Thursday, December 10, 2009

We've been so busy coping with the problems of putting malkha production in place that we haven't been paying attention to the quantity of fabric now being produced.. and suddenly realized that it's gone up to more than double! Very exciting and gratifying, but of course it also means more marketing.. At the exhibitions and Bazars customers ask us where it is available, but we don't have retail outlets, and in any case would not be able to afford the costs of urban retail at our present margins. It would be against the principles of malkha to have high mark-ups, so what do we do? Invent low-cost delivery channels. We already supply a few customers by mail - we put photographs on the web, they choose & pay through electronic transfer, and we deliver by post or transport.

We also need to scale up our indigo dyeing since there is a waiting list for deep indigo malkha. Its not the dyeing that holds things up but the transport to and from the vat. The indigo dyers are the only remaining family of traditional indigo dyers in Andhra, and they have put up vats for Dastkar Andhra and for Charkha in Karnataka. This picture, one of several documenting the installation of the Charkha vat taken by Pankaj Sekhsaria, shows an indigo pot with fermented indigo dyebath in its newly plastered bed.

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