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NIFT with the active support from the Ministry of Textiles, Office of Development Commissioner (Handlooms) and Office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) has developed and implemented a new Craft Cluster Initiative Program which aims to provide the students with continuous exposure to the handloom and handicraft clusters, thus providing an opportunity for creative innovation and experimentation. Through this initiative, NIFT aims to reach out to the artisans and craftsmen at the grass root level. The artisans and craftsmen involved in the initiative will benefit through knowledge dissemination and exposure to urban markets and design intervention, innovative designs and linkages with new markets.

The Craft Cluster initiative at NIFT is designed with the objectives to sensitize NIFT students to the realities of the craft sector and give insight into regional sensibilities and diversities, resources and environment. Through this initiative, NIFT has been successful in creating a widespread awareness and sensitivity in assimilating crafts into fashion and vice-versa. The Craft Cluster Initiative program is envisaged to provide the students of NIFT systematic, continuous and regular exposure every year to the diversely rich and unique handlooms and handicrafts of India. Under this dynamic initiative, the students of NIFT work closely with the artisans and weavers in clusters of India and undertake activities like diagnostic study, design intervention and prototype development. The artisans and weavers are also invited to NIFT campuses for exposure workshops, demonstration workshops, exhibitions and craft bazaars where they get an opportunity to interact with the craft experts, upgrade their product and design knowledge and understand consumers in the urban markets.