“LEAN AND MEAN” WEAVING MACHINE would aptly describe this handloom with a double sley picker mechanism designed by experts of the Philippine Textile Research Institute. The picker mechanism enables the loom to simultaneously weave two narrow fabrics with different designs and with selvedges on both sides of each fabric.
Majority of weavers in the country use the 40-inch width handloom to produce shawls, table runners, place mats, and other narrow width fashion items. But this preference apparently overlooks the fact that weaving 20-inch width fabric in a 40-inch loom inevitably results to 50 percent wastage of the loom’s productive capacity.
To overcome the deficiency, some weavers weave a 40-inch fabric open at the middle to be cut afterwards to produce two narrow-width fabrics. The cut portion is sewn to prevent unraveling. Obviously, the fabric will not come out looking like a customized hand-woven novelty but would look simply like a swatch taken out and sewn from a mechanically produced wider material.
The new PTRI-designed weaving machine could benefit no less than 1,500 handloom weavers in Regions I, XII, and CAR who still use the conventional throw and catch shuttle technique along with a production rate increase of as much as 160 percent. STP