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A Study on Ayurveda Healing Fabric - A Case Study of the Handloom Weavers Development Society at Balaramapuram, Thiruvanathapuram Dist., Kerala

Anupama, A is currently pursuing PGDM-Apparel management,from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International School of Textile and Management, Coimbatore(under indian textile ministry). Her passion is to work for the development of traditional indian textiles,crafts and handlooms. She recently completed a project on AYURVEDIC HEALING FABRIC at Handloom weavers development society,Balaramapuram.

August 2012, Craft Revival Trust
Company profile
Headquartered in Balaramapuram, Kerala (Southern India), the Handloom Weavers Development Society (HLWDS) is a non-governmental organization that works to improve the welfare of deprived, marginalized and downtrodden handloom weaving communities in Kerala.

Vision: A flourishing handloom weaving industry preserving Indian culture and providing a decent standard of living to weaver families.

Mission: To provide employment to weaver families in Kerala through providing looms and associated services, so that they can enjoy a better standard of living and preserve their heritage and culture.

History
The Handloom Weavers Development Society was established in 1989 by a group of twenty four young weavers from the Balaramapuram area of the district of Trivandrum, Kerala. The invention of the power loom, the recurrence of sweatshop manufacturing and a competitive global textile market was stripping handloom weavers of their market. These young weavers organized to discuss ways to overcome the plight of the handloom weaving sector and to put an end to the oppressive labour arrangements and corruption that was occurring in the sector.

With the assistance of a five-year grant from the Ford Foundation, HLWDS has made significant strides in its long-term goal of diversifying handloom production. HLWDS has successfully piloted several training programs in alternative hand produced textile techniques including new designs, block printing, batik, tie and dye, kalamkari, and Ayurvedic dyeing.

Their experimentation with Ayurvedic dyeing has been one of their most successful product diversification initiatives. With the financial support of the Government of Japan, HLWDS established an Ayurvedic dye house in Balaramapuram, which was inaugurated by MR. RIYOZU KIKUCHI, Consul General of Japan on 7th September 2004. The Ayurvedic dye house is equipped with modern machineries and facilities to produce pure Ayurvedic herbal handloom clothes. The minimum production capacity of their dye house is nearly 1000kg per day. Also in 2005, the Government of India generously granted Rs: 850,000 to assist the HLWDS for establishing a common facility center for Ayurvedic dyeing on handloom clothes and to standardize Ayurvedic dyeing.

Programmes

1. Saving & Credit
Self Help Groups (SHGs) are the main conduit for the majority of their programming. HLWDS' SHGs assists women in becoming independent producers of hand loomed products. They assist women weavers in purchasing material supplies, weaving accessories and equipment. They also act as a safety net for participants who may borrow for urgent consumption needs. Through these SHGs women weavers are able to break their exploitative arrangements with master weavers and to end cycles of debt. Currently, they work 731 SHGs in 51 villages.

2. Weaving Production Assistance
HLWDS works to improve the livelihoods of weavers by providing production assistance aimed at overcoming the obstacles of scarce supplies, shrinking resources, lagging technological improvements and competitive markets (i.e. power loom). They also try to provide alternatives to exploitative supply and marketing arrangements with master weavers and bogus handloom societies.

Their production assistance activities include:

Seasonal Inputs Provision
  • To prevent material supply shortages, HLWDS purchases bulk supplies of threads and inputs from the Government Thread Bank for sale at reasonable prices to local weavers during festival production season.

Equipment /Inputs Loans

  • Through its savings and credit program HLWDS provides loans for purchase of looms, spinning wheels, weaving accessories and inputs.

  • HLWDS assists participants to acquire looms through government programs.

Loom Maintenance
  • On a consultancy basis, HLWDS connects master weavers and loom repairers with weavers experiencing trouble with the functioning of looms.

Product Diversification Training
  • HLWDS provides training assistance to handloom weavers from various parts of the state. They provide training in Ayurvedic dyeing; block printing, weaving, tie and dye, embroidery and design.

Marketing
  • HLWDS purchases output from weavers at a fair price and sells in their retail showroom and at exhibitions. They have also planned to sell weavers' product to private retailers charging a small fee from producers for the marketing service.

  • They also provide training assistance on marketing techniques.

  • HLWDS undertakes the marketing of experimental products including

Medicinal Cloth.
3. Handloom Advocacy
HLWDS fights to retain government support for the handloom industry through campaigning, networking and lobbying. Through their handloom advocacy program, they provide a voice to handloom weavers across Kerala. Some of the activities include:

Networking
  • HLWDS is a member of South Indian Handloom Weavers Organizing Committee (SIHWOC), a regional network, and the Handloom Protection Forum, a state network.

