The IIT-G study proposes the management of the silk design ‘Eri’ & ‘Muga’

Guwahati: Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, conducted extensive field research to ‘Eri‘ and ‘Muga‘silk from the point of view of design management. Being among the first reports of this type in the sector, the final report has already been accepted by the consultants of the World Bank.

Entitled “Diagnostic Study on Weaver’s Needs Regarding Eri and Muga Silk”, the research result of this study will play an important role in formulating the development strategy in this sector.

The Assam Rural Infrastructure and Agricultural Services Corporation (ARIAS) is keen to implement the strategies proposed in the report. The project is seen as a strategic contribution of the Design Department, IIT-G, to the socio-economic development of Assam.

The study was conducted by Dr Pratul Ch. Of IIT Guwahati. Kalita, associate professor, Department of Design, and Prof. Amarendra Kumar Das, Department of Design.

The survey, which involved 1,282 weavers, was conducted using primary data collected through a structured questionnaire intended for weavers, vendors, cluster designers, dyers and yarn suppliers. The study reached weavers in eight districts: Jorhat, Kamrup, Majuli, Lakhimpur, Sivasagar, Sonitpur, Charaideu and Biswanath.

Dr Pratul Ch. Kalita identified five strategic design management interventions for the demand and supply alignment of the Eri and Muga Silk design value chain. The report describes the strategies with a detailed plan.

The five design management strategies formulated are:

  • Skills development and skills graduation strategy,
  • Design studio and digital design bank
  • System design solution for integrated supply chain management
  • Frame Loom and a new semi-automatic loom to improve productivity and quality
  • Attract weavers for Eri-Muga weaving.

Dr Pratul Ch. Kalita further clarified that the business-to-business system design solution model proposed as part of the study is expected to structure and streamline the entire Eri and Muga silk value chain. At present, it is very loosely structured.

Information on the amount of production of individual weavers was collected for Eri and Muga silk separately. The detailed report presents descriptive statistics of the production of various types of Eri and Muga produced in all the districts considered in the study. The number and percentage of weavers from each district who participated in the production are also mentioned in the report.

Based on their experience gained during the study and their previous efforts on similar studies, the researchers were able to determine the skill level of the weavers on various types of looms, equipment and machines. A detailed methodical approach to skills development and improvement, as well as structured methods for evaluating the effectiveness of training have been proposed in the report.

It should be noted that Dr Pratul Ch Kalita and Professor Amarendra Kr. Das from the Design Department, IIT Guwahati, had provided design, technology and management advice to the Sivasagar Mega Handloom Cluster during the period 2016-2019.

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