As you already know, the garments produced under the label 'Bhushavali' are made using the Khadi or Handloom textile created by a traditional weaver, dyed in natural dyes by a traditional dyer.
So what does a Khadi or Handloom or Natural Dyes (which are plant dyes in our case) mean? READ ON...
Khadi literally means the handspun, handwoven fabric. 'Handspun' means the process of spinning (converting cotton pod into a yarn) is done by hand with minimal hand held devices. 'Handwoven' means the process of weaving (converting the yarn to fabric) is done by hand with traditional looms that made mostly out of wood with iron fittings. But Khadi, emotionally means the freedom fabric of India.
In 1920, during the Nagpur session, the Indian International Congress decided to encourage Khadi, as a political weapon and as the best instrument to create and spread the Swadeshi Spirit and to boycott foreign goods. Khadi gave an opportunity to every man, woman and child to cultivate self discipline and self sacrifice as a part of the non-cooperation movement.
Similar to Khadi, Handloom Fabrics too are handwoven. But unlike Khadi, this is not Handspun. The yarn is produced in mills, but weaving is done in traditional looms.
Under our label, plant dyes are used wherever its denoted as Natural dyes! Natural Dyes are colouring matter found in naturally occurring substances in certain parts of vegetative matter, like the roots, barks, leaves, fruits and flowers of trees and plants; coloured earths and rocks, other substances of mineral origin, and in some cases, insects are used. In the early years of civilization, before the advent of artificial dyes, natural dyes were the only source of colouring.
Indian knew colouring of fabrics ever since the Harappan Civiliazation. The little piece of madder dyed fabrics stuck onto a silver vase is a standing example of the antiquity of the knowledge. Later the Ajanta paintings which were from 2BC to 6AD, are the biggest proof of not only the existence of natural dyes but also the rich and wide color palette and the textile techniques used like block prints, ikat, batik, khadi print etc and also the enormous knowledge in garment production.
INDIAN TEXTILE HERITAGE:
Hand spinning and hand weaving has been known to man ever since pre-historic era. India is believed to be the original home of cotton. In Vedas a detailed description of the various processes of producing cloth, including spinning, weaving, dyeing etc are given, including the implements used, their parts, varieties of cloth, their uses etc. Cotton, Silk, Wool and Hemp were the fibers known to man then.
Manusmiriti, an ancient Indian law book, tells about the punishment to cotton weavers who use too much sizing material. Indian epics Mahabaratha and Ramayana tell about various cotton fabrics in assorted colors and embellished in gold. Greek writings say about Sindon and Gangetika fabrics which are fabrics from Sindh region and Ganges region. Megasthenes spoke about the love of Indian people in wearing colored clothes, decorated in gold and precious metals. He also wrote about the Indians wearing flowered muslins. Alexander the Great took back some fabulous printed cottons and finely woven silks. Roman women have great love for Indian fabrics and it was of very high demand there. Roman historian Pleenu talks about Roman currency in the range of 10 crores been spent on import of Indian fabrics. The paintings in the Ajanta Caves are a standing example of the finesse in the art and marvelousness in weaving and printing in mesmerizing designs. Chinese traveler Hsuan Tsang mentions about the gloriousness of Indian Fabrics. Marcopolo’s accounts of 13th C CE also talks about Indian fabrics and describe it to be equivalent to Spider Web in terms of finesse.
Photo Credits: Gandhiji - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gandhi_spinning.jpg