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Traditional Linen Fabrics Weaving and Handloom Cluster of Bhagalpur, India

In-depth study into Traditional Bhagalpur Linen Fabric Weaving and Handlooms

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This guide explores traditional craft clusters from Bhagalpur, India, its organization, working, peculiar methods of weaving, handloom processes, and the industry constraints, in conjunction with textile and allied products.

Handloom Artisan’s Profile

The artisan weaver named Gulam Quadir, is one of the oldest member in his family. At 41 years of age, he is a traditional and experienced weaver who has 30 years of weaving experience. Together with his wife and children he lives in Naya Tola, Hussainabad, Bhagalpur.

handloom artisan
Gulam Quadir


Gulam Quadir started the weaving work from his childhood only and now specializes in weaves such as linen, cotton, blends of linen and fancy yarn, blends of linen and cotton and make products such as home furnishing products, mufflers, sarees, shirts etc.

He weaves 3-4m of plain weave linen per day. His annual income from weaving is around 55-60k till 2019 which has now reduced to 10-15k due to scarcity of work due to pandemic which is not sufficient for his livelihood of and his family.

Till 1989 their work and buisuness was going great but after 1989 there was sudden drop in their work orders. The number of work order and wages the weaver receives now is inconsistent and not sufficient. This is probably due to the drop in the demand of handloom made fabrics in the era of cheap and widespread power loom fabric.

However the artisan Gulam Quadir applied and wrote an application to WSC(weavers service centre) which has been accepted and approved and he is about to began his jackquard training which will help him in developing more skills and techniques of weaving.

Present Scenario

handloom weaver

The Linen loom business in Asian nation encompasses a long tradition of wonderful acquisition, representing and conserving the colourful Indian culture. Indian artists are currently distinguished worldwide for their hand spinning, weaving and printing class. The operations of this business are primarily house primarily based, whereby varied members of the family place in joint efforts for production.

These activities are unfold across thousands of cities and villages of the country and involve RtransSfer of skills from one generation to consequent. the arena involves sizable amount of artisans from  rural and semi-urban areas, most of that are ladies and folks from economically under privileged teams. A number of strengths of this business are convenience of low cost and over abundant labour, use of native resources, low capital investment, distinctive acquisition in producing of the product and increasing appreciation by international customers. It’s necessary to notice that despite such distinctive characteristics, the business includes a deficient proportion of Indian exports and international market, so business for efforts to market and channelize the offerings of the business to faucet its hidden potential.

The strength of the loom sector lies in its singularity, flexibility of production, openness to innova- tions, ability to buyers’ demand and wealth of its tradition. However, remains facing varied issues and challenges that are stifling its growth and impacting its property. Tho’ the govt. has taken measures towards the event of the arena and improvement of its productivity and promoting, weavers are still facing support crisis.

Therefore, to be ready to implement corrective measures to uplift the arena, it’s necessary to initial determine the issues also because the weaknesses of the loom business. There are a couple of key areas that need attention if the expansion and development of this sector is to be reinforced. we tend to gift below a number of the problems and challenges that are moon-faced by the loom sector in Asian nation.

Shortage of inputs and problem of working capital

The high prices of inputs like yarn, cotton, silk, art silk, chemicals & dyes and zari and irregular offer of assets affects the operations and continuity of the business thereby resulting in a decline within the production of loom product. the foremost raw materials have low yield that creates hurdles in production designing and aggravates the matter thanks to lack of economies of scale.

Lack of credit

Shortage of credit facilities and pricey price of getting credit may be a key concern for loom sec- tor. Also, lack of economic skill will increase credit connected challenges among the weavers. As per the Third loom Census, 44.6% of weavers relied on master weaver for the supply of credit and nearly thirteen.4% relied on the cash lenders. It absolutely was conjointly specified that sole- ly fourteen.8% of loom weavers had access to institutionalized sources of credit. Also, majority of the weavers notice it tough to satisfy their credit desires on affordable terms as they’re unable to satisfactorily offer adequate security to banks and alternative monetary establishments. This limits their ability to upgrade their looms or purchase new looms.

Marketing Issues

Some of the issues relating to the low volume of sale of finished loom product stem from the very fact that weavers lack awareness and knowledge on client preferences, customers square measure unable to differentiate between the product made from the ability loom sector versus those made from the handlooms, promotional campaigns aren’t sustained over time to push the product, there square measure sometimes inconsistency in quality of the merchandise further- more as inefficiencies within the offer chain.

Greater competition from power looms and mill sector

The modernization of the textile business with increased usage of subtle technology in produc- tion of material has crystal rectifier to serious threat to the standard loom business. Varied prod- uct ranges, low prices, prime quality, superior and standardized product offered by trendy textile business square measure in larger demand by the shoppers relative to the pricey loom article . clothing.