Lobbying
  • HLWDS has developed contacts with officials involved with setting and carrying out policies and programs affecting the industry.

  • Meet officials to lobby for policy change and give testimony on conditions in the sector. Awareness
    They also hold seminars to educate handloom weavers about government policies and how to protect themselves from corrupt cooperative societies that falsely claim financial resources in the name of handloom weavers.

    4. Handloom Sector Issues

    Occupational Health Hazards
    HLWDS works to reduce occupational health hazards and injuries among weavers and their families. It is far too common for weavers to suffer from a variety of occupational health hazards including respiratory ailments from breathing in particulate dust in poorly ventilated workspaces and repetitive motion injuries that leave many weavers disabled. Through ILS, they have documented these health problems and presented them to government officials in an effort to raise awareness of the plight of the weavers. Currently, HLWDS conducts health training around issues of occupational diseases (respiratory illness and repetitive motion injury).

    Education and Child Labor
    Through ILS, the HLWDS learned that there were high levels of child labor and overall low levels of education among HLWDS members. To address these problems, HLWDS established day cares centers, non-formal education programs for adults and children, vocational training, and cultural programmes that aim to decrease child labor and increase the level of education among weaving families.

    Gender Equity
    HLWDS also works with gender equity issues by raising awareness, supporting advocacy efforts, and training leaders to address gender bias and discrimination issues. Their gender work is primarily facilitated through SHGs.

    5. Research and Documentation
    Research and documentation activities have been continually carried out over the past 13 years despite the fact that HLWDS only acquired its first computer in May of 2000. These activities are essential to keep abreast of changes in the handloom sector and to strengthen their programmes and advocacy efforts. The core of their research activities includes gathering information on medicinal plants and their cultivation. Through their research they have developed 150 new Ayurvedic dyes. Their findings are housed in their resource library, which is fully accessible to their members. Their documentation activities are essential to the programmes. They largely center on gathering information about the conditions prevailing in the handloom sector. They also document technological innovation in the sector.

    5. Ayurveda healing fabric.
    Ayurveda healing fabrics or Ayurvastra, as a branch of Ayurveda, begins with 100% organic cotton that has been hand-loomed – no machine processing, no chemical additives to prepare the cotton fibres for spinning and weaving, no chemical finishes. The organic cotton yarn/fabric is then coated with a mixture of natural gums which acts as a medium for absorbing the herb preparation and fixes to the yarn for a longer period. This yarn or fabric is then dyed in a carefully controlled mixture of herbal dyes in herbs like mimosa pudica, cumin seeds, champa flower, shoe flower, turmeric neem etc…

    The dyes for Ayurvastra fabrics typically contain between 40 and 60 specifically blended and carefully prepared medicinal herbs, plants, flowers, roots and barks. Every step in the preparation of Ayurvastra fabrics and clothing – the temperatures of the dyes, the duration and number of the dye soaks, the blend of herbs, and even the equipment used – is carefully controlled.

    Handloom Weavers Development Society (HLWDS) began to do ayurvedic dyeing on fabric and yarn and developed Ayurveda Healing Fabric brand of Ayurvedic handloom materials like shirts, Mundus, Churidars, Saris, Bed sheets, Shawls, etc. These products were developed based on their age old ethnic knowledge and traditional ayurvedic dyeing technology, which they have gained from their ancestors like Sir C.R Ayyappan Vaidyan, Neelakandan Vaidyan and Damodaran Vaidyan. Medicinal Cloth brand of Ayurvedic handloom dress materials for different diseases are developed using specific medicinal plants for dyeing the clothes. From the research results obtained from the experiment, which has been conducted in Ayurvedic College, Trivandrum shows very encouraging results as patient underwent this treatment technique benefited immensely and experienced an early curing process. There are special cloth kit for rheumatism, blood pressure, diabetic, psoriasis, Itch, Asthma, reducing obesity and also the ayurvedic clothes for giving mental pleasure and reducing tension.

    Objective

    • To study about the Ayurveda healing fabric, its dyeing process, its medicinal values and its scope.

    • To figure out the present status of Ayurveda healing fabric in terms of Awareness and customer buying behavior.

    • To make the people aware about its medicinal values and its eco-friendliness.

    • To give rebirth for traditional Ayurveda dyeing method in the present scenario.

    Scope of the study
    Ayurveda healing fabric is a value added product. Its scope is incredible, it has a good future in medicinal field because of its medicinal values, and Textile field including Apparel and Home textiles.

    Since 12th five year plan is mainly concentrating on ecofriendly products. Ayurveda healing fabric is also a part of it, since it having glittering future. It has a good share in the Global market. Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Jordan, USA and Saudi Arabia are the main customers of Ayurveda healing fabric.

