Folklore, fables, songs and ballads talk of the essence of India’s most craft-rich countryside. Woven into this swathe of social fabric is Spun’s ambition to save the old and cherished forms of artistic expressions from extinction. The timeless techniques of Mashroo and Bujodi weaving are still alive and are still a source of great inspiration for the creators of the Spun range of products.
Bhuj is home to the traditional art of block printing that has captivated the world. Hand-made wooden blocks are hand-carved with intricately designed motifs. Vibrant dyes are made using recipes handed down from generation to generation. Then, painstakingly, the design is stamped on fabric by expert hands. Spun, in partnership with experienced artisans in Ajrakhpur and Gandhinagar aims to ensure that art form leaves an unforgettable imprint on today’s design.
A fascinating patchwork of small intricately cut pieces of fabric, sewn over a solid colour base fabric creates a layered, larger picture. This is a unique style of applique inherited from heartland Gujarat and Kutch that is in truth a patchwork of the rich traditions and culture of the region.
Kantha is a simple but delightful running stitch technique that can create startling and surprising patterns on fabric. A very popular form of embroidery in India, Kantha takes on a beautiful new dimension at Spun, with traditional skills shaping the contemporary look of the modern world.
Co-opting farmers, weavers and artisans in a unique model, Spun creates textiles from local, old-world cotton, continuing the national legacy of making cloth from the first to last mile on Indian soil. Indigenous to Kutch, it is totally organically grown with no use of fertilisers or pesticides. Kala cotton forms a strong, coarse, stretchable fibre that even modern-day denims often use.
By creating products out of remnant fabric, Spun at once provides employment for women while reusing and recycling waste. Innovative use of little shreds of material has resulted in a collection of contemporary, beautiful and sustainable furnishings with truly global appeal.
Raniben has given away the better part of her life … unconditionally. She has lost her husband but found the resilience to raise her children and educate them. She has set up a shop for her physically challenged son, sold all her jewels to get her daughter married and smiled away her misfortunes. Now in the evening of her life, she still has more to give. With the same maternal largesse she mentors the next generation of women on the dying arts of a land rich with tradition. This is a story of experience and selflessness intricately woven together. She is generosity.
Ushaben has never believed in failure. A hardworking member of a farming family, she knows that what you sow is what you reap. Her mind has always been her prime mover and she has never ceased to ask why not. She questions the hand fate has dealt her and is determined to weave her own destiny. A wife and a mother, she seeks a better life for her family and a future for her son that defies all circumstance. A rare example of a woman who, of her own volition, seized opportunity with both hands and responded spontaneously to the beckoning of progress. She is resolve.
Silent strength and inner resilience go by the name of Vejiben. In an arid desert sandscape, these are virtues that are almost genetically coded into the hardy people, and she has learnt to feed off her hopes and dreams to turn her life into pure art. Vejiben supplements the family income with her hard work but it soon becomes clear that to her it is not work at all, but the sheer love of expressing her talent. In her hands the threads speak a new language. It is the delightful dialect of determination and dedication. She is fortitude.
Money may be a real necessity, but what drives Vajiben through each day is an exuberance that defies all odds. She has been through a lot to get where she has, but when she is at work and one with her creation, there is not even a trace of despair or disillusionment to be seen. Instead, there is a sense of purpose, an unspoken but unmistakable restlessness to overcome. Watching her, is being witness to a true story of achievement. She is aspiration.
Rasilaben is the epitome of a calm and collected attitude that makes light of any trying circumstance. Hers is a smile that lights up the community and hers is the quiet courage that galvanises the group to greater heights. Talented, painstaking and dedicated, she knows what her earnings can mean to her loved ones and that is the inspiration that keeps her going. It shows in the creations she brings to life and in the way her work of art is sought after. There aren’t many who can change an ordinary day with extraordinary positivity. She is triumph.
A day in the life of the women of the desert, is an eon of uncertainty. Natural disaster coupled with a hand-to-mouth existence, unforgiving climate coupled with a punishing routine … life behind those ready smiles is riddled with challenges. As they make unleavened bread on slow wood fires, they know these meagre meals must sustain a whole family and be the energy fuel for a whole day. Tomorrow must again be eked out from a handful of grains. Yet, the powerful ingredient call maternal love seems to satiate and nourish.
