Though the history of weavers’ cooperative dates back to the first quarter of 20th century, strictly speaking serious efforts were made in the year 1934-35 to bring large number of weavers in Tamilnadu under the cooperative fold to strengthen entire handloom sector.
Today, in Tamilnadu, out of 4.27 lakh handlooms, 2.83 Lakh handlooms are in cooperative fold producing about Rs.450 Crore worth of handloom cloth. All these weavers in the State have been organized through 1354 handloom weavers’ cooperative societies. Since all these societies were scattered and were unable to market their handloom products individually, formation of a state level apex-marketing cooperative was considered necessary to market procured handloom products through the network of outlets in and outside of Tamilnadu thus providing ensured marketing support. It is only in this context, the Tamilnadu Handloom Weavers’ Cooperative Society Limited, popularly known as “ Cooptex” was established in 1935. Besides, marketing of handloom products, Cooptex also procure yarn from 14 Coop. Spinning Mills of the State and also from the National Handlooms Development Corporation to supply to member societies.
Cooptex is the largest apex handloom weavers’ cooperative society in India promoting handloom industry and the interest of cooperative weavers on a commercially viable manner. Its main functions are – supply of raw material (yarn), organization of production according to the needs and taste of market, procurement of stock from handloom weavers’ cooperative societies and marketing of those products through its effective network of shops throughout the country. It also provides technical and financial help to the weavers.