Weaving village

See Fair Trade at its best in the weaving village we will visit in Uttarakhand.
Not only do the spinners, dyers and weavers receive a fair wage (at least twice as much paid by other organisations),  all products are environmentally friendly, made using only natural fibres and natural dyes. Gender equality is practiced and workers are encouraged to continue their education with all expenses paid by the organisation.

Medical support is also provided to staff by reimbursing the cost of hospital visits and medicines, and weavers are encouraged to work from home so that their other economic activities (such as farming) and social life are not affected.
The organisation produces hand-woven shawls, stoles, scarves and throws using natural dyes and Himalayan wool, eri silk (non-violent)* and pashmina**.
The dyeing is done in-house and the products do not contain any chemical colours. Instead, naturally occurring materials are used, including madder, tesu, indigo, pomegranate, harada, henna and shellac.
Energy and water consumption is kept to a minimum: insulated containers to heat dye bath to save energy; the dye bath is reused a number of times to save water and reduce the amount of effluent produced. The small amount of effluent produced is used for irrigation the fields.

*Eri is the most eco friendly and humane silk as it is produced without killing the pupa, which is allowed to become a moth and fly away before the cocoons are hand spun to produce yarn. For this reason it is also called “Peace” silk and “Ahimsa” silk.

** Pashmina, one of the warmest and most luxurious fibres on the planet, is the fibre from the Changthani or Pashmina goat which also produces cashmere fibre. One distinct difference between pashmina and cashmere is the fibre diameter: pashmina fibres are finer and thinner.

Spinning in the sunshine, Uttarakhand

Spinning in the sunshine, Uttarakhand

2010-03-12 19.49.13

Woman spinning pashmina fibre

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