The Indian Institute of Handloom Technology Salem is functioning under the administrative control of O/o the Development Commissioner for Handlooms, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. The institute is located in a lush green campus of about 40 acres popularly known as Foulke’s compound. Foulke’s compound has a long history of 218 years from the days of the Commercial Residency of the British Imperialism to the present day. The All India Handloom Board was constituted in the year 1957 under the chairpersonship of Mrs. PupulJayakar, the then Honorary Advisor (Handlooms). All India Handloom Board, formulated a scheme for the technological upgradation of handlooms and to cater trained technical personnel to the Handloom Industry. Hence, it was decided to set up two Institutes of Handloom Technology, one for the South and the other one for the North.
The committee, selected Salem for locating the Institute as it was the biggest Handloom hub in the South.
The Textile Institute at Washermanpet, Chennai under the control of the Madras Govt was taken over with staff and equipment, shifted to Salem and established as an INDIAN INSTITUTE OF HANDLOOM TECHNOLOGY IN THE YEAR 1960. THE SALEM INSTITUTE WAS FORMALLY INAUGURATED ON 11TH OCTOBER 1960 BY SHRI K KAMARAJ THE THEN HON’BLE CHIEF MINISTER OF TAMILNADU.
The year 1975 was an year of great significance for the Handloom Industry in general and to this Institute in particular. It was during this year (from 01 .07.1975) the Prime Minister’s 20 point Economic programme was launched. One of the points in the programme emphasized the development of the handloom industry. Subsequently, several schemes for the development of handloom Industry were initiated. A separate O/o Development Commissioner for Handlooms was established with Headquarters at UdhogBhavan, New Delhi. The institute is offering Diploma in Handloom and Textile Technology since 1960. A new UG course B.Tech Handloom & Textile Technology has been started in this institution from the academic year 2015-16 onwards.The course is approved by AICTE, New Delhi and affiliated to Anna University, Chennai. The course B.Tech Handloom & Textile Technology is a unique one which is offered only by this institution in India.