Our Story

Banka, in Awadhi, means a bully or brave. Others derive the name from ban, meaning wood or jungle, and interpret Barabanki as the twelve shares of jungle. With this interesting history in mind, Barabanki district has been given the unique name of Baank-e-Loom..

Barabanki, also known as the ‘Entrance to Poorvancha’, is 29 kilometres from Lucknow, the state capital of Uttar Pradesh. Saidanpur is a village in Barabanki district is located at a distance of 55 kilometres, east of Lucknow — the closest major city. There is a total population of about 8,000 people, including 5,000 voters, in this village. Among these, 200 are weaver families. From making gamchas and stoles to stitching clothes and zari embroidery, the village is a rich artisan cluster with poor wages. Over the years, the design and colour combinations have changed but they haven’t been able to improve the market price per mostly because of competition from the power looms in the region.

Our vision is to protect the interest of weavers and protect handloom in the region in the current scenario of mechanization. Weavers of Saidanpur have been involved with weaving in the last five generations. They believe that handloom brings them income and is the only skill that they have known. We aspire to bring the complex craft of weaving and skill of the weavers in the mainstream market by developing entrepreneurial spirit among them.

null

Community Information and Resource Centre (CIRC):

CIRC in Saidanpur is a community-driven; bottom-up platforms that seek to bridge the digital divide and transform information-dark communities into information-empowered communities. It is enabled with computers, cameras, printers, projectors, scanners, internet, wi-fi and broadband, run by enthusiastic, young and passionate community members who understand the meaning of information and how it can empower communities of all class and cadre through all possible means like digital literacy, ICT skills, employable skills, English, entertainment, health, agriculture, entrepreneurship, RTI, e-governance and so on.

null

Digital Designing and Archiving

With more than 50,000 weavers in the Barabanki district, only a few used graphs in order to translate their designs accurately on the loom. Weavers of Barabanki face tough competition from mechanized designs on power loom. In order to bring in accuracy to handloom and yet maintaining the authenticity, the CIRC in Saidanpur hosts ‘digital designing classes’ for young weavers.
Saidanpur is also home to many rural livelihood occupants like weavers, zardozi artisans, carpenters etc. We have been able to archive more than 100 traditional designs, passed from over five generations into our digital archive bank.

null

Capacity Building and Skilling

Apart digital literacy and information, Baank-e-loom also acts as an agent to build capacities of communities in the region. Numbers of workshops are organized at the center revolving around issues like menstrual health, skill development, environment consciousness in collaboration with other organizations and government bodies.

null

Entrepreneurship Development

One of our key deliverable is to strengthen small scale village enterprises and make it ‘glocal’- local economies, recognized on global platforms. With fast pacing industrial development, the essences of rural livelihoods are often lost. With Baank-e-loom, we are building capacities of weavers, artisans, craftsmen, farmers and many other small scale businesses to flourish.

null

Wireless for Community

Wireless Network for Communities (W4C) provides last mile connectivity to people in Saidanpur, enabling them to stay connected worldwide. Wireless specifically in weaving clusters provides weavers a scope to develop their businesses online through e-commerce and social media. It also provides an easy access to information pertaining to government support, market trends, designing ideas etc. Baank-e-loom acts as a facilitator in transitioning skillful weavers from mere daily wage earners to self-dependent entrepreneurs through various means.

null

Handloom Tourism

Saidanpur holds a valuable place in t history of Awadh. Baank-e-loom is situated in a 150-year-old haweli, constructed in typical Awadhi style surrounded by many traces of Nawabi culture. With more than 200 years old architecture, holding stories of the era bygone, visiting Saidanpur is a treat to any art and culture enthusiast.

Our Products

Saidanpur village in Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh holds a valuable place in the history of Awadh. Project Baank-e-Loom runs from a 150-year old Haweli in this village that was constructed in the typical Awadhi style, surrounded by many traces of Nawabi culture. The village is home to around 50,000 weavers who make cotton gamchas. Arabi rumaal and stoles, and are known for zari embroidery. Sticking to the conventional methods of weaving and designing, there has been little improvement in the patterns, techniques or efficiency. However, with DEF’s intervention under DCDP, the weavers have started using graphs to translate their designs accurately on the loom, improving their efficiency and reducing the exploitation at the hands of master weavers. Additionally, digital interventions have also allowed for product diversification and digital marketing of stoles and dupattas adorned with contemporary designs have been added to the product line.

Conscious Clothing

Every product is hand woven in weaving households of Saidanpur, strengthening livelihoods of the weavers and protecting the age of old art of weaving.

Skillfully Crafted

The weavers in the region have been crafting loving fabric since time immemorial. One piece of fabric often requires 6 hours of labour and concentration. The products are trendily designed and stylized by the weavers themselves.

Lovingly Hand woven

All products are 100 per cent cotton, hand woven on a pit loom in Saidanpur. Weavers love their looms, by supporting Baank-e-loom you are providing them with strength to keep creating handmade fabrics.

Comfort and Quality

Pure cotton is traditionally known for comfort and ease. Cotton helps you breathe and has higher absorbency than any other fiber

Gallery
Publications
Videos