    Limitations of the study

    • The processing of Ayurveda healing fabric is their traditional family secret so they are not ready to give more details about its production process.

    • Numbers of questions were limited due to the inconvenience of the respondents.

    • Many customers are not willing to respond, because of lack of time.

    AYURVEDA HEALING FABRIC
    'Ayurvastra' existed as a branch of Ayurveda, the 5000 year old system of medicine from India. It represents a modality of healing and achieving wellness, and also a complex system or technique of dyeing clothing using medicinal plants and herbs. 'Ayur' in Sanskrit translates to 'life', 'health' and/or 'longevity' and Vastra translates to 'clothing'; thus Ayurvastra (Ayurveda healing fabric) means 'clothing for 'life/health/longevity'.

    These fabrics are dyed using this concept which got buried in time with the evolution of industrialization and chemical/synthetic dyeing. A Hindu family called Kuzhivila in Balaramapuram had explored and used the techniques of ayurveda dye many years ago. The family has found a means to boost the ailing rural economy with the knowhow handed down from their great granduncle Ayyappan Vaidyar, who was the chief physician for the erstwhile Travancore royal family. Incorporating the techniques they had woven cloths and supplied to the royal family as a solution to the various ailments that afflicted the members of the royal family. The Kuzhiviala family’s present generation revived the ayurveda-dye technique now and given life to the handloom industry that was dying in Kerala. Since 1992, the team has been refining this technique and developing it further ; bringing together art, science, tradition, intuition and alchemy to make it robust enough for modern use and to create different colors depending on the plants/herbs used for various health/wellness benefits. The color of the fabric is gained from the medicinal preparation only and no other colorants are used. Presently, they're the only producers of clothing using this traditional wisdom.

    The products are manufactured as per the directions of Ashtavaidyars, Aryvaidyars, Siddhvaidyars and Marma chikilsa vaidyars. For colouring and fragrance to the products the raw materials used are herbs and plants. For yellow colour - turmeric, woody turmeric, kasthuri turmeric and many other varieties of turmeric are used. For red – manjadi is used. For green – kurunthoti is the raw material. For blue – neelayamiri (indigo) and for black cuscus grass, promanagati, cardamom, cloves, nutmerg etc are the raw materials.

    HEALTH/WELLNESS BENEFITS
    Ayurveda healing fabric existed as a modality within Ayurveda since ancient times. The ancient physician Charaka used this method whereby an environment is created around the patient with clothing, bedding, wall coverings etc all treated with medicinal ayurvedic herbs/plants specific to the health condition. Besides disease treatment, this concept of using clothing dyed with such plants was also used as for tonifying/wellness benefits. Thus clothing dyed with turmeric, for instance, was used to enhance skin beauty and radiance, detoxification and rejuvenation. Likewise Tulsi was used to offer stress-relief, enhance sleep and immunity.

    In ayurveda the skin is used as a mechanism for delivering medicines, and medicated oils are massaged and infused into the body for treating many health conditions and well as for tonifying/wellness benefits. Vastra clothing creates an encapsulation or micro-environment of medicinal herbs and sustains it around the skin as long as one is wearing it as apparel or using it as clothing or bedding, and just like the skin absorbs toxins that it comes in touch with, it also acts as a conduit for the beneficial effects of plants and herbs used in the dye.

    Each dye or color represents a pre-dominant plant or herb used along with the synergy of over 20 others to create an array of health/wellness benefits. The benefits will last as long as the color is there. The roots, flowers, leaves, seeds and barks of around 200 herbs are used to make the dyes.

    DYEING
    They predominantly use cotton fabrics or yarn (in the case of handloom) for dyeing. Other natural fibres like jute, wool, silk, hemp and linen can also be used.

    The process of making starts with the 100% pure organic cloth and passes through several stages of treatment before becoming colorful and ready to wear. More importantly, no chemical additives are added to prepare the cotton fibers for spinning and weaving and no chemical finishes are applied to enhance its appearance.

    Every step in the preparation of is carefully and precisely controlled. Most of the herbs are procured locally and some regionally and are wild-crafted or organically grown.

    Around 200 herbs are used for making various types/colors of Vastra clothing. Each color is produced from a preparation that typically contains one or more pre-dominant plant/herb(like Turmeric in our Turmeric clothing) along with 40 or more others, that are specifically blended and carefully prepared medicinal herbs, plants, flowers, roots and barks.

    Different processes are followed depending on whether raw woven fabric or yarn is being dyed. For handloom, the process starts with the cotton yarn and goes through a process named de-sizing to remove loose particles, debris etc.

    PROCESSES

    Bleaching
    The selected fabric or yarn is first bleached using a preparation based in cow urine. Cows pasture naturally and also feed on 3 different types of medicinal grass. Cow urine is used along with milk, honey, etc in many preparations for cleansing /purifying rituals (Bathing the Idols of Hindu gods in such preparations is a common practice). The fabric or yarn is also exposed to direct sunlight as part of the process.

