In a small village in Gujarat, Western India, we partner with family-run weavers. There are about 50-60 village weavers and they handloom our cotton textiles that are used for our shirting and dresses. Getting to the village is a two-hour drive passing through cotton fields and farmland from Ahmedabad, the nearest large city.
The skilled craftspeople are very resourceful and it is not uncommon for parts of the loom to be outfitted with locally found objects. Setting up a loom can take up to two weeks and the community comes together to collectively lend a hand.
Proudly on display in a central room of nearly every home is a foot pedal wooden loom, the source of their livelihood. Each weaver demonstrates their artistry and capabilities operating their loom with skillful hands and bare feet. Depending on the thickness of the yarn, a weaver typically averages 6 meters per day.
Threads are woven manually on a traditional wooden hand loom, a process that is hundreds of years old with a result that is unattainable on modern looms. Tension is adjusted manually, natural breakages and shuttle changes are hand knotted and yardage is limited. Although a slow and deliberate endeavor, it yields an authentic signature texture created by the hand of its weaver that is unattainable on modern looms. The resulting garment is crafted entirely by materials that embody unique characteristics that are made to last.
Videographer: Rahul Jain
Words/Photos: Michele Janezic