C: The Cotton for your Arya Candles Butterfly Scarf was grown in Gujarat, India
Your Arya Candles butterfly scarf is made out of cotton. We use the cotton grown in Saurashtra, Gujarat, in North West India. The seeds from all the cotton are removed through a process called ginning. The fluffy cotton balls are then processed and turned into slivers. The slivers are then taken to the co-operative to be spun into yarn.
A Cotton Plant
1. Spinners’ 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!!
The cotton fabric is now ready for dyeing.
D – Design Development by MORALFIBRE
MORALFIBRE has been a production partner with Where Does It Come From? since the beginning! Together we have created many different ranges of clothes – from scarves to denim children’s garments. For our 2017 range of scarves we spent a long time working with the Where Does It Come From? team on new designs.
Jo and her team came up with design ideas. For this Arya Candles Scarf design we worked with their gold butterfly logo and Sanjay from MORALFIBRE converted the ideas into a number of options. An iterative process followed to ensure that Arya Candles were happy with the design. Here you can see the print design we came up with.
S7. Screen Printing
This is the first time Where Does It Come From? has used screen printing for our scarves. A lot more detail was possible compared with the block printing used for our previous scarf developments.
Tahirbhai and his team members Bhanubhai and Kasimbhai
Once the designing of the scarf is completed by MORALFIBRE and agreed with WDICF, the perfect size drawings are prepared which would meet the special needs for screen printing. These designs are passed on to Tahirbhai the master printer. We have worked with Tahirbhai on a number of our productions.
His team of screen makers start work. First they copied the design into a computer programme. This was done by Moinbhai.
This is Moinbhai. He is 27 years old. He studied till 12th standard. After doing a course in digital imaging he pumped into this field through job opportunity. He now works in the printing related field for the last seven years,. He works as a consultant and works with different printers. They call him and he earns well. He also works with digital printing as there is growing demand.
The scarf designs are then printed out to scale on special paper. This will be exposed and a screen will be prepared with fine holes where the design is. This will allow the dyes to pass through and the pattern gets printed on fabric. It is an amazing process!
The printing frames are then created – below left we can see Musabhai setting up the frames.
On the right is a completed screen – you can see the holes through which the dyes can fit through to make the design on the fabric.
Tahirbhai, the master printer works with seven artisans, five of them are seen here. From L to R Nanjibhai, Kasimbhai, Ganubhai, Rahemanbhai and Babubhai. they all live within walking distance to the printing unit. It is fascinating to know that all of them have been printers all their lives and most of their life they have worked together as a team. They have worked for many different maser printers but they themselves worked in the same team. They are paid certain minimum wage and additional amount when they print more. They lay out and print 1500 meters fabric in a day. Each printing table is 30 meters long they work in a team of two on six different tables, one table at a time. needless to say, their synergy is very unique. They do not need to talk much while working. They understand and respond to one another beautifully. They are like a family, probably more than a family and they also enjoy their tea breaks together. They do not generally do small orders like ours so it was a great experience working with them.
Here they are hard at work getting the long tables ready for printing the Arya Candles scarves. The temperature in Gujarat was over 40 degrees at that time so they got up extra early and started work at 6.00am to work in a cooler temperature. Long tables are coated with wax to hold the fabric firmly in place while the different screens are laid on top. The dyes are then spread over the screens so the required colours can spread through the holes to make the design.
When the scarves are completed they are packed up by MORALFIBRE Fabrics, who oversee the printing process, and sent of to us at Where Does It Come From?
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 socially focussed production partners. Together we create and develop the designs and produce beautiful clothes that harness the skills of the local artisans. We work as ethically and sustainably as possible to create beautiful basics that you will want to wear again and again. 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 News & Blog section, including newspaper and radio coverage. It’s been wonderful to be acknowledged for our work – 2016 named us as runner up 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. More recently we were delighted and honoured when Joanna Lumley wore one of our scarves on her TV documentary ‘Joanna Lumley’s India’.
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!
Jo and Sarah from Where Does It Come From?