With temperature dipped many notches below the freezing point in Manali, sale of Kulluvi shawls, a must purchase souvenir for tourists, have increased up to 3,000 shawls every day.
According to a data from different shawl industries in Kullu, on an average, around 1,500 to 2,000 shawls were being sold between November and mid December every day but an increase in sale by 50% is being noticed since last two weeks. Experts say it could be the effect of cold that shawl industry is witnessing good market despite off-season. Kullu district has over 50 shawl industries and 150 outlets. But tourists prefer purchasing them directly from the industries to ensure genuineness and reasonable price.
General manager of Trishla shawl industry Harish Gupta said that tourists are loving shopping inside the industry where they can see our weavers weaving the original shawls with local material. “Outlets have varieties of shawls and most of them are made in factories outside the state. Kulluvi shawls have their unique embroidery and style which could only be prepared with real hands. Pure wool shawls are in great demand,” he added.
Given the market competition, weavers have dropped the prices of shawls. One can purchase a shawl even for Rs 84 from the industry. A fully designed shawl is available up to Rs 1,500. Similarly, Kulluvi caps are in great demand these days which are available for Rs 25 to Rs 250. Weavers say this year they have noticed a good rise in demand for hand-woven wool socks. Colourful bordered woollen muffler was another tourist attraction in Kullu.
“Pure wool and angora shawls are the first choice of tourists,” sales manager of Hill shawls industry Harpreet Singh said adding that Kullu is selling more than 3,000 shawls every day. “Walking on streets while wrapping around the colourful Kulluvi shawl is a new fashion. Weavers keep on experimenting with new colours and designs so as to meet the demand of every age group according to fashion.”
Thousands of shawls have been exported to different countries in past few years and the demand is increasing every year. France is the main customer of Kulluvi shawls for many years. Since Kulluvi caps are presented to skiers and organizers in Japan, Italy, France and many other countries during different occasions, caps are gaining popularity and weavers are having more demands for them.