CHAPTER I . WOVEN TEXTILES
Kala Cotton Weaving
Kala, the Kutch's indigenous cotton:
durable, soft, hand-woven and organic!
ONCE UPON A TIME
In the beginning (3000 BC-1750’s), indigenous Arboreum and Herbaceum plants were the only ones used to grow cotton in India - today known as the "Old World Cotton".
Farmer and weavers used to work together to create durable and soft, hand-woven and organic fabrics, out of this Kala Cotton.
After the 2001's earthquake in the Kutch region (Gujarat, India) there was a rapid industrialization and the number of weavers in this state declined to 600/700 (from over 2000 in the mid 1990's). There was then the urgency of developing a local value chain, encouraging the sustainable production of cotton textile and preserving the agricultural and artisans' lives.
It's from this obvious need that "Khamir" (NGO, based in Bhuj - Gujarat, India, which aim is to strengthen and promote the rich artisanal traditions of Kutch) has implemented the "Kala Cotton Initiative", reinterpreting and introducing the old cotton craft value in the modern days.
ORGANIC COTTON & TRADEMARK
Kala, the Kutch's indigenous cotton, apart from requiring a very little investment and being high tolerant to diseases and pests, is grown within a rain fed agriculture, without any pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
Although Kala's fibre is stretchable, coarse and strong, it's very difficult to use it for fine quality textiles, and therefore its use in the mainstream markets has reduced significantly".
"Khamir" produced in 2010 its first Kala goods, after experimenting and developing this cotton's techniques for years. With its "Kala Cotton Initiative",, this institution has been, apart from promoting the balance between Kala and the local ecology, encouraging the work for marginalized communities and creating links between farmers, weavers, spinners, etc.
Today, Kala Cotton is under process of being registered as TradeMark!