Kannur: The Handloom city of Kerala in India

Kannur: The Handloom city of Kerala in India

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Kannur - The Handloom city of Kerala products 3Kannur, popularly referred to as ‘Handloom City of Kerala,’ is the state’s largest handloom producing district. It enjoys global reputation in manufacturing and exporting handloom goods. You need to look at connecting with fixer in India, which ensures low-cost logistical help for filming in India, if you want to explore more of Kerala handloom industry.


The Kannur handloom fabric is one of the overseas hot selling commodities.  The industry is distributed across 5 municipalities and 37 Panchayat. There is ample space in the world market for fabrics, which is reserved exclusively for the handloom industry. Kannur is widely known as the ‘Manchester of Kerala’ due to the reliability and prestige of Kannur handlooms.



Kannur - The Handloom city of Kerala

Handloom industry in Kannur has specialized in the manufacture of furnishing fabrics, bed spreads, other made-ups and home textiles for export products. Kannur hand-held shirts, furnishing materials etc; occupy a significant position among India’s handloom fabrics. Due to its consistency and excellence, Kannur Kerchiefs has won the Japanese reputation. The great strengths of versatility, adaptability, preparation for adventure and the wholehearted commitments of Kannur weavers are unrivaled.


Kannur is the state’s largest export-oriented handloom production hub with 10 to 15 percent of the country’s combined handloom exports accounting for its output. About 98 per cent of handloom exports from the state of Kerala also come from the district of Kannur. Majority of exports come from districts of Asia. The USA is the main importer, and the UK and Germany are the big importers within the European Economic Countries.



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The industry employs thousands of people directly and indirectly in the district, and provides better livelihood.


During the year 2004-05, the State Directorate of Handlooms and Textiles notes that there are 73 registered cooperative weavers’ societies and 79 private handloom units functioning in Kannur district. According to the Permanent Register of SSI units in DIC, Kannur, in the 2010-11 district, only 36 cooperative weavers’ societies and 28 private handloom industrial units are registered and still involved in handloom production, and no credible data on the work of private handloom firms.


The district of Kannur is blessed with professional weavers, the essence of inherited weaving, the provision of low-cost women’s labor, the increasing role of cooperatives in the organized sector, the procurement of water and good quality. Each of these factors contributed significantly to the development of the handloom industry. In Kannur district, water purity is high, so the handloom weavers are able to manufacture handloom fabrics in bright colour.



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The total value of annual production at Kannur is estimated at 500 crores of rupees according to Kerala Handloom Exporters Organisation. With this, goods worth 250 crore of rupees are exported directly with Kannur manufactures and the rest are sold to vendors, some of whom are also exported. Exports from the district of Kannur have spread to over 25 major countries worldwide, the USA, and the EU countries being the main buyers of Kannur handloom products. Top market buyers favor Kannur as generations of owners have worked hard to maintain the ‘Best Value tag’ and most of the top units in the district of Kannur are ISO certified.

Development made in Kannur Handloom Industry

  1. The Handloom Training Institute was established in Kannur under the Societies Registration Act. The institute’s goal is to conduct managing research and development activities.
  2. The Kannur Weavers Service Center was set up, serves individual weavers and master weavers in Kerala Handloom Fabric Exporters.
  3. Institute of Handloom and Textile Technology was founded at Thottada, Kannur to provide training in handloom production processes such as weaving, dyeing etc.
  4. The headquarters of Kerala State Handloom Development Corporation (Hanveev) is also located in Kannur, as an agency to promote the handloom industry of the state through the distribution of raw materials and the marketing of goods.


Eight out of the country’s top 52 exporters are from Kannur district. Kannur is the only town in Kerala among the country’s 24 textile centres, identified by the Union’s Textile Ministry for supporting further growth in exports. Under Foreign Trade Policy, the government of India named Kannur the ‘Town of Export Excellence’ in 2004. This has elevated the status of Kannur handloom industry as it is the only town with such recognition from Kerala among the nine cities throughout the country.


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Author: Pallavi Bhagat






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