– Craftsmanship is the quality and expertise of design in products made by hands –
India is home to the world’s most hand-skilled artisans and has a rich textile heritage. The diversity of India’s textile crafts ranges from natural dyeing through hand embroidery to block printing. One of these indigenous techniques is the mastery of India’s traditional “Khadi” fabric.
Traditional Khadi is hand-spun and hand-woven – a human process in which all senses work together. The quality difference of a thread that is formed between two finger tips epitomises a fabric’s unique character and identity. Khadi fabric can be recognised and distinguished from the uniform look of machine-made fabric by its irregularity in the warp and/ or weft; a characteristic effect resulted from the artistry of hand-spinning. Apart from its rich texture and striking simplicity, Khadi has a fascinating story – it was central to Gandhi’s movement in the early 1920’s when a social & financial empowerment movement was begun by re-introducing the Khadi tradition in India.
THE VALUE OF TIME
The craftsmanship of hand-spinning happens in villages in North India where a few hundred artisans are involved in the process, majority of whom are women. Yarns are hand-spun and hand-crafted on box Chakras as well as NCK Chakras. Counts vary from 200 to 25, and 2 ply to 8 ply. Artisans who are skilled in hand-weaving live in villages in West Bengal and Bihar, which around 10-30 weavers and 1 master weaver are involved in the process. Weaving is performed on pit looms and constructions can vary from 1×1, 2×1, and 3×1, with weights from 3 oz to 17 oz.
The art and craft of hand-dyed natural Indigo Denim is an intense process
where hanks need to be dipped several times to define the right colour shades.
Those who experience hand-dyed Denim understands the difference
through the slow but much more beautiful fade.
A minimum of 10 spinners are required to support a single hand-operated loom.
64,000 meters of yarn needs to be spun for 3 meters of fabric.
It takes 1 to 2 days for the threading of the loom.
9 hours of hand weaving on a wooden loom equals 2 meters of selvedge denim fabric.
As a final step, finishing of the fabric is done in Bhagalpur. The fabric is first washed with natural soap nuts, after which the fabric can be finished in different ways by 3 skilled artisans:
‘Loom-state one dip’: the fabric is soaked for one night in water.
‘Calendered’: the fabric passes through two steel rolls.
‘Kundi’: is a traditional Indian method where the fabric is hammered meter by meter with a wooden mace.
To highlight the cultural and historical identity of our Social Chain,
we offer upon request silver or golden recycled Zari threads that can be woven into the selvedge of our denim fabrics.
Such human process puts a limit on production capacity, but at the same time enhances the exclusivity of every meter of the fabric. With its rich texture and personality, Seven Senses Handwoven Denim fabrics have delicate detailing and are unique for human touch.