Saturday, November 16, 2013

Why malkha?

"There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness". Today the business of making cotton yarn is in the hands of those who can put big money into setting up big spinning mills, using high energy technology, to make a profit only for the investor, not for those who actually run the machines. But making yarn from cotton lint  is easy as Gandhi showed. Malkha takes a step towards that simplicity by doing away with 'baling'. Baling, pressing loose lint into tight cubes, is the first step in the industrial process. Uses lots of energy, damages the fibre. Surely a better way can be found when cotton farms and mills are cheek by jowl!

And mechanization of cloth making has thrown millions out of work, not just weavers but all those who provided the services that hand-weaving needs. Mass-produced cloth is cheaper to buy, but social and ecological costs are far higher.

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