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Penuganchiprólu

About 12 weaver households remain in this small town approximately 70 kilometers northwest of Vijayawada in the Krishna District of Andhra Pradesh. The weavers describe themselves as weavers. Jati-wise, this group of households belong to the Padma Sali játi. Of those who continue to weave, weaving has been in the family for generations.

Although the area around Penuganchiprólu produces cotton, the processing of that raw crop, they explain, is done in Rajahmundry, on the Godavari River. (The weavers of Mangalagiri, by contrast, buy thread from Hindupuram.) Once processed, the thread is dyed in Mangalagiri, across the Krishna River from Vijayawada. Weavers from Penuganchiprólu go to Mangalagiri to purchase the dyed, but not-yet-spun thread. It is in Penuganchiprólu itself that both the spinning and weaving of cloth are done by hand.

A given house is small, and can barely accommodate the one hand-operated loom in it. Both men and women weave the textiles in this town. A household might produce 15 saris (seven meters in length) per month per loom. And for each sari the weavers receive approximately Rs.150.

Generally, members of each household will find work in the fields and elsewhere to supplement income, especially since each loom can only be operated by one person at a time.

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