Loading... Please wait...

Blog

The Comeback of Kala Cotton

Posted by

Weaving in India has traditionally been a man’s job, while women have always assisted by filling the bobbins and making the warp. So, on our recent trip to the Kachchh in Gujarat India, we were thrilled to meet some women weavers who are weaving Kala Cotton.

Kala Cotton is indigenous to India and one of the few “Old World” varieties that is still being cultivated on a large scale in India. Farmers in this area of Gujarat can grow mung beans or cotton. If there is less rain in a season, they elect to plant cotton. This cotton thrives on only the rain that falls in a season and it is very resistant to disease and pests, which makes it a sustainable crop.

At one time Kala Cotton was very popular in India. They made clothes and home textiles out of it. Kala Cotton is a strong, coarse, stretchable fiber that today is often used in denim. In recent years Kala Cotton has been able to ride the handmade wave back to popularity.

We met with an NGO that is coordinating and developing local weavers while at the same time building a market for the organic Kala Cotton lengths of woven fabric. Small scale weavers find it very difficult to navigate the market. Currently, most of what they produce is sold to customers in India.

This NGO is currently working with 56 weaving families in 13 different villages and SIX of the weavers are women. Yeah!

The NGO introduced us to Remish and Remila, a husband and wife team who work together weaving. They work six days a week, 10 hours a day in the workshop next to the home that they share with their three daughters. Their loom was given to them by the government.

We find the cotton soft and durable. We purchased a stack of kitchen towels that have been very popular in the shop.Click here and see the hand towels.

View Comments


​Kantha Embroidery Empowers Women

A highlight for out trip to Kolkata, India was time spent with Shamlu Dudeja, the founder of Self Help Enterprise (SHE), a nonprofit that empowers women through embroidery.Shamlu, a math educator and textbook writer by profession, has worked with rural women to train and support them to produce exquisite Kantha embroidery pieces. She has worked tirelessly for more than [...]

Read More »


Hold Your Horses: The Taliban and Rug Making

It’s difficult to imagine how the Taliban in Afghanistan and Cultural Cloth in Maiden Rock, WI could ever intersect. And by extension, how the lives of our supportive customers could intersect with the Taliban, too. Yet remarkably that’s what occurred last week when we received a disturbing update from the group of women who make [...]

Read More »


Hold Your Horses: The Taliban and Rug Making

It’s difficult to imagine how the Taliban in Afghanistan and Cultural Cloth in Maiden Rock, WI could ever intersect. And by extension, how the lives of our supportive customers could intersect with the Taliban, too. Yet remarkably that’s what occurred last week when we received a disturbing update from the group of women who make our spotted pony, tiger, [...]

Read More »


A Bolt of Cloth and Repurposed Linen. “Straw” into gold. Product Development: An example of our process.

Late last fall we bought a bolt of gorgeous natural-colored, hand-spun, hand-woven hemp cloth from a weaving group in Laos. We weren’t sure what we were going to do with the cloth­—but it was too beautiful to pass up. Here at the shop, “too beautiful to pass up” is a common refrain. Hand spun & handwoven natural hemp cloth, [...]

Read More »


Ralli Quilts: Explosion of Color, Pattern & Love

During June, Cultural Cloth is hosting an exhibit of vintage Ralli Quilts that we collected on a recent trip to India. All of the pieces are for sale. You can see them up close on our website. We bought these quilts in villages and towns in the Kutch, a part of the state [...]

Read More »


Meander to Maiden Rock, WI - one hour from downtown St. Paul, MN

Spend a day exploring Maiden Rock, WI located one hour from downtown St Paul. The majestic Mississippi River bluffs and scenic Lake Pepin provide the backdrop for this inspired sojourn to women owned businesses. Come and see for yourself why Maiden Rock is experiencing a quiet renaissance along the river.Cultural Cloth - features artisan made home decor [...]

Read More »


Six Hours on Lake Pepin: Things to do Sundays in September on Lake Pepin

Spend Sunday exploring our picks on Lake Pepin from Bay City to rural Stockholm WI. Located just 70 minutes from downtown Minneapolis. The majestic Mississippi River bluffs and scenic Lake Pepin are the backdrop for our art inspired sojourn to women owned businesses along the West Coast of Wisconsin.  Note: Saturdays are fun too!  If you decide to [...]

Read More »


Turning Handmade Textiles into Home Decor Pillows

Sometimes in the past we would meet artisans who made beautiful handmade weavings or amazingly detailed embroideries but they do not have the resources to take these handmade pieces and make them into pillows and home décor that we could sell in our shop. They didn't own a sewing machine or even have access to reliable zippers and notions.We [...]

Read More »


Style Guide: How to Select a Larger Handmade Rug for your Living Room

Honestly, when we see a rug we can’t live without, we buy it and then after it arrives on our front porch we figure out where it is going to go in our house. We have been known to go to extraordinary lengths (pun intended) to fit a new 8x10 treasure in a 6x9 space. Over time we [...]

Read More »



 

Recent News

Newsletter