RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT IN THE HANDLOOM SECTOR

         Under the scheme Research projects directed towards technological up-gradation are approved. The agencies carrying out this Research project under this scheme include Weavers’ Service Centers, National Handloom Development Corporation, Indian Institutes of Technology, Handloom Export Promotion Council, State Handloom Development Corporations, State Apex Handloom Co-operative Societies engaged in Research and Development work including professional and voluntary organizations etc.

         Under this scheme various projects were sanctioned to different organizations for undertaking research and development activity in the field of design development, conducting comprehensive market survey, organizing management development programmes, conducting training-cum-workshops, undertaking research in loom modifications and loom accessories, revival of traditional designs, National design collection etc. The following are some of the important Research & Development projects taken up in the handloom sector.

1. Development of plastic parts for replacement of wooden parts by National Handloom Development Corporation Ltd.,    (NHDC) Lucknow;

    This project involved replacement of some of the wooden parts by plastic parts on handloom. This reduces cost and has a higher resale value. It improves the quality of products and productivity. It has the advantages of less wear and tear, less noise pollution, easy for maintenance, smooth running, lower break-down counts. The plastic parts developed under this project by NHDC were distributed to Weavers’ Service Center and Indian Institute of Handloom Technology at Varanasi and to some of the handloom weavers of Mangalpur, Harsos, Lotha, Manorathpur and Varanasi for field trial and as per the feed back received the performance report was found satisfactory. This project was implemented by National Handloom Development Corporation, Lucknow at a project cost of Rs.7.50 lakh sanctioned on 20.2.1997 and completed the same in May 2000.

2. Development of Electro-magnetic system to eliminate punched cards in conventional Jacquards by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi;

    The newly developed electronic device by IIT, Delhi is an electronic jacquard kit which works as a substitute of card cylinder and punched cards. The advantages of this newly developed kit are as under:

    · No limit to figuring capacities of design
    · Any design can be woven
    · Same E-PROM (Electronic Programme Repeater Memory) to be reused with change of design
    · No design error
    · Quick change of design
    · No throwing/wastage of cards
    · Less recurring cost
    · Economic on long term basis

    This project was implemented by Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi at a project cost of Rs.7.10 lakh sanctioned on 26.5.1998 and completed the same in March, 2001.

3. Manufacture and installation of modified looms (3 units of 8 sets) by Weavers’ Service Centre (WSC), Bangalore;

    WSC, Bangalore has developed the following three types of modified looms at a cost of Rs.7.52 lakh sanctioned on 31.3.1999 as per details given below:

a) Solid border korvai technique weaving loom (catch-card loom)
    Under this technique, a weaver can weave using a single fly shuttle instead of three throw shuttles. The advantages of this new technique are as under:

    · Increase in the rate of production
    · Labour saving (only one weaver is needed to operate in place of two weavers required in the conventional method)
    · Increase in the wage earnings of the weaver
    · Improvement in the quality of the product
    · Better perfection in the joining of the body weft with border weft

b) Double treadle jacquard loom

    The advantages of this new equipment when compared with a single treadle conventional jacquard are as under:

    · Easy operation
    · More production
    · More value addition with simple two treadle weaving
    · Less strain on the weaver
    · Standing/resting on one leg and operating with other leg for jacquard weaving are not required
    · Improved quality and convenience in weaving operation

c) Swivel loom for butti weaving
    For weaving “Butti” spot designs the weavers use “Thilli” system which is a very tedious, laborious, more time consuming activity which requires two weavers. The advantages of the newly developed gadget fitted on to a handloom for weaving butti designs are as under:

    · The attachment is more cost effective and comparable to semi automatic swivel weaving
    · Dispenses with additional weavers for butti design weaving
    · Comparatively faster weaving
    · Less fatigue/strain on the weaver
    · Cost of modification is less in the long run
    · More production with improved quality

    All the aforesaid modifications in the handlooms under this project were undertaken by Weavers’ Service Center, Bangalore at a cost of Rs.7.52 lakh sanctioned on 31.3.1999. One sets each of these looms were sent to Indian Institutes of Handloom Technology at Salem, Varanasi, Guwahati, Jodhpur and one set of the looms were also sent to Weavers’ Service Centers at Mumbai, Delhi, Guwahati and Chennai/Kancheepuram for field trial to popularize the same among the handloom weavers in their respective zones.

4. Development of Lappet weaving on handlooms by Weavers’ Service Centre (WSC), Jaipur;

    Lappet weaving is a special technique for ornamentation of fabric. This was confined to powerloom sector only. With the introduction of a new gadget developed for lappet weaving attached to a conventional handloom the weaver can produce about 5 to 6 meters of fabric with lappet design effects in a day as compared to weaving half meter of cloth with small butti effect design in a day.

    This project was implemented by Weavers’ Service Center, Jaipur at a cost of Rs.0.88 lakh sanctioned on 29.3.1996 and completed the same in October 1997.

5. Development of Extra Weft Butti weaving mechanism by Weavers’ Service Centre (WSC), Vijayawada.

    In conventional weaving, weavers have to create extra weft butti design using “Thillis” by hand. For this an additional hand is required. A gadget was developed under this project which can be fitted with the loom for producing extra weft butti designs. The advantages are as under:

    · Increase in production 4 to 5 times
    · Increase in wage earnings
    · Improvement in economic status of the weavers
    · Easy to operate and reduced strain on the weaver
    · The device can be attached to any existing loom without any modification
    · Cost effective

    This project was implemented by Weavers’ Service Center, Vijayawada at a cost of Rs.0.65 lakh sanctioned on 29.3.1996 and completed the same in June 2001. The above said equipment was demonstrated in one of the Societies in Krishna District (Andhra Pradesh) during the training of weavers under Project Package Scheme. Two more sets are kept ready to introduce the same in M/s. Ganapathi Weavers’ Co-operative Production and Sales Society Limited, Angara in East Godavari District and M/s. Challapalli Weavers’ Co-operative Production and Sales Society Ltd., Challapalli in Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh.