NIFT-TEA's new machine in Tiruppur brings hope for khadi fabric weavers
The new machine, developed by the Centre for Apparel Fashion Research and Education (CARE) under NIFT-TEA Knitwear Fashion Institute, has to undergo several rounds of trials before starting production
TIRUPPUR: The NIFT-TEA Knitwear Fashion Institute have designed and developed a prototype of knitting machine for khadi fabric.
Sources said the innovation comes 22 years after the institute tried to develop such a machine, but was unsuccessful. The new machine, developed by the Centre for Apparel Fashion Research and Education (CARE) under NIFT-TEA Knitwear Fashion Institute, has to undergo several rounds of trials before starting production.
S Arul Selvan, head of NIFT-TEA Knitwear Fashion Institute - (CARE), told TNIE, "After a detailed study of traditional techniques with weaving looms and knitting machines, we submitted a proposal to Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC) in 2020. KVIC approved our plan and sanctioned funds. The machine is made of stainless steel and is human-powered."
Explaining the working of the machine, he said, "It took us four months to design the machine and six months to build it. The machine can produce khadi fabric for innerwear, T-shirts and many others. The patent for the machine and design is jointly held by the institute and KVIC. Though the project is complete, a few modifications are needed.”
NIFT-TEA Knitwear Fashion Institute’s Chairman P Mohan said, "This is the first time a knitting machine has been developed for weaving khadi fabric. In a traditional loom, a person must sit for over eight hours to produce 15 metres of khadi fabric. But, with this machine, it just needs a push. Simple hand movements and pedalling can produce 30 metres in 8 hours which can fetch good returns to the weavers. Moreover, traditional weavers need cones, wrapping beams, and shutters for weaving Khadi, but in this machine, one only has to fix the cone and peddles.”