    Gumming/ Mordanting
    To make the colours bright and fast a number of natural mordants such as bark of Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa), Kenduka (Diospyrose ebenum), fruit extracts of Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) etc are used. Each color /dye requires its unique blend of over 40 herbs/plants as for gumming as well as synergizing the health/wellness benefits.

    Medication (Dyeing)
    The organic cotton yarn or fabric is then medicated in a carefully controlled mixture of herbal medicine preparations called Kashayas (meaning concoctions) depending upon the health/wellness benefits sought. The word medication is used instead of dyeing because here the medicinal plants/herbs themselves give natural color to fabrics.

    The temperature of the concoctions, the duration and number of the medicinal soaks, the blend of herbs and the equipment are carefully used in a controlled manner. The medicated/dyed cloth is allowed to cool and repeatedly washed to remove any loose particles and is always dried in shade.

    Finishing
    In this type of dyeing, finishing is done by sprinkling pure water on the cloth and then stretching under pressure, using hand rolls, aloe-vera, castor oil etc.

    Curing/seasoning
    The dyed fabrics then go through a seasoning process of 2 weeks or more before they are ready for use (tailoring).

    Effluent Treatment
    The entire process is organic. It does not pollute the environment like synthetic dye. And the waste is used as bio manure and also to generate bio gas.

    FABRIC’S PROPERTIES

    Natural Colour
    Ayurvastra is also becoming very popular for its colour properties. The shades thus produced are very different and natural thereby giving you an all the more a different look. The roots, flowers, leaves, seeds and barks of around 200 herbs are used to make the dyes. Since the natural herbs are generally found in very beautiful shades. The shades can further be lightened or darkened from the same single herb by adding more or less quantity of the particular herb.

    Shade Variation
    Shade difference in two different batches of same shade could be approximately 10-20%. This is largely due to the fact that the numerous chemical ingredients that make up plants vary widely. Not only do the variations occur between plants of the same species, but also from part to part of the same plant. For instance, in Amla, the medicine is contained in the fruits, not in its leaves or roots. The type and quantity of chemicals present are influenced by such factors as soil, species, weather, time of harvest as well as the part of the plant used. The manner in which they are stored and processed also has a profound effect on its extractions.

    Traditional crafts are not always simple. Medicines prepared in an iron pot give a colour different than the same ones prepared in pots made out of clay or wood. To obtain desired colour quality, time and again, the dyer has to know all these. Creating some colours with natural dyes is a very complicated process and is viable only if it is done commercially.

    Light fastness
    Fading of dyestuffs by light radiation is one of the most important factors influencing the useful wear life of clothing. The loss and change in colour of dyed textiles upon exposure to light is a complex reaction affected by both the chemical and physical state of the dye. External factors such as the source and intensity of illumination can affect the reaction as well. Herbal dyes are mainly having carotenoids, flavonoids, indigoids or quinoid structures. Although flavonoid compounds are not very lightfast, quinoids and indigoids are noted for their excellent fastness properties. Stereo chemistry of the dyes also having much effect on the light fastness for example, symmetrical dye molecules usually exhibit greater light fastness than non-symmetrical dye molecules, and larger dye molecules generally provide faster dyeing than smaller ones.

    The quantitative "fading rates" for natural dyes are not practical because differences in fading rates for the same natural dyes have been reported in many cases.

    DIESEASE PRVENTION FABRICS
    Arthritis Introduction Name of Medicines used Shades
    Inflammation of joints marked by pain, heat, redness and swelling. Fever and pain all over body also will present in certain conditions. When the Arthritis becomes very chronic it is Rheumatic arthritis Strych nuxvomica, Gmelia arborea, Alipinia Calcarata, Strobilunthus, Kunnthianus etc.
    Ayurvedic Medicine Used:30
    Yellow, Light Yellow, Brown, Dark Light Brown, Green, Light green Gray, Light Gray, Violet, Pink, Light pink, Ivory, Off White.

    Osteo Arthritis Introduction Botanical Name of Medicines Shades
    A non-inflammatory degenerative joint disease marked by degeneration of the Articular Cartilage, hypertrophy of bones at the margins and changes in the Synovial membrane accompanied by pain and stiffness. Nigeela Sativa, Rocins Communis, alpinia Galanga, Cucubita Pepo, Cardiospermum Helicabum etc.
    Ayurvedic Medicine Used:30
    Yellow, Light Yellow, Brown, Dark Light Brown, Green, Light green Gray, Light Gray, Violet, Pink, Light pink, Ivory, Off White.

