‘Dressed In Rags, They Make You Dress Like Kings’: Meet These Descendants Of Lucknow’s Royal Weavers

Posted on October 11, 2013 in Specials

By Kavya Vidyarthi:

In a slum like area in Amausi, near Lucknow, their exist weavers who weave dreams. They belong to the family of royal weavers, those responsible to dress the Nawabs and Begums of Awadh in beautiful weaved robes. They have little facilities we think are necessary for life. Their workshop is makeshift in the ruins of an old factory boundary. It has no roof. They sit under the open sky and weave all day, and when the day begins to fall they shift the loom into a secure corner, under a shed, just in case it rains. They secure the looms in plastic sheets and tie the ropes to keep them in place and then they leave for home just to return the next day and start it like the one gone by.

royal weavers

The kids might not know their alphabets too well but they are masters at the art of weaving. They usually help organize the raw material and in free time use the damaged raw material to learn to weave. The threads and wires used to weave are often too expensive, sometimes even pure gold and silver and thus the damaged raw material too, is taken into use to make small inexpensive pieces like traditional scarves and cushion covers. One kid who has weaved for almost as long as he has lived says “Hum ek din president award jeetenge, aisa kapda banayenge.” (I will weave to win the president’s award for weaving a masterpiece one day.)


No matter what we have, it is never enough but for them, they live hand to mouth but are the reason where the rich can splurge their riches. They dress in rags to make you dress like kings. They are the real inspirations, who are happy to have woven for nawabs in the past, and they take great pride in belonging to their family.

Weavers weaving at break of day,
Why do you weave a garment so gay? . . .
Blue as the wing of a halcyon wild,
We weave the robes of a new-born child.

Weavers, weaving at fall of night,
Why do you weave a garment so bright? . . .
Like the plumes of a peacock, purple and green,
We weave the marriage-veils of a queen.

Weavers, weaving solemn and still,
What do you weave in the moonlight chill? . . .
White as a feather and white as a cloud,
We weave a dead man’s funeral shroud.
(Indian Weavers by Sarojini Naidu)


They do not weave threads, they weave lives. They have the spirit to live, the spirit to never say die, the spirit to reach the sky.