Throughout this journey we've been able to spend some time in Kutch (aka Kachchh), Gujarat- a creative, lovely, beautiful place. Lots of traditional crafts, lots of nature. A short bus ride from Ahmedabad.
Hodka village traditional embroidery
Last time, we visited Khamir to poke through their Kala cotton yardage and learn more about their process.
"“Khamir is a platform for the crafts, heritage and cultural ecology of the Kachchh region of Gujarat. Instituted after the earthquake of 2001, it is a space for engagement and development of Kachchh's rich creative industries.”
KALA cotton products and puffs :)
In addition to their vast amount of support to the artisan communities in Kachchh, Khamir is weaving new textiles out of recycled plastic bags on site. Like most places, plastic waste is a huge issue in Kachchh- it’s either littered on the streets or burned in waste piles, releasing carcinogenic toxins into the air. Khamir is creating a solution.
“The Recycled Plastic initiative is an example of the way craft can alter a space and generate income for marginal people. This is a skill that can be easily learnt by neo-weavers and can become a source of supplementary income to medium skilled weavers, home-based workers, disabled and senior citizens. In our age of global warming, this project has great significance. Rather than creating new materials, this intervention has found a way to re-use waste and protect our environment from the harsh toxins that modern production technologies may produce.” -Khamir
Nearby the plastic weaving, they were spinning their KALA cotton. The harvest I took part in a while back was on one of their KALA farms- so I asked where we could see the next step, between the picking and the spinning- the processing. We were instructed where to go, and who to ask for.
I tried to help with the spinning, she was kind for humouring me.