    Psoriasis Introduction Botanical Name of Medicines Shades
    A chronic hereditary, recurrent dermatitis marked by discrete vivid red macules, papules covered with silvery laminated seales. Pterocarpus Marsupial, Cassia Fistula, Ficus Glometara, Derris Indica, Solanum Nigrum etc.
    Ayurvedic Medicine Used:35
    Yellow, Light Yellow, Brown, Dark Light Brown, Green, Light green Gray, Light Gray, Violet, Pink, Light pink, Ivory, Off White.

    Rheumatism Introduction Botanical Name of Medicines Shades
    Rheumatic arthritis is a chronic systematic disease primarily on the joints marked by inflammatory changes in the synovial membrane and Articular structures and atrophy and rare faction of the bones. In the latest stages deformity and ankylosis develops. The cause is unknown according to modern concepts. But according to modern concepts. But according to modern concepts. But according to ayurveda Vada-Kapha dushti due to undecided food habits and regimn is the cause. Premna latifolia Roxb,Ttrichodesma Indicum, Trichyspermum Ammi, Sopindus Cmarenatus, Ipomoea Plalmata Foresk etc.
    Ayurvedic Medicine Used:30
    Yellow, Light Yellow, Brown, Dark Light Brown, Green, Light green Gray, Light Gray, Violet, Pink, Light pink, Ivory, Off White.

    Atopic Dermatitis Botanical Name of Medicines Shades
    Also known as Atopic Excema. It is a hereditary and non contagious skin diseases characterized by the chronic inflammation of skin. There is a known hereditary component of the disease and is seen more in some families. The hallmarks of the disease include skin rashes and itching. Aquilaria Agallocha Roxb, Curuma longa, Euphobia tiruccil, Xylia Xyocorpa, Clioreaternatea etc.
    Ayurvedic Medicine Used:30
    Yellow, Light Yellow, Brown, Dark Light Brown, Green, Light green Gray, Light Gray, Violet, Pink, Light pink, Ivory, Off White.

    CLINICAL RESEARCH
    Many clinical experiments have been conducted to show the effectiveness of Ayurvastra. It was found through various trials that such an environment can help those suffering from skin diseases, arthritis, Eczema, psoriasis and rheumatism and blood pressure. All these trials showed a marked improvement.

    The Pharmacology department at the Government Ayurveda College, Trivandrum (capital of Kerala, India) conducted a month-long trial by using bedding, rugs and towels made from Ayurvastra and they found that it helped the patients who suffered from diseases like eczema, psoriasis and rheumatism. According to Dr. Vishwanathan, the former Dean of the Drug Research Department at Ayurveda College, "We treated around 40 people. And the response was remarkably good, especially in cases of arthritis and skin ailments." Based upon the successful results of this clinical trial, the Kerala State Government has initiated a more in-depth and expanded study into the possible effectiveness of Ayurvastra in the treatment of other ailments including cancer.

    Another study initiated by the Ministry of Health and Government of Kerala, undertook a six-month clinical trial at the Government Ayurveda College in Trivandrum on patients suffering from rheumatism, allergy, hypertension, diabetes, psoriasis and other skin ailments. For the study, all clothes, bed linens and mattresses of the patients were dyed in Ayurvastra herbs and the walls, floors and ceilings in the patient’s room were lined with Ayurvastra coir mats so that the patient were surrounded by Ayurvastra medicated materials. The improvements in the health of patients suffering from rheumatism and arthritis are especially interesting because rheumatism and arthritis are not skin disorders and this indicate that the treatments might have healthy benefits that extend beyond the periphery of skin problems.

    TURMERIC FABRIC
    • Possible Wellness Benefits*: anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant & anti-bacterial properties, skin beauty enhancement , protection against skin infections , detoxification & rejuvenation

    • Main Ingredients: Wild-Crafted cosmetic turmeric, Wild-Crafted 'local' turmeric and Wild-Crafted skin turmeric & Wild-Crafted Coscnium fenestratum

    • Other key herbs/plants used: Wild-Crafted Accacia Instia wild, Albizia Odoratissima, Wild-Crafted Alnus nepalensis, Wild-Crafted Alodia Bengalensis & Amaranthus spinosus


    TURMERIC FABRIC
    • Possible Wellness Benefits*: anti bacterial/fungal properties, immune stimulation ,skin detoxification & purification, blood purification

    • Main Ingredients: Wild-Crafted Indigo (Baptisia/IndigoFero Tinctoria)

    • Other key herbs/plants used: Cassia Tora Linn, Wild-Crafted Arto Corpus Integrifolia, Bassia Latifolia, Bauhima Varie gata, Wild-Crafted Bixa Orellana Linn, Wild-Crafted Calysaccion, Wild-Crafted Carthamus


