Your Tiger Scarf started life in a cotton field.
The seeds from all the cotton are removed – this process is called ginning. The fluffy cotton balls are now processed and turned into slivers.
1. Spinners’s story
Jasvantiben the Spinner
My name is Jasvantiben. Namaste!
I have been spinning yarns from cotton for many years. Right now I am spinning 25 counts or higher counts of yarn. I was one of the first to start spinning for this co-operative from my neighborhood. In my parent’s family we were spinning yarns as well so I knew a little bit. Then this co-op taught me more when I started with them.
In our families women are not encouraged to go out to work or even for other reasons. Our co-op insists that we go personally and pick up / deliver our lot at a designated day, every fortnight or a month. Then only we get paid. My neighbors, who also spin, we all go together. This has helped us become confident. Our families have also become more open about not following old traditions now!!
Jasvantiben works with two of her neighbours who have also been spinning cotton for Where Does It Come From? They are part of a community which does not encourage women to go out to work, so they can spin from their home and earn money to supplement their family income.
Three lady spinners!
4. Weaver’s story
Jyotsnaben the weaver
My name is Jyotsnaben. Namaste!
I come from the weaver’s family and I learnt weaving at home. It was a pit loom. Now I have learnt to weave on paddle loom. I do not have a place to keep the loom in my house and for years I have been coming to the co-op and use their loom instead! I do not live far so it helps!! The weaving and spinning center stays open from 8.00 in the morning till 6.00 in the evening. After finishing the housework, I can come only at 9.30 / 10.00! This is not like a factory. I can come at my time and get paid for the length of fabric I weave. Of course, I want to do more so that I get paid more!!
My husband works on the building site on a daily wage basis. He is a bricklayer.
My eldest son is also a weaver and he goes to weave traditional silk ‘patola’. It requires clean and perfect craftsmanship and he gets paid well. I am very happy with it!!
D – Design by MORALFIBRE
MORALFIBRE has been a production partner with Where Does It Come From? since the beginning! Together we created some beautiful, organic shirts in Summer 2015 with blockprinted animals – the blocks being created especially. Jo wanted to use the same blocks for scarves for Christmas 2015 using vibrant colours and unique patterns.
After few days of design explorations and brainstorming, Sanjay and Shailini developed several sketches of stoles and sent them across to Jo. An iterative process followed with ideas being exchanged and updates made, until everyone was happy with the results! The new designs are unique, interesting and beautiful – plus they complement the existing range of scarves already on sale. This is how your tiger scarf looked at the design stage.
Suitable fabrics were selected and they went for dying first. After that edges were done and then they were block printed in different designs!
Sanjay says, “I really enjoyed working on this project. In spite of us spending time in planning and designing on paper, we had to make some changes to the design on block printing table to give full justice to the special technique! It was new learning and fun!”
Some of the MoralFibre team modelling the new scarves
B – BLOCKPRINT
For block printing, wooden blocks with patterns of a elephants, ants, tigers and tortoises were made by Ramratan. These were hand carved especially for Where Does It Come From? Meet Ramratan, the block maker…..
“Ram ram! I have migrating from Uttar Pradesh in 1985 in search of livelihood. I came to Ahmedabad. I have been working with wood from childhood as that is our family craft.” Sanjay, the designer at MORALFIBRE said, “Ramratan analyzed the ongoing demand of block printed fabrics at that time and decided to translate all his skill of wood carving in block making. He decided to work as a background artist in textile where the hand carved wooden blocks are not seen but the printed designs do!! His career used to flourish in those days.”
After 30 years of textile advancement this hidden artisan’s work was at risk. Ramratan came up with a totally dynamic approach to wood carving. Putting aside his traditional motifs and patterns and with the help of designers, he now carves contemporary blocks such as Ant, Tortoise, Tiger and Elephant!
5 Printer’s story
Tahirbhai the block printer
I am Tahirbhai. Salaam Alaikum!
I hail from five-generation block printer’s family from Rajasthan. May be more but we do not have more concrete evidence of our family history!! My whole extended family is in this craft.
About fifteen years ago I moved to Ahmedabad, Gujarat to expand our work and try my luck. Ahmedabad is also a large printing hub of India. I moved to my uncle’s printing workshop based here. I took some time to understand the different taste in print design, colours etc here. We used to work on export orders only while here there is a huge local market. Also the way of working: doing business was very different. After some time I started on my own. My expertise is in hand block printing. For hand screen-printing orders, I work with another printing unit.
Last year we had to close our hand block-printing unit. The orders were slowing down. I was not sure whether to continue with hand block printing or to move to hand screen-printing?! Moralfibre got in touch with us just around that time and they were interested only in hand block printing!! With orders coming in from them, I opened my hand block-printing unit again. I have a collection of over 5000 blocks and I want to continue with this beautiful craft.
and now with stripes and an outline!
Tigers on their way!
W – WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
Hi I’m Jo, the founder of Where Does It Come From? – the clothing business that brings you ethical and traceable clothes. Currently based in Ipswich, Suffolk (UK) we work closely with our partners in India to create and develop the designs to ensure that the wonderful fabrics are made into garments that will work for you and your children. We hope that finding out about how your clothes were made and the people who made them will make you love them just a little bit more…..
From idea to business launch took two years, with launch happening in June 2014. You can read more in our Blog section, including newspaper and radio coverage. It’s been wonderful to be acknowledged for our work – 2015 brought us 3rd place in the ‘Greenest Product’ category at the Suffolk Green Awards as well as being selected as a Green 100 business – the top 100 ethical businesses in East Anglia.
Thank you so much for buying from us – the more we sell the more difference we can make. We have lots of plans for new designs, new partners and new projects so stick with us and together we can change the world!