Yarn bank set up to help weavers in crisis

Yarn bank set up to help weavers in crisis

A silk weaver at a unit in Chickpet. DH Photo/Prarthan D R

A yarn bank has been set up at the Mysore Powerloom Silk Manufacturers Cooperative Society on Avenue Road to benefit the state’s weavers.

The weavers are reeling under severe shortage and fluctuating prices of yarn. The new yarn bank comes as a huge relief for thousands of weavers in and around Bengaluru. The bank, regardless of the price rise in the open market and the menace of middlemen, ensures a steady supply of yarn to the weavers from southern Karnataka.

The bank, with aid from the Centre, will supply pure silk yarn and zari to weavers who subscribe. Currently, the weavers have to source yarn locally through agents and wholesalers.

“It was a daunting task for weavers as the brokers rigged prices. Adding to the woes, rising costs of cotton and related petrochemicals left the prices fluctuating,” explained M Lakshminarayana, president of the cooperative society.

The bank will purchase yarn at the wholesale rate from producers with a corpus instituted by the Centre and a special purpose vehicle (SPV). “All the subscribing weavers will be provided yarn at reasonable rates to sustain production,” he said. The power loom industry supplies about 60% of the cloth requirement at the national level. Karnataka has about 1,20,000 power looms weaving silk and cotton. Most power looms are based in Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural and Tumakuru districts, with only a few in northern Karnataka.

While the bank, the first-of-its-kind in Karnataka, sources its yarn from various sources, art silk is imported from China.

Besides, a considerable quantity of yarn is procured from Surat and Mumbai too. Considering the requirement of silk saree weavers, yarn from traditional markets like Ramanagara and Channapatna are also procured.

According to the society, several weavers have already registered at the bank. They are now benefiting from a steady and timely supply of yarn.