Our Fabrics

Tussah Silk

History

Tussah Silk is an exquisite thread obtained from a wide winged moth – Antheraea Paphia that is yellowish-brown in color.

Produced mainly in India, Tussah is highly valued for its natural Gold colors, which it inherits from this specific moth variety.  It is believed that Tussah silk was a discovery in the medieval times in the Indian sub continent.

Process

Tussah or wild silk, is made by gathering cocoons from the wild after the moths have emerged. It reflects the exotic and untamed spirit of the wild silkworm producing it, in its feel, color and sheen.

Tussah silk is quite textured, comes in a range of natural colors like beige, cream, honey and tawny, and has an uneven golden sheen. This natural, forest-based activity and its exposure to nature results in its truly multi-tonal look, which can never be duplicated by manmade fabric. Additionally, natural vegetable dyes and /or Azo free dyes are used in printing on this silk.

Clothes made of tussah silk have unique thermal properties – they keep warm in winter and cool in summer.

Sustainability

Majority of tussah silkworm rearers are tribal people living in forest and forest fringe areas. Their primary livelihood is subsistence agriculture, which is mostly unable to provide them with food security.

A variety of NGO’s in India are striving to create sustainable income for this lowest level in the livelihood pyramid. Tens of thousands of tribal silkworm rearers, poor rural women yarn makers and handloom weavers in the hinterlands of India, are thus able to have a sustainable livelihood while ensuring commercial viability of Tussah silk.

We are very proud of the work we do. Fashionable, Sustainable and Advancing Social causes.


Handwoven Kalamkari Prints

History

The idea of handwoven cotton comes from the history of cotton cloth making in the Indian subcontinent, the history of a robust and resilient industry embedded in diverse local cultures and customs, a history stretching over millennia.

A pattern of textile production that was subverted by the Industrial Revolution model.

Process

Our handwoven cotton  does away with baling and un-baling for cotton yarn which not only saves quantities of valuable energy, but also allows the yarn to retain the absorbency, bounce and luster that is natural to cotton. The spinning process makes yarn specifically for handlooms as part of a textile process designed to retain all the good qualities of cotton.

Yarn is then woven into cloth on handlooms by both men and women. The weaver sitting at a handloom plays a far more decisive role in cloth-making than the robotic activity of a power-loom operator.

Natural dyeing using plant-based dyestuffs produces a variety of beautiful dyed fabrics with no environmental pollution. A variety of plant-based products go into the dyeing of the yarn: Indigofera Tinctoria for indigo, Acacia Catechu for brown, Terminalia Chebula and Punica Granatum (pomegranate rind) for yellow, and Onosma Echioides for grey. Red, made of non-toxic alizarin, a byproduct of coal-tar, is the only dye not of vegetable origin.

Printing on cloth is done using blocks carved out of seasoned teakwood.

Sustainability

Our Kalamkari cotton cloth is an alternative to the present industrial model where ghettoization of the worker and pollution of nature is the norm.

Decentralized, sustainable, field-to-fabric cotton textile chain, collectively owned and managed by the primary producers in small scale; hence providing work for village folks in their own neighborhoods.

We are very proud of the work we do. Fashionable, Sustainable and Advancing Social causes.


Hand Batik

History

Batik is an ancient art which uses wax and dyes to create a visual magic on fabrics. Our Hand batik fabric originates from Kolkata, India.

In India, the roots of Batik can be traced to the 1st century AD. Over a period of time, Batik got relegated to the background in India. However in the 20th century, Batik was introduced as part of the syllabus in the University of Shanti Niketan – Kolkata. Thereon, the resurgence of Batik began as an art form.

Process

A Batik creation involves 3 basic steps . The fabric first goes through a wax resist application process before being dyed. The fabric then undergoes a de-waxing process wherein the wax is carefully cracked to reveal the contrasting colors of the design. Batik’s signature characteristic is the effect created by the wax cracking on the fabric.

Batik printed fabric is known for its longevity and is often passed down as a family heirloom. Batik on natural fibers produces the best results.

Sustainability

Unfortunately, this ancient dyeing technique is also in danger of disappearing, once the artisans who know how to create these beautiful textiles stop teaching their ancestral techniques to their descendants. The dyeing technique itself has become a crucial part of the intangible cultural heritage of various communities all over the world.

Our Hand batik fabric is made exclusive for our line by a hand batik artist who coaches young girls in a correctional facility. Teaching them this skillful craft will enable these girls to find meaningful work and keep them out of harms way.

We are very proud of the work we do. Fashionable, Sustainable and Advancing Social causes.


HandBlock Printing

History

Our HandBlock Printed fabrics originate from Sanganer region of Jaipur India. Block printing is an ancient Indian heritage craft practiced by highly skilled artisans in the Jaipur region.

India has been renowned for its printed and dyed cotton cloth since the 12th century and the craft flourished as the fabric received royal patronage. Centers such as Sanganer in Rajasthan rose to prominence in the 18th century.

The “Chhipa” community who is largely engaged in this traditional craft has settled here from various parts of Northern and Western India. They have gracefully carried forward this traditional art form over successive generations.

Process

A print starts with the design drawn on paper and then hand-carved into seasoned teak wood by trained craftsmen. Each block has the design for an individual repeat which is then manually stamped in rows across the fabric. Each color in the design has its own block. These hand-carved block are used to imprint the design onto the fabric. The imprinting is done by hand by a skilled block printer.

Sanganer Block printing utilizes AZO free, eco-friendly synthetic colors as compared to the traditional Bagru style block printing which uses plant-based dyes.

Sustainability

As is the case with many other artisanal crafts in India, block printing is being replaced by screen and digital printing — faster, mechanized forms of garment production — and the influx of low cost textiles.

Block-printing is not only an environmentally positive approach to textile production in rural India, but also source of income to many village families. Although traditionally, men have been the printing masters, women also are becoming skilled printers in recent years. Thereby increasing income and standard of living for a family.

Crafts in rural communities sustains families, allows children to gain education and breathes life into a heritage that is over 4,000 years old.

Namrita Chettiar strives to work towards enabling and sustainability of these heritage Crafts.