The development and evaluation of a speciality handknitting yarn using appropriate technology for the empowerment of women in rural India

Manju Sugathan, Tom Cassidy, Bruce Carnie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is about understanding an existing situation in a South Indian village and developing a strategy to produce and market speciality hand knitting yarn, involving the unpaid labour (women) in the handloom industry. An observation method (field study) is used to identify an appropriate method for the design and development of speciality yarns.

Participatory action research is a recursive process that identifies methods leading to the choice of appropriate technology (AT) for the production of speciality yarn. A field study observation method was carried out to identify an AT that is acceptable for the community considering their socio-cultural background of the society. Once the technology (AT) was identified to design the speciality yarn, the research then tests the quality and marketability of the yarn.

The method used for product design and quality testing can be adapted by researchers and designers to develop craft items that can build a platform to start a small-scale business. The research describes a model/framework that could be used/investigated by other bodies in the future.

Research limitations/implications
The limitation of AT and the approach taken for research cannot be clearly identified without testing the production method with the women in the village.

This research confirms that along with identifying a sustainable method of production for speciality yarn, it is very essential to ensure the quality of the product that can compete with other market-available hand knitting yarns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-154
Number of pages19
JournalResearch Journal of Textile and Apparel
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


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