Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Making malkha local

Plans are afoot to source cotton from local farmers for one of the Malkha units, and also to try to start weaving there. It'll be a great step forward to get cotton fresh from the field. Introducing weaving into a non-weaving area though is not so easy, because pre-loom processes such as warping and sizing have become  specialist jobs now, and the people who do it need to service at least 20-30 looms to make it feasible.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Malkha sarees for Kolkatha

This time we've sent plenty of sarees to Kolkatha, because last time we ran out. Hope this time everyone who's been waiting for a Malkha saree will get one!

Another beautiful saree

In spite of many tries, have not been able to get the colours in the image right, but this is the nearest version. This particular colour scheme is not available yet, as only one seems to have come, but we will order more in the next round.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

About the indigo sarees

The Kolkatha exhibition will be the first exposure of the deep indigo sarees... depending on the response we will commission more yarn to be dyed and more sarees to be woven.

Customers please remember not to wash in detergent, and avoid rubbing if you need to remove stains of food or other things dropped on the saree.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Deep indigo saree

Deep indigo sarees recently arrived. The colours on computer screens don't convey the depth of indigo colour...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Teachers' views on cotton farmer suicides

This morning Uzramma gave a talk on Handlooms to about 80 teachers from Government schools all over the country, as part of a course on Crafts at the Centre for Cultural Resources & Training, Hyderabad. The issue that got the most resonance was that of suicides of cotton farmers. Uzramma tried to involve the participants in looking for underlying causes, rather than the apparent reasons for the suicides: the fact that farmers today are forced to grow only the one kind of cotton that mechanized spinning uses, a variety of cotton that is unsuited to Indian soils and climates.

All were agreed that it is a matter of great shame to the country that the suicides continue. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fabulous indigo

Indigo is a fabulous dye, the most famous, the most sought after in the world, since antiquity. It is sought after today for the quality of its colour, but in times gone by it was worn by nomadic people , and later by cowboys, who did not have much chance to bathe, because it prevents skin diseases.

Malkha yarn is dyed with real vegetable indigo in a traditional fermented indigo  vat, with no chemicals. Block printing on Malkha fabric is also done with vegetable indigo, but using an instant vat activated by small quantities of hydros sulphide.

Either way, real indigo is not fast to rubbing - indigo lovers please note!