Kame Tane: Supporting Women Weavers in Adonara and Lembata with Ergonomic Weaving Tools

We are distributing and testing the ergonomic weaving tool for women weavers in Adonara and Lembata, East Nusa Tenggara. 

Project Type

  • Experimentation


Like in many parts of Indonesia, weaving is central to the culture, heritage and beliefs of the local communities in Adonara and Lembata in East Nusa Tenggara province. Traditionally, women are taught to weave from a very young age using a simple tool with a backstrap loom. The tool requires the weavers to be seated in a position, with their legs stretched out in front of them on the ground. This method, however, has resulted in prolonged discomfort and pain throughout the entire body leading to musculoskeletal problems especially in the lower back, hip, and leg areas. Musculoskeletal pain becomes more severe as the women get older. This causes complications among women in performing daily duties. In the long term, the pain could lead to a poor quality of life for weavers.


Without altering the traditional weaving technique, Kopernik has developed an ergonomic weaving prototype. We removed the tension control on the backstrap loom and replaced it with a swing arm and lever mechanism. The tool was elevated from the ground to accommodate a better sitting position. In this phase, Kopernik is replicating the ergonomic weaving tool for women weavers to eliminate the risk of health hazards.


The objective of this project is to support more women weavers in sustaining their livelihood as well as their cultural heritage while avoiding pain and discomfort.

We expect women weavers in the area to have an increased awareness regarding the importance of protecting their physical health by using the ergonomic weaving tool.

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Supported by the Polish Aid, Kopernik has provided support to women weavers in Adonara and Lembata to minimise physical pain caused by their current weaving practices, through the introduction of an ergonomic weaving tool. We deployed nine ergonomic weaving tools to the women weavers, and handed over

construction guidelines and assembly guidelines to the communities for further replication.

Despite the short period of implementation, we found that the initiative brought a positive weaving experience for the participants. The ergonomic weaving tools have significantly reduced pain experienced in the stomach, waist, thigh and calf areas which resulted from prolonged weaving using the previously used traditional methods.

Since its implementation, the program has attracted interest from the local governments, neighbouring villages and craftsmen to potentially adopt and replicate the tools with some adaptation. The communities were eager to replicate the ergonomic weaving tool with

adjustments based on the feedback from women weavers.

This level of interest indicates that there is a high potential for further adoption and replication of the ergonomic weaving tools.



Solution & Project Implementation

Costs associated with the purchase of the solutions tested and project coordination


Monitoring & Evaluation

Costs associated with data collection, analysis and reporting


Administration Fee

Cost of transferring payments internationally, processing online donations (5%) and a contribution to Kopernik's operational costs (15%)


Total $13,114

This project is implemented by Yayasan Kopernik on behalf of our partner who provided grant funding for this project.