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A Journey Called Khadi

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 Folk Crafts… A truly beautiful experience of all walks of life in the Thar desert.

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A magical journey bringing up a delicate mix of feelings, invoked by different forms of materials emerging from centuries old creativity.

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It’s khadi when it comes to textiles. Hand spinning and hand weaving are magical crafts and of course you need material to spin. Here you’ll find it’s wool, straight from the shepherds rearing the sheep of the desert. You’ll see how the shepherd’s craft is just as fascinating as the weavers.

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So what will you do if you find yourself charmed by the shepherds, women spinners and age old weavers from the Meghwal community?

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You’ll buy wool from the shepherd whilst entering gently into his life  - talking to him, meeting his assistant and team members, observing him give wool to the women spinning in their homes. You’ll follow his steps as he joins a gathering in one of their dwellings, each of them dressed in traditional colorful atares, ever smiling and joking. The women will be eager for you to provide them wool so that they can enjoy the craft of spinning and make their salary. They produce hand spun yarn and hand it to the male weavers who are waiting impatiently, ready to create beautiful shawls and fabrics.

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It’s fascinating and significantly important to be here when this precious art form is diminishing.

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We found just several shepherds, 3-4 weavers and 5 spinners after a great deal of searching and in spite of having 20 years of experience in the field of folk crafts in Bikaner. Once there were herds of sheep everywhere, more than 50 weavers and hundreds of women spinners in every village. Forty years ago, Bikaner was the largest wool market in Asia. Change is inevitable but one can’t help but be saddened by seeing the end of such a precious time when folklife was both thriving and cherished.

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We are so proud to be leading such a project, producing this local wool together with the fading folk life and crafts of the Thar desert. We produced 258.70 meters of wool fabric over the last 2 years, including during 6 months of lockdown. Now the time has come to make atares for you, to share the stories through the fabrics and see you wearing them. We would love to do this project again on a bigger scale, to revive the folklife and ensure its longevity.

 

Blessings, Love & Light 🙏❤️️

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