This is the story of your Maid2Clean Scarf.
C: The Cotton for your Maid2Clean 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. The slivers are then taken to the co-operative to be spun into yarn.
3. Spinner’s Story
Sumanben the Spinner
My name is Sumanben, Jay Mataji!!
I have worked on many handicrafts to earn some money, sitting at home. I have always worked. I used to stick colorful studs on bangles before. I used to make bag parts too. Now for last few years I am spinning yarns!! The work is regular and I work hard.
A couple of years ago they replaced our old Ambar charkha with new, better ones at free of cost. The new ones are better and the production is good quality. I had a problem with one of the spindles of my Charkha last week and the person came the next day to repair it! We get very good support that is very good.
Sumanben 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!
6. The Weaver’s Story
Mohanbahi the Weaver
‘I am Mohanbhai. Ram Ram!
I belong to the weaver’s community. We have been weaving traditional fabrics for different communities for generations. We specialize in weaving ‘Dhoti – Pachhedi’ cloth for nomadic – cattle rearing tribes. Also head cloths and sarees.
Apart from plain thin fabrics, I weave sarees for the co-op. I can weave two simple sarees in a day. With one beam roll I can weave 20 sarees!! My family is all the time working as well to support me. Many times I weave from 8.00 in the morning to 10.00 at night and some time I go away and do not work at all!!
I have taught my 17-year daughter to weave. She weaves handkerchiefs regularly for the co-op. This is a good craft / occupation to learn. Even when she gets married she will have her craft and she can earn her living.’
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. In 2017 we worked together to create our first custom scarves for business, following successful custom shirt creation in 2016.
Maid2Clean is a franchise providing cleaners across the UK. The Suffolk Maid2Clean Franchisee worked with Where Does It Come From? to create these beautiful, logo scarves for the business.
The Where Does It Come From? design team felt that a structured, uniform approach worked best for a company specialising in cleaning and order. Sanjay from Moral Fibre created a number of colour options and the client selected a blue background to the print. Here is the final scarf design.
D- Dying the Fabric
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 the printer. We come from chhipa community who have been traditionally known for the quality of our colours 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!”
Here are some of the scarf fabrics after dyeing.
8. 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.
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 to a special programme. In this video you can see Yasim converting the aqua bee design into the screens provided. There needs to be two separate screens made as that design has two colours and each colour is printed separately. For the Maid2Clean scarf, there are also two colours so two screens must be made.
The scarf designs are 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!
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 printing frames are then created – here we can see Musabhai setting up the frames. Here are the completed screens for our teapot scarf design.
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.
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. Below you can see the just printed Maid2Clean fabric.
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.
Based in Ipswich, Suffolk (UK) we work closely with socially focused production partners in India, Africa and the UK. 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 Blog section, including Media 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? 2017