    TULSI FABRIC
    • Possible Wellness Benefits*: antioxidant, & adaptogenic qualities,stress-relief, immune-modulation, blood purification, sleeping enhancement, relief from rheumatic pains

    • Main ingredients: Holy Basilica (Tulsi) 3 types- Krishna, Rama and Vana(truly wild) & Cassiatora linn

    • Other key herbs/ingredients: Wild-Crafted Cinnmaon ( Cinnamomum Zeylanicum) , White Turmeric (Curcuma Zedoaria), Diospyros, Eugenia Jombolana, Wild-Crafted Adhatoda Vasica


    NEEM FABRIC
    • Possible Wellness Benefits*: anti bacterial/fungal and anti-septic, qualities, relief from eczema & psoriasis related conditions, dry skin itch

    • Main ingredients: Neem(Azadirachta indica)

    • Other herbs/ingredients: Wild-Crafted Accacia Catechu, Wild-Crafted Ficus Glomerata, Ficus religiosa Linn, Wild-Crafted Garcina Xanthochymus(close relative to Garcinia mangostana ), Mallotus Philipincensis etc


    VASTRA- CUSCUS FABRIC
    • Possible Wellness Benefits *: Sleep enhancement, Cooling for the body, blood purification

    • Main ingredients : Cuscus /Khus-Khus grass (Chrysopogon zizanioides commonly known as vetiver ),

    • Other key herbs/ingredients : Noni ( Morinda Citrifolia) , Wild-Crafted Naregamia Alata, Pennisetum Spicatum, Wild-Crafted Phyllanthus, Emblica Linn & Sal (Shorea Robusta Gaertn)


    VASTRA- CUSCUS FABRIC
    • Possible Wellness benefits*: Skin beauty enhancement, reduces acne, dark and white spots,calming cooling effect on the body and mind, metaphorical heart-opener, promotes a feeling of peace and serenity

    • Main ingredients: Wild-Crafted Sandalwood & Wild-Crafted red sandalwood

    • Other herbs/ingredients: Soymida febrifuga, Wild-Crafted Ventilago Cordifolia, Wild-Crafted Accacia Arabica, Cassia Fistula, Jathopa Kartass, Vitex negundo linn.



    MARKETING OF AYURVEDA HEALING FABRIC
    The marketing of Ayurveda healing fabric was done with a decentralised approach. Its marketing is mainly concentrated in foreign countries especially, America. This fabric owes only a small share in the Indian markets. The main reason for this is because, most of the people are unaware about it but the scope of Ayurveda healing fabric is incredible.

    Awareness programmes about this fabric in America is done by food coaches. Mr Narayan, a native of Kerala playing an important role as a part of his work he advice his patients to use this fabric. American artists and foreign tourists opened a new way to global market for Ayurveda healing fabric. It has a good share in the Global market. Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Jordan, USA and Saudi Arabia are the main customers of Ayurveda healing fabric.

    Research methodology

    Research design
    Descriptive research studies are those studies which are concerned with describing the characteristics of a particular individual or of a group. It includes surveys and fact-finding enquiries of different kinds. The major purpose of descriptive research is to get a description of the state of affairs as it exists at present. The researcher has used this descriptive research for the study. The main characteristic of this method is that the researcher has no control over the variables; he/she can only report what happened or what is happening. Descriptive research studies also include attempts by researchers to discover causes even when they cannot control the variables. Population

    The survey was conducted in the following places

    • Handloom Weavers development society, Balaramapuram

    • Cochin

    • Ayurveda healing fabric showroom at Muscat hotel, Trivandrum

    • Malappuram

    Sampling method and sample size
    The sample size is 100, taken from the mentioned population above, and the sampling method was random sampling method.

    Data collection method
    Primary data was collected from the 100 people from various places by using a questionnaire. Secondary data collected from Books, Articles and websites.

    About the questionnaire
    The questionnaire is having both dependent variable and the independent variable. Dependent variables are having questions like customer’s preference and their attitudes, awareness of Ayurvedic healing fabric. It could be used to analyze the customer’s expectations and the marketability of Ayurvedic healing fabric. Independent variables are like age, occupation, gender and place.

    Research Tool

    Microsoft excel

    The figures below show that the percentage of respondent in different questions. After analysing the figures we can analyse the awareness and customer buying behaviour of Ayurveda healing fabric.

    1. How familiar are you with Ayurveda Healing fabric?

    Options Respondents(in percentage)
    I’ve never heard about it. 17
    I’ve heard of them, but never buy their products. 23
    I buy their products occasionally. 15
    I buy their product on a regular basis. 45
    Total 100


    Interpretation
    It is realized that about 17% people don’t know about this Fabric.23% people are aware about Ayurveda healing fabric. But they never buy these products.. Remaining people are the Customers.it includes 15% occasional customers and 45% regular customers.

