BS (Social Sciences & Liberal Arts)

Faculty / School

School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS)


Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Date of Award

Fall 2023

Date of Submission



Dr. Abdul Haque Chang, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences

Project Type

SSLA Culminating Experience

Access Type

Restricted Access


This ethnographic research explores the intricate relationship between power looms and the identity and livelihoods of handloom weavers in Banaras and Karachi, with a specific focus on handwoven fabrics. The study investigates the impact of industry evolution on the weavers, emphasizing changing identities, exploitative labor practices, and variations in cloth production between handloom and power loom operations. Through in-depth interviews of weavers and merchants, field visits, and a comprehensive survey of 100 weavers, this paper examines the socio-economic challenges they face. The research also delves into distinctions between handloom and power loom-produced cloth, specifically examining Banarsi silk fabrics. It underscores the urgent need for targeted support, policy interventions, and collective efforts to address handloom weavers' socio-economic challenges in Banaras and Karachi while preserving their cultural heritage and empowering them amidst modernization.


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