Dastkar's annual Nature Bazar has become a hugely popular event in Delhi's annual calendar. Folk performances and and childrens' workshops, besides the 160 or so craft stalls, on the lawns of the IGNCA, a lively mela atmosphere. Its a pity that there is little public transport, but the metro will make a huge difference next year.
For malkha it was encouraging to have repeat customers who have enjoyed wearing what they bought last year. This year most of our sales were in retail, directly to users, though some of them lamented the difficulty of finding tailors. As usual the deep indigo was a sellout. So were Sutanu's prints of swans and butterflies and the alizarin red. Our stripes do better in Delhi than they did in Bangalore, and of course this time for the first time we had different weights from the different weaving centres. Also for the first time we tried the bleached plain, which we are a little hesitant about because it's not natural bleaching [we hope to get to that in time].
One of our European customers is from Friends of SEWA and buys indigo malkha for the SEWA Lucknow women to use for chikan embroidery, sounds wonderful, hope we get to see the end product. Another great fan is Aarti, wife of Tushar of Living Blue. She wore a malkha kurta almost every one of the 10 days of the Bazar, and bought lots more. Thanks to retail, this was our best ever sale so far and we feel quite elated by peoples' admiring comments: we were asked is it was silk, or linen... just shows how wonderful cotton can be if its treated with respect. Now the question is how to make it more easily available.. we're encouraging people to order even small quantities through e-mail which we can send by post.
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