Poetry in Weaving
In 2002, Mohammed Ali Khan left the service industry, entered the business world of textile, and launched Hand Touch, a company the serves as a broker between retailers in Dhaka, Bangladesh and weavers located throughout the country.
During the early days of Hand Touch, Mohammed employed only two workers. Sales for that year amounted to $3,300. For the first nine years, he primarily worked within the local Bangladesh textile market, by 2011 he entered the export market. Currently, Hand Touch exports woven textiles and handmade products to Japan, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. Annual sales have increased by one hundred fold to $300,000. To accomodate the growth of his business and the demand for products, he now has a staff of 29 and closely works with 300 weavers, 50 percent are comprised of women.
Working for a noble mission has always been Mohammed’s aim. Apart from acting as mediator and supplying boutiques with hand woven textiles, Mohammed aids in preserving handloom traditions as well providing a sustainable living for the weavers. He recruits both skilled and trains inexperienced weavers in using the handloom. “Hand loom textile has that appeal of being fashionable, eco-friendly and affordable and are in high demand. Unlike power loom, hand loom cannot produce hundred pieces of cloth at a time which preserves the possibility of exclusiveness in style and patterns,” said Mohammad in an interview with the Daily Dhaka Tribune.
Hand Touch will be attending for the first time NY NOW’s Artisan Resource from August 12-15 at the Jacob Javit’s Center in New York City. He will be exhibiting hand woven scarves and throws made from cotton, viscose and silk.