Each coaster is the result of a creative design process - most are one of a kind, and a few pairs were also made. You will find some recurring motifs across colourways. These coasters feature combinations of seven different tonal colours found in the local indigenous sheep's wool in Himachal Pradesh - either the natural colour of the sheep's wool, or by mixing light and dark wools together.
When we visited the village of Naggar in 2019 to meet and work with the artisans of Kullvi WHIMS, we noticed a few handwoven swatches in the big pile of knittted and crocheted textiles they had brought in to show us.
They were samples for traditional shawl borders, but the women had made them in 5 inch squares, just the right size for drink coasters. The patterns were magical, and we asked if they'd make us a set. We couldn't be happier with the result!
Weavers in Himachal Pradesh often use acrylic yarn for the vertical threads that are used to warp the loom. We had hoped to work towards converting the warps back to wool, as was traditionally used, creating a bio-degradable textile, and increasing demand for locally sourced wool. It worked, and this is our first 100% wool handwoven textile from Kullvi WHIMS.
Read more about this collaboration.
Lata and Indra took up the task to weave these by hand. They designed each motif and chose the colour combinations, weaving on a traditional portable khaddi loom. This loom is traditionally used to weave the brightly coloured borders for the iconic men's topi hats worn in Himachal Pradesh.