India Handmade Collective presents SALT Stories, an exhibition of handmade products with natural dyes, in Hyderabad

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India Handmade Collective presents SALT Stories, an exhibition of handmade products with natural dyes, in Hyderabad

India Handmade Collective presents SALT Stories, an exhibition of handmade products with natural dyes, in Hyderabad

SALT (Sustain. Act. Live. Transform.) Stories, an initiative that liaises with weavers and artisans working with organic cotton and natural dyes, will hold a three-day exhibition at the premises of the Craft Council of Telangana in ‘Hyderabad, from 17 to 19 June. Hand-woven and spun textiles and garments for men, women and children, as well as a few other handicrafts, will be on display.

This is the third edition of SALT Stories, after the events in Bangalore and Chennai. The Hyderabad edition will focus on labels that use natural dyes. Mahima Thangappan, coordinator of the event, reveals that 11 of the nearly 25 labels that are part of the India Handmade Collective (IHMC), use natural dyes. Look for brands such as Blue Lotus, Porgai, KASKOM, Magan Khadi, MGGSS, Nature Alley, Khamir, Tula Organic Clothing, Gram Sewa Mandal and Weaverbird.

What is HMI? During the first lockdown in 2020, there was a growing conversation about the need to scale up eco-responsible practices. Ironically, it was a testing period for artisans working with organic cotton and natural dyes. This was the case with the survival of the fittest, those who were adept at e-commerce practices managing to stay afloat. The rest had to wait for the markets to pick up. In November 2020, a group of like-minded people working with clusters of artisans formed the IHMC.

Hand spun and woven textiles and garments will be on display

Hand-spun and woven textiles and garments will be on display | Photo credit: special arrangement

Through its website (indiahandmadecollective.com), the collective tried to reach those who wanted to buy clothes made with labels that followed sustainable practices and strived to reduce their carbon footprint. “We focus a lot on flax in India, but the raw material is imported. IHMC works with organizations that use locally available raw materials and weave or spin organic cotton. Using natural dyes is an extra step that helps reduce water pollution,” says Mahima. The textile industry is one of the main contributors to water pollution.

IHMC focuses on brands that use khaddar, chemical-free, natural-dye clothing, and organic cotton.

As the situation became conducive to real-time exhibitions, IHMC held SALT Stories exhibitions in Bengaluru and Chennai. The Hyderabad edition will showcase textiles and garments in Bengal muslin, jamdani, kowdhi art of quilting, kaala cotton and Lambadi embroidery.

On the sidelines of the three-day exhibition, there will be spinning and natural dyeing workshops. A hand spinning workshop will be held on June 17 and a natural dyeing workshop on June 18, which will be addressed by experts in the field such as Ramanjeneyalu, Nagendra Satish, Prof Sharada Devi, Sharmila Nagraj and VR Ananthoo.

(The SALT Stories exhibition will take place at CCT Spaces, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, from June 17-19. For natural dyeing and spinning workshops, call 7305127412 to register.)

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