Technological backwardness

The looms deployed within the production of loom product square measure recent, tired and unproductive that need additional labour to control. This will increase the worth of the ultimate product and renders the business non competitive relative to its loom counterparts.

Working Condition

health and safetyHealth and Safety

Since they work on pit looms so they work have to constantly bend while working. This in long turn can cause serious back injuries. Also workers are not provided with any regular health checkups. There is no evacuation plan in case there is a fire hazard. Also the work place is cluttered which will make it difficult for the family members to get out of the work place in case of any fire emergency.

arrangements of workplaceArrangement of Workplace

There is a single room where all the processes of weaving are carried out. There is no separate place for keeping raw materials, samples or finished products. Everything is kept in a very unorganized way. Tools for repairing are also not kept separately.


These weavers have been into this profession for generations. They do not have any separate workplace. They have looms in their homes and entire family is involved in this business. When they buy a plot; they divide it into two sections: one for construction of house and another for installation of looms. During our interaction with weaver Gulam Quadir, he said “we first separate our work space whenever we buy a plot. We keep appropriate space for setting up looms then construct our house. It’s ok if our houses are small but we don’t compromise with the space that is required for installation of loom.”

working hoursWorking hours and Wages

Working hours and wages of weavers are not fixed. They are paid per meter. When they have good amount of work, they work for very long hours even at night. Also when there is ample work they get decent money but when there is lack of work they do not get any money. Work and wage in this sector is very uncertain.

ventilation and lightingVentilation and Lighting

Working conditions under which these weavers work is very poor. They don’t even have fans installed in their work place. There is only one bulb in their room which is not sufficient for a process like weaving. At times when they have a lot of order and they have to work at night; they have to use torches for additional light.


The pricing of weaved material varies from one weaver to other because of the designs and complexity and the process of deciding the price is done by the suppliers and the weavers.


The cost for dyeing the linen yarns depend upon the shades of colour used for dyeing. The price for darker colour shade is higher as compared to lighter shade.  Average rate varies from ₹150 – ₹200/Kg.


Weavers set the price of weaving for different orders received. The price depends on the design complexity given to them. Easy design patterns are charged less as compared to difficult ones.

Plain weave costs around ₹40 and complex designs are charged from ₹50 – ₹100.


After finishing is done on fabric, it is sent for packaging. Packaging is done by weavers themselves. Plastic rods of different diameters are used on which fabric is rolled. After that this roll is packed under a plastic bag and sent to the mahajans. If the fabric is to be exported out of India; then it is packed according to the buyers instructions.

What is (Strength) (Weakness) (Opportunities) & (Threats) Analysis?

swot analysis

Swot analysis in an analytical and strategic approach wherein the responsible decode the various aspects of a business in order to understand the vital fundamentals which will ultimately help the business to grow by analyzing as the name suggests the strength, weakness, the opportunities which are there for the organization and the threats it can face so that it can ultimately help a business to grow steadily in any eventualities.


One of the biggest strength of the setups producing the Bhagalpuri Linen is that their style, variety of product and most of the other aspects which are related to their products are completely unique in nature. This means that whatever has been produced by them is completely exclusive and can only be procured from none other than the producer themselves. Nowadays we also learned that faculties of our NIFT, Patna are also helping the producers to keep up with the ever changing demand by telling the basics of designing and in that way these producers are improvising over it every day to create new design all by themselves which gives them a huge upper hand in terms of strengths.

  1. Large skilled, semi-skilled work force in the
  2. Hourly labor cost less than most of the other competitors and have low product
  3. Little or no demand for
  4. Diversified products at different clusters of
  5. Important products are covered under IPR protection by
  6. Continuous government care for the weavers and very large co-operative base in the
  7. Cluster Development Program and various developmental schemes in PPP
  8. Resistant to industrial set back
  9. A widely recognized market and an attractive customer
  10. Cost advantages
  11. Product innovation skills
  12. Indian Handloom Industry is an Independent & Self-Reliant
  13. Abundant Raw Material availability that helps industry to control costs and reduces the lead- time across the operation.
  14. Availability of Low Cost and Skilled Manpower provides competitive advantage to
  15. India has great advantage in Spinning Sector and has a presence in all process of operation and value chain.
  16. India is one of the largest exporters of Yarn in international
  17. Industry has large and diversified segments that provide wide variety of
  18. Exclusive products with traditional technology not replicable in power


The weakness with these manufactures is generally related to the demand for these types of product. As we move forward with time the newer generations are forgetting their traditions, culture etc and this tradition is the basic fundamental on which these producers can thrive on. Also during this pandemic they saw a huge drop in demand which further made them produce on smaller scale with much lower profit margins to work with, another problem as per the discussion we came to know that they always had this complaint of the financial assistant which has been provided to them are very minimal in nature and the lack of initiatives such as properly advertising their craft to the public and other different steps is not being taken care of by those responsible.

