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Dhananjay is originally from a village called from Lingotam but he moved to Choutuppal five years ago. Has been weaving since childhood. Although he attended college and got an undergraduate degree, the challenge of finding a well-paid job led him back to the family trade. Three generations of his family have been weavers. Dhananjay uses a handloom only. His specialities are double ikat with 9 to 12 motifs.

Pochampally ikat has its own GI tag. What makes this weave special is the conversion of intricate designs and colouring onto the warp and weft threads. The prints appear geometric and mesmerizing.

Dhananjay is popular for his exclusive collection of handloom cottons saris. Although they make silk and cotton saris, the cotton version sells better because people prefer them from a comfort and cost perspective. He uses both natural and synthetic dyes and the prices vary accordingly. His wife, parents and brother help with the business in their own ways. As an owner of four looms, Dhananjay is proud to be an employer to a lot of his own distant relatives for his business. He has a large family of nearly two hundred people in and around.

He supplies steadily to wholesalers and online retailers. “Usually summers are a good season for us as demand for handloom cotton saris go up. With lockdown, this has affected business. There are no new orders and many finished orders to be delivered only once proper deliveries resume.”, he talks about how Covid19. He is currently trying to take and fulfill orders through Whatsapp.

Dhananjay’s designs are slightly different and this helps him gain a bit of a competitive advantage. His monthly income is about ten thousand rupees after working seven days a week for ten to twelve hours a day. It takes at least 5 days to finish weaving one sari. Cotton is sourced from mills in Tamil Nadu and the dyes from Hyderabad.

He has two children below the age of 5. With more time freed up during the lockdown, he has been thankful to be able to spend more time with them. They watch television as a family. Yet he hopes for normalcy soon.