Your Garment Stories

CKSM1W – The Story of your Handwoven Cushion Cover

C – Your Handwoven Cushion Cover

This is the story of your handwoven cushion cover.

Congratulations on being the new owner of a Where Does It Come From? handwoven khadi cotton cushion cover. We worked with social enterprises in India to create your cushion cover and to share it’s story with you. Here is its life story (so far….). We hope you will love it and use it for many years to come.

Your cushion cover was created by hand, from the farming of the cotton to the weaving of the fabric. The processes used very little water or carbon based fuel to create your cushion cover – locally sourced cotton, spun and woven by hand.

K – Khadi from Cotton Grown in Gujarat, India

handwoven zigzag throw story

Your cushion cover started life as a cotton crop in the fields of Gujarat in North West India. The cotton crop is sown in May & June and harvested from September to December. The cotton balls are plucked from the plant and collected in a gunny bag. Seeds from all the cotton are removed through a process called ginning. The fluffy cotton balls are then ready to be spun into yarn.

K – Khadi – A Traditional, Ethical Fabric

ethical clothes handwoven zigzag throw

Your handwoven cushion cover started life in a cotton field. The cotton for your throw was selected from local, small cotton farms located close to the khadi co-operative in Gujarat. This ensures a lower carbon footprint for the fabric as well as providing work for small holder farmers.

Khadi is a traditional handspun, handwoven fabric which was heavily promoted by Mahatma Gandhi amongst others, for its ethical and environmental benefits, as well as it’s beautiful, rustic look and feel.

To get the cotton fibre ready for spinning the first step is to remove the seeds – this process is called ginning.  The fluffy cotton balls are now processed and turned into slivers ready to be spun into thread.

S – Spun and Woven by Hand

Spinning cotton by hand power in a Gujarat Co-operative

The cotton fibre for your zigzag throw was spun into thread by hand at the by artisans from the Saurashtra region of Gujarat, working as part of the Saurashtra Rachnatmak Samiti co-operative – one of the oldest khadi producing co-operatives. This co-operative is one of many founded by Gandhi and now run by the Indian Government. They were founded to provide rural livelihoods, especially for women, and provide a ‘whole family’ support system.

Spinning is done by hand using a mechanical process powered by a hand crank or foot pedal, or sometimes using solar power. This makes the process totally carbon free and very eco-friendly.

your handwoven cushion cover weaving by hand
Weaving khadi fabric by hand as part of a community co-operative

When the yarn has been spun the next step is to weave it into cloth. This is also done by hand at the co-operative. The weavers either work at home – the co-operative supplies equipment and sometimes even a room built onto their homes! – or at the the co-operative premises. They are part of a community, creating clothing by hand in the traditional way using looms that are powered by foot pedal or sometimes even solar power.

This ensures that minimal carbon based electricity is used, no harmful chemicals are added and the cloth is natural and beautiful!

M – Our Social Enterprise partner – Moralfibre Fabrics

zigzag throw story where does it come from ethical clothing
Where Does It Come From? founder Jo Salter with Moralfibre Fabrics founder Shailini Sheth Amin

Where Does It Come From? and Moralfibre Fabrics have been partners for many years and have produced a number of collections together, both for retail and for business. Moralfibre is a social enterprise that works with the co-operatives and artisan groups locally in Gujarat to deliver the required garments and textiles.

Moralfibre Fabrics is based in Ahmedabad in Gujarat and was set up by Shailini Sheth Amin to promote and source sustainable materials.   The values of Where Does It Come From? and Moralfibre are closely aligned – traceability with ethical, sustainable production.  Moralfibre works with local co-operatives which provide fairly paid work for thousands of rural artisans in Gujarat.  The work is de-centralized with the fabric production based in remote villages and undertaken by self employed artisans as part of the Khadi co-operative movement set up by Mahatma Gandhi.

Shailini with a group of weavers in a village, understanding and assessing their their skills and needs

1 – Tailoring by Rasikhai

Rasikbhai the tailor - the story of your handwoven cushion cover
Rasikbhai the tailor

Your cushion cover was tailored by Rasikbhai who has worked with us on many projects as part of the Moralfibre Fabrics team. Now over 70 years young, he was once a top upholstery master with a reputed furnishing house. Now he works from home, creating beautiful homewares, bags and other items. We are lucky to have access to his skills and experience!

W – Where Does It Come From?

love heartwood bag from Where Does It Come From? ethical traceable and fairtrade.
Jo Salter from Where Does It Come From? (taken by Gerard Hughes)

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 focused 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 textile clothing and accessories that you will want to use again and again. We hope that finding out about how your clothes and accessories were made, and the people who made them, will make you love them just a little bit more…..

The business was set up in 2013 and since then we’ve created clothing, accessories and homewares for retail and wholesale. We love working with like minded businesses to create bags and other merchandise products for them. If you love your throw then please check out our other items such as tunics, shirts, scarves and children’s clothing in our Website Shop.

You can read more about our work in our News & Blog section, including newspaper and radio coverage.  We’ve had a celebrity endorsement too – we were delighted and honoured when Joanna Lumley wore one of our scarves on her TV documentary ‘Joanna Lumley’s India’.

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