Difference Between Handloom And Powerloom


Handloom and power-loom fabrics are two of the most common types of textile materials used today. The biggest difference between them is that a handloom is a fabric woven by hand on a loom while a power-loom fabric is made with the help of an automated machine. Handlooms typically produce finer, more intricate designs, while powerloom fabrics can be mass-produced with a uniform pattern. Handlooms also generally require more skill and time to produce, making them more expensive than powerloom fabrics.

Handloom VS Powerloom

What Is Handloom?

A handloom is a traditional weaving tool used to produce fabrics. It’s made up of a wooden frame, over which warp and weft threads are interlaced to create the desired pattern. Handlooms have been around for centuries and were traditionally used to make clothing items like saris and sarees. The skill involved in producing handloom fabrics makes them more expensive than other types of fabrics, but they also offer a unique and intricate look.

What Is Powerloom?

A power-loom is an automated machine used to produce large quantities of fabric on an industrial scale. It’s powered by electricity and has many different components that move independently, allowing the fabric to be produced quickly and accurately. Powerloom fabrics are generally much less expensive than handloom fabrics due to their mass-production capabilities, but they lack the unique and intricate designs that can be produced with a handloom.



  1. Manually Operating System.
  2. Running speed is slow.
  3. Production is less.
  4. Initial investment is very low.
  5. Fewer designs can be produced.


  1. Powerloom is operated by electric power.
  2. Running speed is high.
  3. Production is high.
  4. Initial investment is very high.
  5. More designs can be produced.

Pros And Cons

Handloom Pros:

  • Produces unique and intricate designs
  • Can accommodate a variety of textures, weaves, and designs
  • Does not require a lot of investment in terms of time, money, or resources
  • Requires skilled labor


  • Run slowly
  • Limited production capability
  • Cannot mass-produce fabrics

Powerloom Pros:

  • High speed production capabilities
  • Mass production of fabrics is possible
  • Low investment in terms of both time and money
  • Uniform patterns can be produced with ease


  • Lacks the intricacy of handloom fabrics
  • Limited flexibility and variety
  • High initial investment to purchase the machines
  • Requires less skilled labor than handlooms.

Comparison Chart

PROPERTY Handloom Powerloom
Meaning : A handloom is a traditional weaving tool used to produce fabrics. A power-loom is an automated machine used to produce large quantities of fabric on an industrial scale.
Design Handlooms typically produce finer, more intricate designs.  Powerloom fabrics can be mass-produced with a uniform pattern.
Skill Handlooms generally require more skill and time to produce Powerloom fabrics are much less expensive due to their mass-production capabilities.
Price Handlooms are more expensive than other types of fabrics. Powerloom fabrics are generally much less expensive than handloom fabrics.
Operation Handlooms are operated manually. Powerlooms are operated by electricity and have many different components that move independently.
Efficiency Handlooms produce fabrics slowly and with more labor-intensive production methods.  Powerlooms are much faster and more efficient, allowing for mass production of fabrics.
Production Handlooms typically produce smaller quantities of fabric.  Powerlooms are capable of producing large quantities of fabrics.
Variety Handlooms offer a wide variety of patterns and designs. Powerlooms usually have a uniform pattern.
Flexibility Handlooms are more flexible and can accommodate a variety of textures, weaves, and designs. Powerlooms offer less flexibility as they are limited to mass-produced fabrics with a uniform pattern.
Investment  Handlooms require more investment in terms of time, money, and resources Powerlooms require less investment as they are automated machines used for mass production.
Look of the fabric:  Handlooms produce fabrics with a unique, intricate look. Powerlooms produce fabrics with a uniform pattern that lacks the intricacy of handloom fabrics.
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How Do I Identify Hand-Loomed Fabric From Power-Loomed Fabric?

  1. Look at the design: Handloom fabrics typically have more intricate, unique designs than power loom fabrics.
  2. Feel the texture: Handloom fabrics generally feel softer and finer to the touch than power loom fabrics as they are produced using traditional weaving methods.
  3. Check for irregularities: Power loom fabrics usually have uniform patterns and lack the irregularities found in handloom fabrics.

How Do I Know If My Saree Is Handloom?

Check the saree label for information about its production. If it states that it was made using a handloom, then your saree is hand-loomed. You can also look for irregularities and unique designs in the fabric to confirm if the saree is hand-loomed. you can feel the texture of the fabric to see if it feels softer and finer. These are all indicators that your saree is hand-loomed.

What Is The Difference Between Handloom And Handwoven?

  1. Production: Handloom fabrics are produced using a handloom, which is an automated weaving machine. Handwoven fabrics are produced entirely by hand with no machinery involved.
  2. Efficiency: Handlooms are more efficient and produce larger quantities of fabric in less time than handweaving.
  3. Quality: Handwoven fabrics are generally of higher quality than handloom fabrics, as they involve more manual labor.
  4. Cost: Handlooms are typically cheaper than handwoven fabrics due to their automated production process.
  5. Variety: Handwoven fabrics often have unique patterns and designs that cannot be reproduced by a machine, whereas handloom fabrics typically have uniform patterns.

What Are The Two Types Of Handloom?

