Blending Lustre of Silk and Power of Authenticity

Kasavukada

Thiruvananthapuram: Kasavukada (www.kasavukadaonline.com), one of Kerala’s biggest privately-owned traditional handloom enterprises, is on a major expansion mode. According to S Suseelan, Managing Partner, Kasavukada has plans to open four more showrooms in Kerala within a year and launch a premium collection of Mundu branded as ‘Prowdi’.

Over the last 35 years, Kasavukada has been campaigning rigourously for promoting authentic handloom garments

The company now has ten showrooms across the State – two in Kochi, three in Kozhikode and one each in Alappuzha, Kottayam, Thrissur, Thalassery and Thiruvananthapuram. The tenth showroom was launched in Alappuzha recently. Kasavukada also offers tailoring service for stitching gents’ shirts at its men’s wear outlets in Kochi and Kozhikode. Kasavukada’s Kochi showroom is now into its 25th year of functioning. The second showroom in Thiruvananthapuram will be set up at the upcoming Mall of Travancore at Chackai. It is also planning one more showroom in Malabar region.

“Over the last 35 years, we have been rigourously promoting authentic handloom garments. We were the first private handloom company to go for branding and mount advertisement campaigns. All along, it has been a continuous struggle to ensure that people do not get cheated by fake products. It is important that we have enough showrooms across the State so that original handloom garments are easily and readily available for customers. In two years, we will have presence in all districts of Kerala,” says Suseelan, at Kasavukada’s procurement centre at Peringammala in Thiruvananthapuram.

Currently, around 5,000 weavers are associated with Kasavukada. “We have identified weavers and looms with certain reed and pick to create exclusive products for Kasavukada. Majority of them are in Balaramapuram region, the cradle of handloom. We also engage weavers at Kuthampally in Thrissur district apart from sourcing products from handloom societies in these regions,” he says.

According to Suseelan, powerloom products are still being marketed as handloom ones at cheaper price. “Successive governments are coming up with various schemes to promote the sector. But, neither the weavers are getting the benefit nor are they able to promote original handloom in a big way. Customers should only go for garments bearing ‘handloom mark’, which guarantees their genuineness,” he adds. Among handloom products, Mundu has the highest demand in Kerala while the sales turnover would be higher for sarees. “We sell Mundu the most. It is this market potential that the big powerloom-based garment companies are vying to tap in Kerala. They market it as pure cotton products. But the fact is that machine weaving is hardly possible without adding a minimum quantity of polyster with cotton. Their products are cheaper than handlooms and yet they get higher margin.

However, I can vouch for you that nothing is better for our skin than authentic hand-woven garments,” explains Suseelan, who hails from a traditional weaving family. Suseelan’s wife S Vanaja is the proprietor of the company while his sons – Nandhu V S and Chandhu V S – are the Managing Partners.

“I grew up seeing my parents working on the loom in my home. Weaving has been a part of my life right from childhood days. And hence, I would strive to promote original handloom till my last breath,” Suseelan signs off.