Some places have a distinctive sound. In Sausar, a small town in Madhya Pradesh, India, the hum of daily life in the crowded shops and alleyways is punctuated by the clickety-clack of wooden handlooms.
The weavers of Sausar, like Chayya bai and her family, have lived by this rhythm for generations, turning cotton and silk into gossamer-light fabrics of exceptional quality.
Craft revival improves livelihoods:
Chayya bai comes from a long line of Sausar weavers. With her talent and eye for refinement, her work fetches a good price from buyers who appreciate quality handcraft.
But even here, the forces of the global economy are present. Low pay for piecework and competition for market share from machine-made textiles and fast fashion means the handspun tradition is under threat.
In the 1800s, Sausar was at the center of the largest handloom production hub on the sub-continent. Today, fewer than 500 families still weave. Skilled artisans have been forced into domestic or factory work, labouring in harsh conditions for little pay.
Crafting sustainable livelihoods:
Like many women weavers, Lakshmi bai’s income supports the whole family. She used to work in a handloom production facility, which meant lower wages and long hours away from her children. Now she has her own loom. She works at home, developing her craft, while earning a good living.
Thank You India is helping to revive handloom production while empowering the women weavers. We work directly with a cluster of artisans so they can practice their craft in a dignified work environment while earning a decent wage. This model gives them control over their labour while promoting the fair trade textile industry.
By working directly with the weaving cluster, Thank You India is contributing to the livelihoods of a whole handloom ecosystem.
As a migrant to the city, Mamta, 31, and her family are forced to live in slum conditions, but the future is bright. Her energy never flags. Between looking after her three children, she ensures that Thank You India home linens meet the highest quality standards.
With each purchase, you help keep the rhythm of the handlooms going in Sausar.Continue reading