HandSPun HANDWOVEN COTTOn
Handspun and handwoven cotton is the essence of Nature Alley. Over the years, spinning this cloth has become the dying art of impoverished weavers. Nature Alley wants to bring it back in style. Cotton is collected by farmers, spun into threads, woven into cloth by weavers, embroidered by the women of the village, and sold and showcased nationally and internationally, creating an unbroken supply chain that benefits everyone. Nature Alley envisioned bridging the rural-urban gap by designing chic clothing that would appeal to the global market while also being socially responsible and ecologically sustainable.
Malkha is the other handmade cloth that is used at Nature Alley. Malkha is a sustainable, handwoven cloth, woven to be as light as muslin (malmal).
The Malkha way of making cotton cloth is an alternative to the present industrial model where ghettoization of the worker and pollution of nature is the norm. Malkha is an attempt, the first in modern history, to make yarn specifically for the handloom, to rid the artisanal textile chain of its dependence on large spinning mills that distort the small-scale, village-based nature of handloom cloth making.
Kasuti is a geometric embroidery technique from Karnataka. It is very intricate work and its speciality is that the embroidery looks exactly the same on both sides of the cloth. The beautiful geometric designs are derived from ancient architechture, flora and fauna. This embroidery adorns Nature Alley sarees, dupattas, kurtas and kurtis.
Lambanis or Banjaras are a nomadic tribe from Rajasthan, now spread over much of West and Southern India including Karnataka.
The Lambani embroidery is an amalgam of pattern darning, mirror work, cross stitch, and overlaid and quilting stitches with borders of “Kangura” patchwork appliqué, done on loosely woven dark blue or red handloom base fabric.
Kowdhi is a traditional quilting technique from Karnataka where old clothes and unused bits of fabric are cut up and layered together and sewn into a patchwork quilt. Nature Alley uses this classic craft to make modern garments like a long kowdhi vest.
Derived from the madder root, alizarin is an organic compound that can produce a range of colours from light pink to rich brown.
Greek for “Indian dye” because it’s supposed to have originated in India and traded along the Silk Road, indigo is a versatile natural dye that can be used to get a range of colours from pale blue to bright blue to deep violet and even some shades of green.
“Anar” is Hindustani for “pomegranate”. Anar can be used to produce a range of yellows from warm and sunny to dark ochre.
The most recognizable part of a handspun cotton cloth is its natural, off-white colour or kora. “Kora” in Hindustani translates to “clean” or “blank”, the perfect base for shining the spotlight on meticulous, gorgeous embroidery or to be worn au naturel! It’s a Nature Alley classic.