    2. Age Group.

    Options Respondents(in percentage)
    Below 20 2
    20-30 54
    30-40 18
    Above 40 26
    Total 100


    Interpretation
    It 54% people are coming under the age group of 20-30.only 2% people are coming under below 20. The remaining part of people comes under the age group of 30-40 it is 18% and 26% people are of age group of above 40.

    3. How you came to know about about Ayurveda healing fabric?

    Options Respondents(in percentage)
    Internet 8
    Newspaper/ Magazines 34
    Television 12
    Peer groups(friends, family) 46
    Total 100


    Interpretation
    It shows Peer groups (46%) leads the others. Then comes Newspaper (34%), Television (12%), and Internet (8%).

    4. How often you buy Ayurveda healing fabrics?

    Options Respondents(in percentage)
    Occasionally 25
    Frequently 27
    Often 23
    Very often. 25
    Total 100


    Interpretation
    It shows 27% people are frequent customers of Ayurveda healing fabric.25% are occasional customers. The remaining customer comes under often buyers (23%) and very often (25%) buyers.

    5. For what purpose you are using Ayurveda healing fabric?

    Options Respondents(in percentage)
    For curing diseases 47
    For preventing diseases 25
    To be eco friendly 17
    All above 11
    Total 100


    Interpretation
    It realise that about 47% people are using this fabric for curing diseases. About 25% are using for preventing diseases. 17% people are using this fabric for being eco-friendly 11% people choose this fabric for all the above purpose.

    6. Which is your most preferable product of ‘Ayurveda healing fabric’?

    Options Respondents(in percentage)
    Garments 53
    Bed sheet 25
    Meditation cloth 19
    Coir mats, curtains 3
    Total 100


    Interpretation
    Most preferable product of Ayurveda healing a fabric is their Garments (53%) then Bed sheet (25%), Meditation cloth (19%) Home textiles (3%)

    7. From where do you buy Ayurveda healing fabric’s products?

    Options Respondents(in percentage)
    Handloom Weavers Development society, Balaramapuram 28
    Showrooms inside Kerala 37
    Showrooms inside India 10
    From foreign countries 45
    Total 100


    Interpretation
    About 45% customers bought it from foreign countries.37% customers bought it from showrooms inside Kerala. 28% bought from HLWDS Balaramapuram. The remaining customers (10%) bought it from showrooms show rooms inside India.

    8. How long you are using these products?

    Options Respondents(in percentage)
    Below 1 year 10
    1-2 year 12
    3-4 year 32
    More than 4 years 46
    Total 100


    Interpretation
    It shows 46% customers are using this fabric for more than 4 years.32% customers are using this fabric for 3-4 years.12% customers are using this for 1-2 years.10% customers are using this fabric not more than one year.

    9. What is your opinion about the prices of Ayurveda healing fabrics?

    Options Respondents(in percentage)
    Cheap. 0
    Affordable 75
    Expensive 13
    Very expensive 12
    Total 100


    Interpretation
    Nobody is having an opinion that Ayurveda healing fabric are of cheap rate. About 75% peoples have the opinion that it is affordable.13% customers have the opinion that it is expensive. Remaining 12% customers have the opinion that it is very expensive.

    10. How much money (INR) will you spent for this Fabric?

    Options Respondents(in percentage)
    Below 1000 10
    1000-3000 35
    3000-5000 27
    Above 5000 28
    Total 100


    Interpretation
    35% customers are ready to spend the amount of 1000-3000 for buying Ayurveda healing fabric. But 28 % customers are ready to spent amount more than 5000 and 27% customers are ready to buy the amount of 3000-5000 but only 10% customers are ready to buy the amount of below 1000.

    11. What are the most important criteria for preferring these fabrics?

    Options Respondents(in percentage)
    It’s medicinal values 65
    Comfort 25
    Quality 8
    Colours 2
    Total 100


    Interpretation
    65% customers prefer this fabric because of its medicinal values.25% customers prefer because of its comfort. Remaining 8% selects this fabric because of its quality. Only 2% selects this because of its colours.

    12. Along with the above qualities of Ayurveda healing fabric, what are your expectations?

    Options Respondents(in percentage)
    More presence in Medical field. 72
    More colours and prints 13
    More presence in Home textiles. 10
    All above. 5
    Total 100


    Interpretation
    It shows 73% of customers expect more presence in medicinal field 13% customers expects this fabric in Home textiles. The remaining 5% expects this fabric in all the above fields.

    13. Have you ever felt any discomfort from the following?

    Options Respondents(in percentage)
    Price. 5
    Availability 85
    Colours 5
    Quality. 5
    Total 100


    Interpretation Main problem faced by the customers are its availability 85% people are supporting this opinion. 5% customers have problem with price, 5% customers have in colour and 5% have in quality.

