The hand loom craft is of great economic importance in rural India as this sector is the second largest employment provider in rural India, after agriculture. The entire process, from a cotton bulb to a finished piece of cloth, involves various people with various skills. The raw cotton is traditionally spun into a yarn using a spinning wheel, but now more and more machine spun yarns are used. The fabric resulting from a hand-spun cotton is the traditional Khadi fabric in India, promoted by Gandhi during the freedom movement, in protest of mill made fabric coming from England at that time. Our yarns follow the traditional process. Once our yarns are ready, they are sent for dying to our color master.
After dying, the yarn is ready for weaving, where the real magic happens!
To begin with, we prepare the warp which is the thread component that runs along the length of the fabric. To get the right design on the fabric, the master weaver meticulously calculates and sequences the threads in the right order. This step is highly skilled and usually performed by one single person in a village or weaving cluster, the master weaver. This skill is passed onto the next generation and so stays within the family. The loom is then prepared as per fabric design with the warp and waft thread arrangements. From there, the hand weaving begins.
The hand weaving itself is almost musical, with gentle beats that fill the atmosphere and spirits around. This is an eco-friendly process as it hardly uses power and is mostly performed in the comfort of one’s home. In the families we work with, the entire household and its values are built around the hand loom. The hand loom is not just a loom but an identity for these families.
Unfortunately, today there is a need to keep this craft alive and make it an attractive profession for the generations to come. Without support, this craft may reach a tipping point and fade away from existence. We believe that knowing where your product come from and how it is produced will connect you to our artisans and value their skills.