Monday, June 21, 2010

At the Sampoorn exhibition which is now running at Chitra Kala Parishat, Bangalore, Malkha has a stall [no 59] outdoors, between Weavers' Wheel and Tribal Health Initiative, as Chandra of WW had requested, though the other fabric stalls are indoors. This is the first exposure to customers for Chandraiah, [right, back, in the picture below], the unit manager from Mahbubnagar, and he finds it rather daunting!

Malkha prints are popular as usual, but one drawback is that our solid colours don't match the colours of the prints. Though both are vegetable colours, they come out differently in yarn dyeing and in printing. We're hoping to get plain fabric to match the prints for future exhibitions by getting the fabric dyed in Kutch.
We constantly re-discover that the whole process of cloth making is unfamiliar to the general public, so the difference in the technology of malkha vis-a-vis the conventional process does not really matter to them. We have a chart that shows the difference which we show customers, but obviously it cannot tell the whole story... Production processes and their ecological impact are really hidden from view. A good introduction is 'The Story of Stuff', a video available on the net. Someone should do a similar one specifically for cotton cloth.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Above is the exciting new white-on-white malkha stripe developed by our textile designer Satish.

Next to it are the two butterfly prints that we saw being hand-blocked in the printers' workshop .... [for some reason one of the pictures has disappeared]

And here is the bright red on red that we get only in the really strong sunshine at this time of year before the monsoon

All ready for the Bangalore show this week.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Its extremely cheering to open the e-mail and find not one but two letters of appreciation from malkha customers. Aditi, a Delhi based designer writes "I had bought a lot of malkha at the [Nature]Bazaar and made shirts for all my friends and they loved it and want more".
Mr N R Prakash writes to ask if we have any outlets in Bangalore. "I had purchased your malkha fabric last year in your stall at Bangalore. I intend to purchase some more..." Of course we sent him our invite for the coming show.

We have some new fabrics in the Bangalore show: self-stripe kora, thicker than the plain kora. The prints have come out really bright this time. There is always variation because of different seasons, with duller colours when there is less sunshine, and these have been printed in the height of summer. Will post some pics soon.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bangalore again

We'll be in Bangalore this month and hope to see familiar faces and new customers of malkha:

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The malkha journey seems to be picking up its own momentum independently of the originators. Lakshmi Bhatia introduced malkha to two of the largest garment exporters in Delhi. [Just to give you an idea of the difference in scale between their production and malkha's, the daily fabric turnover of one is twice malkha's current annual production!]. Obviously, the exporters are not going to use malkha for their regular production, but will help with finishing and testing, and perhaps also promotion, sample cutting and training of tailors. The important thing is that they both thought the fabric had great potential as part of the movement towards greener technologies which customers are beginning to look for even in mainstream stores in the US and Europe.