IKEA, the Swedish home furnishings company, unveiled its latest designed Punja loom, in Bhadohi, Uttar Pradesh. The new Punja loom has been co-created with IKEA’s supplier Eastern Home Industries. It is designed to produce better quality durries while increasing the productivity by 25 -40% and this implementation will increase the production of Punja durrie in India. The ergonomic design and ease of use will reduce work related health issues as well as encourage more women weavers to join the workforce.
Commenting on the occasion, Jessica Anderen, Trading Area Manager IKEA South Asia said, “IKEA has been sourcing from India for 26 years and is committed to creating a more sustainable life for many people. The new Punja loom is a great example of leading change, with business in the core and people as the biggest asset! As we continue to expand we will build long-term relationship with suppliers to enable more innovation and investments in modern technology. IKEA constantly focuses on improvements and efficiency to be able to increase capacity, improve products and lower the costs, all this to safe guard a long term sustainable business!”
The traditional Punja loom, one of the oldest techniques to manufacture Durries, has made minimal technological advancements. Due to the long training needed and hard effort to work on it, there has been major decline in weavers’ interest to take up this profession. To revive the profession and create sustainable business in the region, change was needed, hence IKEA decided to bring innovation in the age old loom.
After a year of development the new Punja loom is now ready for use in big scale. It is operated by only one person, it has adjustable height and comfortable seating positions and it increases the output. The new loom only requires a few days of training and will make it possible to employ less skilled weavers. It is not only easy to use but since the physically demanding part of the weaving is mechanized, it will attract more women weavers to join the workforce.
“IKEA has introduced the new Punja Loom that will facilitate the growth of a more competitive and sustainable carpet production, while also providing a better life for the weavers’ community. The new loom has the technology needed to transform the Rugs & Carpets industry and will attract many more people to join the weaving profession. IKEA believes in us and we are building a long term partnership through constant exchange of ideas”, said Mr. Zafar Ansari, Managing Director, Eastern Home Industries.
With this project IKEA hopes to facilitate creation of scalable capacities for Punja durrie making. With more efficient production, this loom will create better and unique offers for the IKEA customer in terms of quality, availability and price. This innovation is also a positive step towards a sustainable future for Business and People in the carpet industry.