Crafts

Traditional Skills
Traditional weaving techniqueThe spinning and weaving of natural fibres like wool and pashmina is traditional to our hills. The tools used for spinning are mostly drop spindles or foot operated Bageshwari charkhas (spinning wheels). The weaving was traditionally done on pit looms or waist looms. Most of the waist looms in our area are not used any more. The width of fabric produced on both these looms is also very limited. Thick blankets, shawls and carpets were made traditionally in this area.
The natural dyeing of wool is also traditional to the area but the colors made were mostly browns and yellows. This skill was slowly disappearing due to cost and availability of the dyes.

Solar powered spinning wheelAvani’s inputs
We have introduced the spinning and weaving of wild silks like eri, muga and oak tussar as well as mulberry silk in our area. Uttaranchal has been producing very good quality mulberry cocoons for many years now, but the processing of the silk was done minimally within the state. Avani’s inputs have ensured value addition to the raw material produced here.
Solar powered spinning wheels have been developed that are being used by a few spinners in unelectrified villages.
We have also introduced frame looms with wider widths for hand weaving. This has given us a wider product range.

Having experimented with many more plants of our area, we have increased the color palette in natural dyes. We use many commonly available plants for dyeing. A rural natural dyeing workshop has been set up at Tripuradevi and a team of rural youth have been trained as dyers.
We have used the existing skill of knitting to produce simple knitted products in wool and silk in natural dyes.
We have trained a team of rural women and men as tailors to produce high quality garments, jackets and furnishings in naturally dyed fabrics. These garments are being embellished with embroidery.