In the Summer of 2021, we initiated a partnership with Karghewale, to produce some of our custom handspun and handwoven fabrics.
Karghewale works with 150 young weaver entrepreneurs, most of whom are graduates of WomenWeave’s The Handloom School, across thirteen states in India; Arunanchal Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland, Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Odisha, and Telangana.
Karghewale brings young artisan entrepreneurs from all over India under a single identity. This gives them the leverage to circumvent the age-old impediments of commission agents in the value chain, and reach out to national and international markets directly. The artisans operate independently, weaving from their individual home workshops.
We liked the idea of working with up and coming young weavers. We had also hoped to work with Kala cotton, an indigenous rainfed cotton from the Kachchh desert, that we had sought out during our visit to the region in March 2018. We had fallen in love with the texture and drape of fabrics woven with Kala cotton, and were impressed with the sustainability of the fabric.
Kala Cotton is one of the original old world cottons of India. It is indigenous to Kachchh and farmed without any pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. It is a purely rain fed crop that is both disease and pest resistant.
Since Karghewale works directly with weavers in Kachchh who were familiar with weaving with Kala Cotton, they were a great fit for us. Our collaboration has resulted in a beautiful mini collection of farm to frock dresses, tops and shawls, handwoven by a young weaver in Kachchh, using naturally dyed Kala Cotton yarn.