  1. Inadequate and qualitative raw material provision to weavers through out year
  2. Lack of market intelligence, managerial talent and TQM system
  3. No or poor standardization for measurement of quality, cost and overheads
  4. Slow process on product diversification and technical innovations, mechanization of laborious
  5. Use of hazardous banned chemicals in some pockets
  6. Rigidity of weavers to take a change over on existing product
  7. Large number of non-viable organizations in handloom sector
  8. No control on overheads, pricing, heavy inventory, damaged stocks etc
  9. No BEP analysis and maintaining MIS
  10. No code of ethics for the mass engaged in the industry and mode of accountability
  11. Government only takes care for 30% of weavers under co-operative fold
  12. Interference by political systems
  13. No clean strategies direction
  14. Obsolete facilities
  15. Higher overall unit cost relative to key completers
  16. Subpar profitability, no cost control measures
  17. Falling behind rivals in putting e commerce capabilities and strategies in
  18. Weak brand image or
  19. Weaker dealer network than key rivals
  20. Lack of adequate global distribution capability
  21. Short on Financial resources to fund promising strategic
  22. Lower Productivity in various


The weavers of Bhagalpuri Linen have many opportunities on which they can cling on and make the most out of it. The most favourable thing which presents a huge opportunity to these weavers is the government backing and the schemes from which they can reap the benefits from. Similarly as discussed above that there products are completely unique in nature and is produced locally then the demand which will arise because of proper marketing and advertising, then that demand is going to be fulfilled by these weavers only in the form of more order hence this will lead to more work, more job opportunities created locally and ultimately allowing them to deal with flexible profit margins from the buyers while giving them the chance to expand their units.

  1. Good domestic market and scope for export market
  2. Government policies in favor of the sector
  3. Institutional finance through NABARD
  4. Implementation of Cluster Development Program in most of the handloom clusters across the country covering master weavers and weavers beyond co-operative fold
  5. Service through WSC, IIHT, NHDC, Textile Committee and HEPC etc
  6. Opening of Banks for Raw materials, Designs, Apparel park etc
  7. Implementation of welfare schemes like, Work-shed, MGBBY, HIS etc
  8. Formulation of New Textiles policies and Handloom reservation Act
  9. Attention of government on non-tariff barriers like, eco-friendly regulations, defining work ethics, labor ethics including minimum wages act
  10. Serving additional customer
  11. Expanding its product live to meet the broader
  12. Range of customer
  13. Using the internet and e commerce technologies to dramatically cut
  14. Opening to take market share away from
  15. Acquisition of rival firms with attractive technological
  16. Product development and Diversification to provide global
  17. Increased not reusable Income and Purchasing Power of Indian Customer open New Market
  18. Emerging Retail Industry and Malls provide huge opportunities for the clothes, handiwork and other segments of the
  19. Greater Investment and FDI opportunities are


Meanwhile there are huge strengths and opportunities for these weavers but at the same time these weavers are also agitated by the fact that they do not receive their payment on time on most of the occasions or they only receive a partial payment on some instances, due to this the weavers are always held in contempt whether to continue this business where there are so much of problems without any backing from anyone, in a lot of instances the most of the profits are taken by the Mahajans or the suppliers whereas the laborious and the most of part of the hard work is done by them and they are forced to operate on such bleak profit margins, because of this whole situation they don’t want their future generations to carry on in this line of work which puts this whole culture/ tradition in an imminent risk and this something which needs to be taken care of.

  1. Migration of weavers to other trades
  2. Imitation of products, design by composite and power loom industry
  3. Import of goods at cheaper price after globalization
  4. Resistance in adopting eco-friendly process
  5. 99% of rural producers are not aware of impact on LPG (Liberalization, Privatilisation and Globalization)
  6. Decrease in per capita cloth consumption
  7. Income level of weavers is going lower day by day
  8. Closure of government rebate schemes
  9. Poor level of cohesion among rural institutions
  10. Competition from other developing countries, especially
  11. Continuous Quality Improvement is need of the hour as there are different demand patterns
  12. all over the
  13. Elimination of Quota system will lead to fluctuations in Export
  14. Threat for Traditional Market for Power loom and Handloom Products and forcing them for product
  15. Geographical
  16. International labor and Environmental
  17. To balance the demand and
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