Handloom Vs. Powerloom

India has always been at the forefront of the textile industry, known for its impeccable craftsmanship. There is a need for preserving this craft because loom weaving is the second largest sector in India in terms of providing employment after agriculture. Handloom production is also eco-friendly, has a small carbon footprint and is easy as well as inexpensive to install & operate. Tribe Of Textiles has been established with the intention of promoting authentic & indigenous handloom weaves and our effort is to encourage the growth of the handloom sector in remote parts of the country.

A Tantee or Indian weaver; an etching by Sir Charles D'Oyly, 1827

A Tantee or Indian weaver; an etching by Sir Charles D'Oyly, 1827

However, the good old manually operated weaving industry is facing serious roadblocks today. Currently handloom products are experiencing an existential challenge against encroaching power loom products. There is tremendous competition in the textile market between the mill-made or power loom fabrics versus handloom fabrics. What once dominated the textile industry has been stunted by the advancement of the technological era. 

So what’s the big difference, you ask? Handloom fabrics differ from the power loom ones in terms of uniformity of thread spacing, crimp evenness, etc. Despite the effort and time involved in crafting a single product, customers expect a low price. This demand has accelerated the counterfeit market & according to a report, 70% of the fabrics sold as handloom are actually made on power looms. Mechanisation of processes has led to a flood of fake handlooms and handicrafts in Indian markets & this results in customers paying far more for an unoriginal product. We’ve listed out some key differences & clues below that will enable you to identify authentic handloom products.


The handloom industry has an advantage of flexibility of small production quantities, comparatively low initial investments & adaptability to market requirements. We all love handloom products for its quality, durability, softness & craftsmanship. If you’re looking to invest in quality products, a good practice is to buy from brands that follow Fair Trade norms. At Tribe Of Textiles, we take this practise seriously to ensure that our family of handloom artisans are aptly compensated for their meticulous art in due time. Our aim is to encourage these talented makers to preserve & practise their craft by providing them with a steady income through regular orders. It takes serious effort & we are committed to this vision.

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