Weaving in Kangra

Handlooms sector is the second largest employer in rural India after agriculture. The sector represents the continuity of the age-old Indian heritage of hand weaving and reflects the socio-cultural tradition of the weaving communities.

The high altitude climate of Himachal Pradesh, wool from locally reared sheep and goat and the ease of procuring high quality pashmina wool from Tibet have made weaving and spinning important industries of the state of Himachal Pradesh. Textiles woven for local consumption use Pashmina while Merino wool is used for making commercially produced shawls and is imported from the plains, mainly from Ludhiana in Punjab. The Kangra district has a long-standing tradition of shawl weaving and has a huge potential for further development. National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) has been set up at Chheb in Kangra district to preserve hill area costumes and to provide a platform for innovation and research that would bring about international attention on traditional Himachali costumes. NIFT is India's premier institution for fashion business education with branches in 13 cities (including Chheb).

Tibetan rug making
Rug making is an ancient art and craft of the Tibetan people. These rugs are primarily made from Tibetan highland sheep's virgin wool and are used by Tibetans for almost any domestic use from flooring to wall hanging to horse saddles. The process of making Tibetan rugs is unique in the sense that almost everything is done by hand. Lately, a few aspects of the rug making process have been mechanised to control costs and due to the disappearance of rug-making knowledge. Moreover, some new finishing touches are also made possible by use of machine. Tibetan rugs are big business in not only Tibet, but also Nepal, where Tibetan immigrants brought with them their knowledge of rug making. Currently rug business is one of the largest industries in Nepal.