Natural and Handmade Products
The journey of our fabric begins with non GMO Cotton seeds. We only source Cotton that is cultivated using Organic and Sustainable farming practises. We are currently working with several local farmers to source cotton and educate them about Organic farming. By sourcing locally we are trying to add more value to the local economy within Bihar. The organically cultivated cotton encompasses several processes like crop rotation, intercropping and composting to ensure a naturally fertile soil, with good water retention capabilities. We also use natural pesticides and organic fertiliser also ensures lowered farming input cost.
Yarn, more commonly known as ‘thread’ can be either hand spun or machine made. We make ours using the hand spinning process wherein natural cotton fibres are drawn out and twisted. Spinning by hand allows for better control over the material used – fibre length, quantity, alignment and degree of twist. The thickness depends on the spinners; the more skilled they are, the finer the yarn count. This is the first step in the process that helps us create fine textured ‘Khadi’- symbolised by the Charkha, India’s most iconic tool made popular by Gandhi.
Yarn dyeing is a crucial pre-loom activity carried out in traditional dye houses situated close to the weaver villages. Natural dyes extracted from the barks of trees, insects, flowers, minerals, rust, etc are used to achieve indigenous colours like annatto, cutch, logwood, madder, and indigo. Low-impact synthetic dyes that readily react with the cotton yarn are used for long lasting and bright colours.
The activity of starching yarn for weaving is known as sizing. The warp is stretched out and sizing material is applied to add strength to the yarn and lubricate it to withstand the rigours of weaving. Natural adhesives like rice, maize, wheat flour or potato starch are used depending upon the availability and region. Moreover, rice starch / gruel mixed with coconut / groundnut oil are also applied as sizing material.
The process of weaving includes interlacing two sets of yarn – warp and weft- in a ‘loom’. Warp is the yarn woven lengthwise and weft is woven horizontally. We use a pit loom that is fixed on the floor with its two pedals set in a pit for the weaver to operate the loom. Texture is varied by using yarn of different thicknesses. Simple weaving results in creation of a plain fabric, while different warp and weft techniques help create myriad patterns. The Dobby method is used to custom create patterns on saree and dhoti borders. Our techniques help us produce fabric that is breathable, light, has great texture and soft to feel.
Our Earthenware is handcrafted by our artisans at our dedicated Ceramic Studio at Parivartan, Narendrapur in Bihar. The product design incorporates inputs from local craftswomen with modern pottery techniques making our pieces rustic and unique. The clay is sourced locally and specially formulated to make our earthenware very light with a distinct surface finish. The rutile based gas flame used in our studio carefully exposes the clay and produces myriad shades including a mix of blues, greens and browns. The care and effort that we put into each Earthenware product marks its exclusive texture and unique sensual experience. Every piece is a representation of the simplistic and modest approach of the villages of India.