Guwahati: Once known for weaving magic, the artisans of the silk town of Sualkuchi in Assam have fallen on bad days unable to face competition from modern technology.
The silk woven in the town, situated some 35 kms from here on the banks on Brahmaputra, was once a craze not only in the country, but various parts of the world, particularly the European market.
With the fast-growing modern weaving techniques having revolutionized the industry in other centres where silk production had flourished, the produce of the Sualkuchi town, depending on age-old and traditional methods of weaving, started to see its downfall.
Considering the potential of the industry, the authorities of Kamrup district in Assam decided to set up a fashion technology institute in collaboration with the North Eastern Council (NEC) and National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Kolkata.
The Sualkuchi Institute of Fashion Technology (SIFT) is providing a common platform for fashion and design education, research and training.
Weavers here have hardly been successful in finding a market for the products. According to officials, resistance to using modern technology was the main reason behind the decline. Despite demands for silk attires in the European market, the weavers failed to meet the growing demand due to technological stagnation and lack of interest to introduce innovations.