The seeds from all the cotton are removed – this process is called ginning. The fluffy cotton balls are now processed and turned into slivers.
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!
5. The Weaver’s Story
My name is Kanubhai. Jay Mataji,
Kanubhai the Weaver
I am a weaver all my life and I come from weaver’s family! I am 72 years old. (It was unbelievable; he looks very fit and healthy!) I used to weave on my own but now I come to the co-op to help my daughter Monghiben!! It helps her and this keeps me busy. She is not here today so I am on my own here. We come here from a nearby village every day. Work is in my nature!! I work at my own will. I am not employed by anyone.
Weaving is all timework. A family of weavers is never free!! There are bobbins to fill, beems to roll, tie each end of the yarn, sizing the yarns and so on and on!! The mind is totally occupied. Arms, legs and the rest of the body are moving in a rhythm. At the end of the day the body aches but I have no diabetes, no blood pressure or other major illness. This kind of focused work with mind and body keeps me engaged. I am not sure it is yoga, prayer?! May be!
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.
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 Moral Fibre team modelling the 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 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.
Ant blocks being hand carved
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!