Innovation in Indian Handloom Weaving

Annapurna Mamidipudi*, Wiebe E. Bijker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Handloom weaving is the second most important livelihood in rural India after farming. Improving handloom technologies and practices thus will directly affect the lives of millions of Indians, and this is similar for many other communities in the global South and East. By analyzing handloom weaving as a socio-technology, we will show how weaving communities are constantly innovating their technologies, designs, markets, and social organization-often without calling it innovation. This demonstration of innovation in handloom contradicts the received image of handloom as a pre-modern and traditional craft that is unsustainable in current societies and that one should strive to eliminate: by mechanization and/or by putting it into a museum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-545
Number of pages37
JournalTechnology and Culture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018




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