The pastoralist communities of Kachchh (western Gujarat, India) have been the caretakers of the land since time immemorial. Clad in the fabric woven from the yarn they spin, they travelled the region, ensuring that no single place was overgrazed. As they did so, they spun yarn from the fibres dropped by their herds. They presented this yarn to weavers, asking for garments or household items that they needed. In this way the local communities of Kachchh were linked to each other by this way of life. With the march of time, the common grazing lands of these herds have diminished, and with it the tradition of the pastoral herders has declined. Local sheep wool lost its glory and the pastoralists found there was no market for it. This in turn weakened the link between pastoralists and weavers.
Khamir Craft Society is a non-profit craft organisation that works with artisans and craft traditions indigenous to the Kachchh region trying to ensure the survival of craft traditions and restore the traditional cultural links between the pastoralists and weavers. Using wool from the local Patanwadi breed of sheep, thread is handspun on traditional charkhas (spinning wheel) to ensure the highest quality. This handspun yarn is then transported to Khamir's campus, where it is treated and naturally dyed using colours inspired by local landscapes. Their homewares and fabrics are then woven in three distinct techniques, depending on the nature of the loom - y-shuttle, Galicha, and Kharad.
To follow the story of Khamir Craft Society, find them here.