This is your Tortoise Scarf story from Where Does It Come From?
C: The Cotton for your Tortoise Scarf was grown in Gujarat, India
The seeds from all the cotton are removed – this process is called ginning. The fluffy cotton balls are now processed and turned into slivers.
Meenaben the Spinner
My name is Meenaben. Kem chho?!
I have been one of the younger ones to spin yarns in our neighborhood.
My son is studying in 10th standard. We are planning for his future studies.
The co-op is good and fair. We are given the cotton by weight and the count of yarns we should spin. Any problem, they would help. When we go to the office, they check and double check the weight per kilo, the length of yarns we have spun and also the quality of yarns by conducting tests. They say “We are fair to you and also to the co-op! We are careful that there is no injustice to either party!!”
Meenaben 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.
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. Together we designed your tortoise scarf!
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.
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
Y. Dyer’s story
Rafiqubhai the Dyer
I am Rafiqbhai. Kaise ho?!
I specialize in dying cotton fabrics. I am originally from Rajasthan and I have moved here for few years now. I work with my cousin Tahirbhai who is a block printer. We come from chhipa community who have been traditionally known for the quality of our colors and print for genarations. I run my own small unit and we use the best possible dyes. “With my traditional knowledge and experience and learning new things, no one can beat me in color matching!”
5. Printer’s Story
I am Tahirbhai. Salaam Alaikum! I printed your tortoise scarf.
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.
Tahirbhai the block printer
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.
This is how we block print our animal designs:
Block printing the elephants
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!