    14. Which ‘Ayurveda healing fabric is most preferable for you

    Options Respondents(in percentage)
    Cotton 58
    Silk 15
    Linen 19
    Wool 8
    Total 100


    Interpretation
    The above diagram shows that the customer preference of fabric types. Cotton is most preferable 59% customers are choosing cotton. Then linen (19%), silk(15%), wool(8%)

    15. How would you rate your experience by using these’ products?

    Options Respondents(in percentage)
    Excellent 83
    Good 17
    Average 0
    Bad 0
    Total 100

    Interpretation
    It shows that about 83% people have the opinion that Ayurveda healing fabric as excellent one.17% customers says its good product. Nobody respondent its performance is average or bad.

    FINDINGS

  • Ayurveda healing fabric has glittering scope because of its Eco-friendliness and Medicinal values.

  • The analysis shows that about 40% people are not aware about Ayurveda healing fabric.

  • Ayurveda healing fabric is a value added product. The development of Handloom sector, it will increase medicinal plant cultivation and it also increases tribal jobs.

  • Kuzhivila family is the sole producer of real Ayurvedic healing fabric.

  • Lack awareness among people is the main problem facing in the marketing of Ayurveda healing fabric.

  • Lack of proper government support affects their stability.

  • Research and development is needed for producing new medicinal fabrics and for varieties of colors.

  • Lack of organic wool and linen affect their production.

    RECOMMENDATIONS

    • To make people aware about Ayurveda Healing Fabric.

    • To make the raw materials available they can start at Herbal gardens, they can seek help from Government.

    • To make the garments or fabrics more attractive by varieties of designs.

    • They can develop printing techniques to improve the attractiveness of their fabric.

    • To improve the feel and texture of the fabric they can use some machines for dyeing process.

    • Production of skin fit and under garments of this fabric may achieve market share.

    • Making a Product portfolio will help to increase the customers and new entrepreneurs.

    • Find more entrepreneurs for elaborating the business.

    • Conduct exhibitions and awareness programmes in universities and colleges will make the new generation more aware about this fabric.

    CONCLUSION
    The initiative to create a specialised product such as Ayurvedic healing fabric was borne out of experiments conducted by the Balaramapuram-based Handloom Weavers Development Society. Handloom fabrics dyed in herbal Medicines could actually used as a part of Ayurvedic treatment.

    For the handloom industry, which faces doom because of the compulsions of liberalised market policies, this could be the opportunity to regain its glory. Apart from the medicinal benefits that the fabrics boast of, its USP as an eco-friendly product could help the handloom industry cast an eye on the global market too.

    Globally many countries have been enforcing a ban on textiles have been coloured using chemical dyes. At the same time, textiles dyed using natural vegetables dyes, especially medicinal plants have been commanding a huge market. Even though the eco-friendly dyes and eco friendly products are in high demand, Ayurvedic healing fabric is not having much progress due to the lack of support from the Government.

    Many people are not willing to buy these products due to its high price. Its price range is only affordable to upper middle class and upper class. These fabrics can be made more reliable only if they are produced in bulk. Even though the HLWDS is will for bulk production, customers are not ready for an order in bulk.

    REFERENSES

    BOOKS

    1. Dr. N.S. Nagarajan, Dr. K. Kaliyaperumal “Research methodology” Ch.2nd page no:14.

    2. “Charakasamhitha”

    3. “Susruthasamhitha”

    4. Vaagbhadan- ‘ashthangasamgraham’

    ARTICLES

    1. Ananthakrishnan.G,Selling in Saudi Arabia:Ayurvedic burqa.

    2. Anitha k.Moosath,2006, June23,”Herbal couture”THE HINDU-Business line.

    3. Ayurvastra manufactures eco-friendly organic attires.

    4. Don Sebastian ,2005,’Kerala weavers heal the world wiyh Ayurvastra’.

    5. Lauren Holt,2010 “Ayurvastra:Herbal Healing Through Cloth”.

    6. Pradeep Rama Krishnan,2007,”AYUR-VASTRA” ALL SETS TO CONQUER WORLD MARKET.

    7. Weaving a network of herbal nurseries.THE HINDU-Business line.

    WEBSITES

    1. Ayurvedicmedicinalplants.com

    2. enchantingkerala.org

    3. www.vastra.us

    4. www.handloomweavers.org

    5. organicclothing.blogs.com

    This project report is in practical fulfillment of the requirements of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Textile Management (SVPISTM) for the award of Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Apparel). Under the Guidance of Mr. S. Kumar Chandar. MCA, MBA, MPhil, (PhD), Assistant Professor (IT)



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