BHUTTICO, HIMACHAL PRADESH, INDIA.
In skilled hands, the looms sing.
Dimly lit by bulbs dangling at the end of insulated wires and sunlight illuminating wooden windows, a large hall echoes with a consistent tak, tak, tak song of looms at work as the skilled hands of Himachali weavers, go about their daily business of producing a crop of traditional Himachali garments, popular across India.
Since an enterprising young man by the name of Ved Ram Thakur, took charge of a small unit of twelve weavers set up in 1944 and turned it into a thriving business, Bhuttico has offered countless weavers with homes to live in, a premise to work in, and tools to earn their income. Weavers are paid for every completed product and the finished goods marketed in Himachal, Delhi, Kanpur, Mussoorie and some parts of the world.
The co-operative society, a proud recipient of the Ministry of Textile’s, National Award Gold, is the largest organized manufacturer of traditional Himachali garments including a wide variety of Kullu Shawls.
Weaving remains an intrinsic part of the Himachali culture, as it did centuries before when households in this harsh snow covered land speckled with lofty mountains produced its own garments and accessories on family looms, exporting the surplus to countries as distant as China. Now, the descendants of the same pioneering generation keeps alive the tradition, without having to haul their stash across narrow mountain trails to market places frequented by travelling merchants and caravans, as did their ancestors.