In India, there are 2 types of cotton growing: one called "Hill" cotton which is naturally organic & growing wild and then there is "punasa" a farmed variety made with generational seeds(not hybrid). A third variety known as "red" cotton grows naturally as the color comes to the bush from the soil's nutrients.
The cotton once picked is then passed on to the "spinners". In cleaning the cotton(ginning process), the spinner uses a fine comb from the jaw of a river fish. Caught by specialized fisherfolk from over generations, it has been used to separate the raw difficult short staple cotton from it's seed.
Then a second stage in this process requires the use of a small iron rod in a rolling motion on a block to further remove seeds. This unique ginning process was invented way back before machines and electricity.
These seeds are then distributed back to farmers for the next season's crop thereby avoiding the need for anything beyond the local variety and keeping the strain pure.
Next is the slivering process and is done with a bow like instrument....
to fluff cotton....
and to create rolls called slivers. These are hand made and kept in dried banana stems to use to procure the thread. (see below)
Spinning can now begin - into a fine yarn which can be up to 110 counts in white cottons and 63 counts in red.
The original one wheel charka, Gandhi approved...
Creating the hank of cotton thread that will be used for the warp & weft, counting under breath so as to separate yarn into 1000 thread hanks.
cotton hank- top:70 counts/17grams, bottom:100counts/10 grams
The "boat" containing the thread for the weft - the weaver sends this small wooden vessel between the layers of the warp, back and forth horizontally, then brings the loom arm forward to tighten the weave... thereby creating the KHADI fabric.
KHADI crafted in the traditional method: red(63ct), white(100ct) and natural bleached(100ct). A Most beautiful textile that wears like linen but feels more soft with each wearing - coveted by Indians and designers as a pure fabric.
AtelierOM will use for limited edition special pieces as it is more costly and production is slow, limited and laborious.