Your Garment Stories

CU23MLW – The Story of your Love Heartwood Bag

The Story of your Love Heartwood Bag

cotton growing in Gujarat. The story of your tiger scarf from Where Does It Come From?

Congratulations on buying a beautiful handmade wooden toy from Love Heartwood. Your toy has been created ethically and sustainably and so has the handwoven cotton bag that it has arrived in! Where Does It Come From? has worked with social enterprises in India to create your bag and to share it’s story with you. Here is its life story (so far….).

Your Love Heartwood bag started life in a cotton field. The cotton for your bag was selected from local, small cotton farms located close to the khadi co-operative. 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 firstly the seeds are removed – this process is called ginning.  The fluffy cotton balls are now processed and turned into slivers ready to be spun into thread.

U. Processed at Udyog Bharti

where does it come from? transparent supply chains love heartwood

The cotton fibre for your Love Heartwood bag was spun and woven by hand at the Udyog Bharti co-operative in Gujarat. 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 and weaving is done by hand using a mechanical process powered by a hand crank or foot pedal, or sometimes solar power. This makes the process totally carbon free and very eco-friendly.

Now it’s time to meet one of your spinners!

Ladies spinning cotton at Udyog Bharti – Love Heartwood bags

23. Spinner’s story

Jaswantiben the Spinner. The story of your tiger scarf from Where Does It Come From?

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. The story of your love heartwood bag from Where Does It Come From?

Three lady spinners!

M: Moral Fibre Fabrics

love heartwood bag

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

Your Love Heartwood bag was tailored by Rasikbhai. He is a master craftsman who works alone from his flat and usually focuses on working with upholstery – cutting and stitching bedspreads and tablewear by hand. He is known for his precision and cutting and sewing precise shapes and sizes.

L: Printing the Love Heartwood Logo

Your Love Heartwood bag has been printed by hand using a screen Printing technique.

We work with a local group of artisan printers in Ahmedabad run by Tahirbhai. His team have worked on many of the Where Does It Come From? scarves, shirts and children’s clothing.

The Loveheart logo design is 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!

Printing artisans for Where Does It Come From? ethical clothing - MORALFIBRE Fabrics

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 a basic wage and then an additional amount for quantity. They can lay out and print 1500 metres of 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.

Love Heartwood has commissioned four different bag designs, the most recent ones with the new logo design.  Below you can see our artisan printers in Gujarat, India printing the new logo on the khadi bags.

love heartwood bag

To the left you can see the first set of Love Heartwood bags handprinted with the orginal logo!

Below you can a later version – double sided and with a brown logo and text.  On the left you can see an artisan screen printing the logo and text information.

When your bag was ready it was sent off to the UK, checked and then sent out to Love Heartwood to be filled with gorgeous handmade wooden toys for you!


screen printing Love Heartwood bags by Where Does It Come From?

W – Where Does It Come From?

love heartwood bag from Where Does It Come From? ethical traceable and fairtrade.
love heartwood bag

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 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.  We love working with like minded businesses like Love Heartwood! If you love your bag please check out our clothing 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.  More recently 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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