Saree clad women in London showcase India's heritage weaves

Hundreds of women walked the streets of London dressed in regional and traditional Indian weaves to commemorate the occasion.

Yasmin Tinwala

The streets of London witnessed a first-of-its-kind saree walkathon on August 6, to commemorate the National Handloom Day which is observed in India on August 7, 2023. The event was organized by the British Women in Sarees group helmed by Dipti Jain.

O​ver 700 women walked from Trafalgar Square to the Gandhi statue in Parliament Square. Majority were sporting various traditional and regional weaves from several states of India including Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, to name a few.

Women representing handloom sarees from various Indian states. Images - Facebook/British Women in Sarees

Aside from the celebrations in London, celebrations also took place in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at the Bharat Mandapam in Delhi to join the National Handloom Day celebration and reiterated the commitment toward “Vocal For Local.” He also launched a Repository of Textiles & Crafts developed by National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT).

M​ember of Parliament Poonam Mahajan shared a photo of herself sporting the Paithani saree, one of India’s oldest handloom techniques. “Let’s unite to support and preserve India’s rich cultural heritage of artisans.”

Glimpses from the National Handloom Day celebrations in Delhi.

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 7, 2023

N​ational Handloom Day is observed as an ode to the pre-independence Swadeshi Movement which was launched on August 7, 1905, and encouraged indigenous industries and in particular handloom weavers.

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