Union Textiles Minister, Smriti Zubin Irani, inaugurated the renovated Handloom Haat in New Delhi. She also launched three projects of NIFT – VisionNXT – Trend Forecasting Initiative, Indian Textiles and Craft Repository and Design Innovation and Incubation. The Haat at Janpath in New Delhi has been set up by Ministry of Textiles to provide marketing opportunities to authentic handloom products from various States, PSUs and cooperative societies. Its main objective is to provide infrastructure support to handloom agencies to augment their sales of handloom products and to showcase the exquisite variety of handloom products produced all over the country. Textiles Minister also released a booklet – World Handmade Textile Biennales on this occasion.
Speaking on this occasion, Smriti Zubin Irani said that this is an effort to recreate history and revive the history of art. She said the NIFT will accomplish their job through artificial intelligence. The Textiles Minister further said that the virtual museum will not only help industry and research scholars but also carry forward the knowledge to the next generation. MoS Textiles, Ajay Tamta, also spoke on this occasion.
Project related to trend innovation lab ‘VisionNxt’ initiative being set up by NIFT in the building will create an indigenous fashion forecasting service that endeavours to design seasonal directions for our country. The trend forecasting service would be aligned to our national and sub-national socio-cultural constructs and market requirements.
The proposed service is based on the premise that fashion is a dynamic industry, depending on seasonal trends and forecast to predict its future direction. It will help handloom sector in production of handloom products as per market requirement in terms of trends, design and colour forecast. The project of Indian Textiles and Craft Repository Initiative of NIFT is supported by the DC Handlooms and the DC Handicrafts, Ministry of Textiles. The body of textile and craft knowledge generated through the Craft Cluster Initiative will be channeled into a national knowledge portal titled Indian Textile & Craft Repository.
This repository will also house the virtual registers of the textiles and crafts resources, which are available in the Weaver Service Centres, the Crafts Museums, similar institutions and private collections. The repository will develop a virtual museum of textiles, and textile crafts, a designer archive, indigenous case studies, and also act as aggregator of online information on related research.
Virtual museum will be set up having digitised resource of traditional archived pieces from museums, resource centres, weavers’ service centres. It will also have contemporary pieces and collections from designers, fashion archives. This will help in easy sourcing of designs. Design Innovation and Incubation (DII) is intended to support young entrepreneurs, artisans, start-ups, NIFT alumni and students. The DII would also facilitate collaborations relevant for business development. The target beneficiaries include NIFT alumni and students who would like to start entrepreneurial ventures as well as candidates who have not been a part of NIFT but wish to take up NIFT incubation support.
It has been decided to set up incubation facilities (Regional Incubators) in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru campuses of NIFT in the following areas: Textile for Apparel, Home & spaces (Delhi), Smart wearable systems (Bengaluru), Fashion and Lifestyle accessories (Bengaluru), Apparel including Athleisure and Activewear (Mumbai). The three locations have been proposed keeping in view the presence of industry, advisors, mentors and experienced NIFT faculty.