Posted by Mary Anne Wise on December 07, 2016
We've worked with Jabbar Khatri and his team for years. We've sold his scarves and wraps in our shop almost every season, but now we've teamed up with this award winning artist from Bhuj, India and his talented team of tie’ers, dyers and quilters to create an organic cotton baby quilt that babies, mammas and grannies will love.
The quilt is understated simplicity. This little gem, comes together thanks to many hands. Among them are the dedicated farmers who raised the cotton without chemicals in Kutch’s desert-like conditions. Click here and read a recent Hand Eye Magazine article about the production of this fabulous cotton and about the lives of the farmers.
Jabbar gets his Kala cotton from the Khamir Craft Resource Center in Kutch. Khamir is special because they use locally grown, sustainably produced cotton that is naturally organic since no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers are used. This cotton is then hand loomed into the softest cotton you can imagine. We visited Khamir when we were in India last year. We loved the organic simplicity of their fabrics. The patterns were spare, mostly stripes. We brought some yardage back to the store. Customers have used it for everything from shirts to napkins.
Last year when we traveled to India, we also spent a day with Jabbar in his workshop. We saw first hand the attention to detail that makes his work special. We watched the trial and error process of dying the cotton to just the right color. Each step of the way, the young man dying the fabric would check with Jabbar, the expert, and confirm that the color was exactly right. This rhythm went on all day.
Jabbar also introduced us to some of the women artisans practicing centuries old resist dye-process called bandhani. Their deft hands bound off small sections of fabric that would not be colored in the dye process. After dying and drying, the threads are cut away leaving just a pucker of white. The artisans bind off the fabric making amazing detailed patterns that delight the eye.
After the fabric woven and dyed, another group of artisan quilts stitch the pieces into quilts.