CRAFTS OF INDIA / PAITHANI / CHALLENGES
1. Design innovation: is a major challenge for the artisans of Paithani. The skill of these craftsmen is highly advanced, rare and critical. There is a limitation on their memories to be restricted to ancestral work and the small customization requirements of their customers for the designs. Also, in spite of being dependent on ancestral designs, they do not posses any record of these designs in any form. Thus, a loss in design sensibility, awareness and design range is visible throughout the practice of all artisans. Also there is a need of innovation in design layouts and motifs.
2. Designs fetching quick returns : is another big challenge. Paithani weaving requires intervention of woven design experts to teach these artisans some simple designs to reduce their strain. This will help the artisans to achieve quick returns simultaneous to the long term projects they take, for sustenance.
3. Product Design: in the technique of Paithani weaving requires support of product innovation to survive in the market. Currently it caters to the niche upper class market. But to survive in the long run it needs to cater to the middle class market as well.
The manufacturing cost of these products is many a time so high that it makes the price unaffordable for the regular middle class market. Thus product should be designed for the middle class which will help increase sales to make the effort successful.
4. Government support: As textile craft practitioners, the artisans hardly get any financial or other support. The artisans feel that there are only bodies created multiple times which have construction of offices which never function. There is no real effort to better the working conditions or encouragement to solve the difficulties of the ethnic artisans struggling for their livelihood at times.
5. Costing system: Artisans feel cheated by their dealers and wholesale buyers who buy the product from them in cheap rates and later sell it at prices three or four fold. There is no unified pricing system for the product. This is slowly changing with the spread of awareness and co-operative spirit of the weaving community.
6. Paithani Saree made on Power loom: Paithani designs are created on power loom using polyester yarn. These sarees sell at prices 1/10th that of the original Paithani saree. Unsuspecting buyers get duped on this count though there are some willing to buy knowingly since they cannot afford the original at its price.
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