Rathore has traced the rise of the textile industry and says the significant growth in the industry has allowed a new generation of textile workers to emerge. Farmers in particular are embracing opportunities to create a sustainable future by producing textiles in crop off season.

“For six months, they are jobless so during that time they make the carpet and other handicrafts – for one to two hours in the day they add something in the carpet and do the knotting”.

Each village across India creates unique designs but Singh Rathore asserts the textiles produced remain quintessentially Indian.

“Textiles in India is a pride…they develop beautiful geometric and floral patterns that they pick from the villages which are rich in culture and that makes Indian carpet special”.

Local fabric worker Vincent says the quality of handmade products cannot compare to factory pieces and the workers are committed to producing products of the best quality.

“On the countryside, there are women working in homes and then the men are working in sheds making double and single knotted carpets”.

“Our handcrafted textiles have a life of one hundred years and silk ones last a lifetime”.

The Indian Government is making moves to ensure the industry lasts a lifetime too – launching new policies to achieve more than US$300 million dollars’ worth of textile exports by 2025. It’s an ambitious target but the Government is committed to ensuring the textile industry remains a central pillar of the economy.

Vincent says the Government support comes at critical time, with the textile industry now recognised for it's contribution to the Indian economy.

“The art was about to die – but the profit ratio has improved".

"They have made us feel proud again".

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