  1. Pit loom: This is the most traditional type of handloom and involves a frame being lowered into a pit. The weaver sits in this pit to operate the loom.
  2. Frame loom: This type of handloom is more modern and elevated above the ground. It is operated by a standing weaver instead of a weaver sitting in a pit.

Is Handloom Eco-Friendly?

Yes, handloom is considered to be an eco-friendly production process. Handlooms use very little water and electricity, produce less fabric waste than power looms and require fewer natural resources compared to other methods of fabric production.

Why Handloom Is Costly?

Handloomed fabrics are typically more expensive than power loom fabrics due to the amount of labor required in their production. Handlooms require skilled weavers and take much longer to produce fabric than power looms. handloom fabrics often feature intricate designs and textures that can’t be produced using machines, making them more expensive.

What Are The Examples Of Handloom?

  1. Ikat fabric: This type of handloom fabric features a unique, tie-dyed pattern.
  2. Jamdani fabric: This is a traditional Bengali weave made from cotton and silk threads.
  3. Chanderi fabric: A lightweight cloth with a glossy texture, usually made from silk and cotton thread.
  4. Paithani fabric: A traditional saree featuring intricate designs woven using silk threads.
  5. Kantha fabric: This is a popular embroidered cloth made from layers of sari material.
  6. Banarasi fabric: A luxurious hand-loomed silk fabric with intricate zari work, commonly used for sarees.
  7. Muga fabric: A type of silk fabric made from the muga silkworm, native to Assam.
  8. Kota Doria fabric: A lightweight saree featuring a unique square pattern weave using cotton yarns.
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What Are The Examples Of Powerloom?

  1. Synthetic fabrics: Examples include nylon, polyester, and rayon.
  2. Denim fabric: This is a durable cotton warp-faced twill fabric produced on power looms.
  3. Poplin fabric: This is a lightweight plain weave fabric usually made from cotton or silk threads using power looms.
  4. Satin fabric: A smooth, glossy fabric made from various fibers using power looms.
  5. Jacquard fabrics: These are intricate woven fabrics featuring unique designs and patterns produced on a power loom.
  6. Velvet fabric: A luxurious, plush fabric made from silk or cotton threads using a power loom.
  7. Corduroy fabric: This is a durable ribbed fabric usually made from cotton threads on a power loom.
  8. Ottoman fabric: A type of ribbed upholstery fabric woven using power looms.
  9. Drill fabric: A strong, durable cotton fabric woven on a power loom.
  10. Ripstop fabric: This is a lightweight, tear-resistant fabric made with interwoven nylon threads produced on a power loom.
  11. Twill fabrics: These are smooth, durable fabrics featuring a unique diagonal weave pattern produced on power looms.
  12. Terrycloth fabric: A highly absorbent fabric made from cotton or synthetic fibers woven on power looms.

Why Handloom Is Declined?

The rise of power-looms has led to a decline in the production of handloom fabrics. Powerlooms are more efficient and require less time to produce fabric than handlooms, making them more cost-effective for manufacturers. the variety of fabrics that can be produced on power-looms is much greater than that of handlooms. This has led to a decreased demand for hand-loomed fabrics, resulting in fewer skilled weavers and fewer handlooms being used.

Which State Has The Largest Handloom?

The state of Uttar Pradesh has the largest handloom industry in India. It is home to over one million weavers who produce a variety of fabrics, including cotton, silk, and woolen fabrics. Other states that are known for their handloom production include West Bengal, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.

Which City Is Called A City Of Handloom?

Banares, also known as Varanasi, is often referred to as the “City of Handlooms” due to its rich history and tradition of handloom weaving. The city has been a hub for handloom production since the 14th century when weavers from Iran and Central Asia settled in the region. Today, Banarasi sarees are renowned for their intricate designs and fine fabrics.

Which Country Is Famous For Handlooms?

India is renowned for its handloom production and is home to some of the most skilled weavers in the world. Handlooms are a major source of income for many rural communities in India, with various states specializing in different types of fabrics. traditional Indian hand-loomed fabrics such as paisley and ikat are gaining popularity worldwide. Other countries known for their handloom production include Mexico, Peru, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

What is unique about handlooms?

  • fabrics are unique.
  • use of natural materials such as cotton, silk, wool, jute, and bamboo.
  • Handloom weaving is an ancient art passed down generations.

Why Was Power Loom Important?

The invention of the power loom revolutionized the textile industry and enabled the mass production of fabrics. It allowed for faster weaving with less effort, resulting in lower costs and increased productivity. Power looms are capable of producing a variety of fabrics including synthetics, denim, corduroy, velvet, and more. This has made them an indispensable tool in the modern textile industry.

Why Does Power-Loom Not Suitable For Silk?

Power looms are not well suited for producing silk fabric due to the delicate nature of their threads. Handloom weaving is better suited for this type of fabric as it can more easily handle the fineness and intricacy of the thread. Handlooms also allow weavers to create intricate patterns and designs on the fabric, which would be difficult to achieve on a power loom.

Summary Of Handloom Verses Powerloom

The difference between handloom and power-loom is clear-cut; each is used for different purposes depending on the desired end result. Handlooms are better suited for intricate and unique designs while power-looms are used to produce large quantities of fabrics with ease. Both weaving tools have their own pros and cons, so it is important to consider the desired end result when deciding which method to use. Ultimately, both handloom and power-loom can be beneficial in different ways.

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