About a twenty minute rickshaw ride from our house there are a number of silk factories. Rajshahi is known for it’s silk — though in actuality, most of the silk comes from Japan and is dyed and embroidered here.

This is where we take all our guests, so we had to take Taara too! I came here back in March 2004 to buy my wedding sari, and I’ve only back back once since then, and not to the factory bit. So it was very interesting.

The factory was so noisy that asking questions was impossible. The workers were very happy to show us around. They showed us how the shuttle flies back and forth.

A year ago, we took another visitor to this factory. He said that the machines seem to be right out of industrial revolution England — in other words, very outdated! All the machines lack safety guards of any sort. But that said, I am happy that though the industry is way behind the rest of the world, it is worth keeping it going as it provides very needed jobs.

I talked to this lady who does hand embroidery. She said that a single sari usually takes three full-time women a whole month to do. Her salary is 1200 taka a month, which is about 17$ a month. The kind of embroidered saris that she works on get sold for around 4000 taka, about 66$ a sari. They sell for much more in stores in the capital.