Modernisation of Handlooms for Silk Saree Weaving: A Techno-Economic Analysis

Research is being carried out in all spheres of mechanism to reduce the human drudgery by modernizing the mechanism and adopting the new technology time to time. In weaving industry, the technological modernisation has started from loin loom - throw shuttle weaving, to shuttle less weaving and multiphase weaving technology. In fact, throw shuttle weaving loom is the true handloom. The modernisation of the handloom had started, the day when the invention of fly shuttle started.

During the past two decades, in many silk hand loom clusters, the pit looms used for silk saree weaving have been totally modernized with many technical developments by dispensing the old techniques used in preparatory, jacquard weaving and designing processes. The techno- economics of modernisation of handlooms for silk saree weaving is studied by collecting the technical and economical details of different handloom varieties woven in four villages in Tamil Nadu, namely Thiruvalam (near Vellore), Thirumalpur (near Kancheepuram), Athimalaipattu (near Arni) and Onnupuram (near Arni). The different outcome of the study is compared to know the present social status of the weavers.

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This article was originally published in the Textile Review magazine, May 2013 issue, published by Saket Projects Limited, Ahmedabad.

About the Authors:

R.G. Panneerselvam is the Director of Indian Institute of Handloom Technology at Varanasi (UP).

L. Rathakrishnan is the Professor in RIM, Gandhigram Rural Institute at Gandhigram (TN).