Our Stories...

Threads of Spring: The Traditional Weaves of Andhra Pradesh

Threads of Spring: The Traditional Weaves of Andhra Pradesh

In celebration of Vogue Fashion Night Out and Fashion Week, our wonderful Cloth & Co. team have pulled together a fashion and floral installation at St Collins Lane in the heart of the beautiful Melbourne CBD.

Vogue Fashion Night Out - St Collins Lane

Threads of Spring: The Traditional Weaves of Andhra Pradesh is a fashion and floral installation that reflects the journey of hand loom from the weavers to the runway.

Handloom weavers are the single largest group of artisans in India, which has one of the richest traditions and variety of this craft. Each region has its own particular style of weaving using traditional designs and motifs – every weave no matter how small or ordinary has its own distinctive character. 

Cloth & Co. sources hand-loomed textiles from traditional artisans across India.  We focus on high quality, organic and natural fibres; bringing the beauty of hand woven fabrics to our collections.

Our aim is to promote and revive this luxurious craft through contemporary fashion & homewares; enriching the lives of the skilled craftspeople & communities who practice it.

By promoting hand loomed, natural fibres and the traditional artisan techniques we strive for ethical practice and positive change, reducing the environmental, ethical and social impact of the fast fashion industry. 

Our incredible dress was made by our very talented Grace Richards, utilising a beautiful hand loomed ikat fabric.

Ikat Warp, Hand Loomed

Ikat is an age old dyeing technique that employs resist dyeing on the yarns prior to weaving. We have engaged our artisans on this project to create a bold statement for the preservation of hand craft, and the appreciation of artisan skills as part of Vogue Fashion Night Out.

Ikat on the loom

Our beautiful dress appears to be naturally evolving from the warp from which is was woven, while a trail of Australian native Paper Daisies are left in her wake.

Vogue Fashion Night Out - St Collins Lane Melbourne

The incredible floral head piece was the creation of our lovely in house florist Jennifer Pridham, creating an ethereal and goddess like vision of the Collins Street entrance of St Collins Lane.
 

A big thank you to our incredible installation team! (from left to right) Jennifer Pridham, Caroline Poiner, Daisy Poiner & Grace Richards.

 

Khadi - The Fabric of Freedom

Khadi - The Fabric of Freedom

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world” - Mahatma Gandhi

Khadi is at the heart of Gandhi’s freedom movement and seems to be more and more relevant with what is going on in our world today.

In India, Khadi was at the heart of Mahatma Gandhi’s movement to promote an ideology of self-reliance during the struggle for independence. 

 

Every piece of Khadi cloth is unique as a result of a labour intensive weaving process, starting with the spinning of cotton into yarn using a spinning wheel called a chakra, with textural variations, a testament to its handmade origins. 

 

Cloth & Co. sources its products at grassroots level, working with artisan communities across India to create luxurious textiles from highly skilled weavers working with handloom.

India’s industrialization and participation in the modern world economy is decades old. Nevertheless, millions of Indians still depend on indigenous modes of production, traditional skills and techniques to make a living based on handmade products. These craftspeople or artisans are the backbone of the non-farm rural economy, with an estimated 7 million artisans according to official figures, including many women whom there are limited avenues of employment available. 

Khadi is the most sustainable and eco-friendly product which does not use any electrical support. It is the only textile activity which does not utilize fossil fuel. Conventional cotton production is known for it's impact on the environment through water usage and chemical fertilisers where as with khadi this is vastly reduced, particularly with the increase in organic cotton farming  - the production of one metre of khadi fabric consumes three litres of water whereas a conventional textile mill would need 55 litres?

Cloth & Co. source a range of beautiful Khadi cotton from various regions across India that is then woven by skilled weavers in Bihar state in India’s North. With master weavers and skilled artisans, handloom weaving is a heritage craft in this State, being the biggest employer after agriculture. Recent years have seen a revival of handloom weaving and techniques that were on the verge of dying out.

View our collection of Khadi which is available now.

Cushions & throws are available in Natural, Ink, Tea, Stone, Dove & Steel Blue (new).

With Khadi’s organic and zero carbon footprint qualities and it’s unique texture that can only be achieved with hand-spun yarn, our collection of sumptuous cushions and throws not only look and feel beautiful but their production is having a positive impact on people and the environment.

Photographs of khadi taken by Praveen Chauhan in Bihar.

 

 

 

Reference: P.K in Orissan Handicrafts in the Age of Globalization: Threats and Opportunities, and Mukherjee D in Indian Handlooms and Handicrafts: Issues and Experiences, 2009