Knowing the challenges of combatting a rigid social structure, knowing how housebound a woman has to be to nurture her children and feed her family in the most frugal way, Welspun decided to bring opportunity to her humble hamlet and allow her to earn a living in the vicinity of her thatched home. Vocational Centres have been created, women gather in groups to skill themselves and the needle embroiders patterns of a whole new life, free from poverty and worry.
When women stand on their own two feet and liberate themselves from their own diffidence, it directly impacts the community in a virtuous cycle of progress. Welspun aims to create the model village - where women and children have a right to better education, where education creates better opportunities for employment, where employment creates a better life of empowerment and where empowerment creates a better understanding and nurturing of the environment.
Welspun truly champions women empowerment with a deep-seated commitment that goes beyond words to grassroot implementation. Vocational Centres, schools, adult literacy classes, health and sanitation facilities, mobile clinics with doctors on call, community toilets … all this is focused towards the step by step emancipation of the mind, to slowly but surely change behaviour, mindsets and attitudes.
How do you measure the worth of a smile that survives through so much? How do you place a value on four basic meals a day? How do you calculate the size of a family that has given so many of its loved ones to the earthquake? Although numbers tell delightful tales of triumph over adversity, to us the untold statistics of the happiness quotient, the possibility paradigm and the independence index are more meaningful.
As the scorching sun beats down on endless miles of baked earth and as camels unhurriedly trudge across the dunes in single file, the story of the Great Rann of Kutch unfolds. A wasteland of dramatic dichotomies, it is a stark contrast of obstacles and opportunities, monochromatic landscapes and vibrantly bedecked tribals, untold travails and unforgettable travelogues. To live here is to know the wrath of nature, the harshness of reality and the meaning of survival.
The women of this vast sandscape will traverse miles just to get a pot of water each day, but any other walk away from their homes or communities will result in ostracism, censure and a life confined to the rigid walls of a parochial society.
In 2001, tremors of an unprecedented nature shook the foundations of many lives in Kutch forever. Death, destruction, despair came together at once and a shell-shocked tribe watched everything they had so assiduously built together turn to rubble. Also razed to the ground was the eternal optimism that they had always lived by.
The women of Kutch became leaders of a mammoth mission. The day the earth gave way beneath their feet and their world came crumbling down, they stood tall despite calamity and catastrophe to challenge their fate and reclaim their future.
Somewhere among the ruins lay the answer to what would otherwise seem an insurmountable life. With loss comes the ability to rebuild, this time with a more progressive and future-ready instincts. For, in a way, the walls that collapsed were also walls of narrow-mindedness. And now, advancement was suddenly possible.
The women turned pivotal in the superhuman task of starting all over again. There were mouths to feed, homes to put back together, fires to keep burning. They became bread-winners, care-givers, home-makers all in a spike of the Richter scale.
In the sudden stillness of the aftermath, there was time to reflect. Not just on the unfairness of yesterday, but on the meaning of tomorrow. With the government and the Welspun Group stepping in, the slow process of rescue and rehabilitation also allowed for a reconstruction of thinking.
The challenge to get the women to step out beyond community norms was uphill, but they were themselves more than willing and could see a new horizon beyond the threshold of their insular lives. They took charge in a way only determined women can.
Today, the Rann of Kutch is abuzz with growth. Surrounding the acres of the sophisticated Welspun plant, which by itself provides employment directly and indirectly to thousands, is an entire eco-system that thrives.
With Vocational Centres coming right to the doorsteps of eager women, they now express themselves through the arts and crafts of the land they sprang from. Welspun believes that when you change the lives of women you change the entire society. And that is why we began our journey of weaving the threads of life.
Choose from a delightful selection of handcrafted decorative pillows to suit your home decor
Shop from our range of light and elegant dohar quilts for those warm summer nights
Select from an array of handmade duvet sets for that much needed luxurious comfort in your bedroom
Pick from an assortment of chic yet sustainable table runners to dress up your dining area
Adorn your dinner table with trendy placemats made in an innovative way
Opt for co-ordinated sets of coasters created using the traditional handloom technique
Add that dash of style to your dinner table with a beautifully crafted table linen collection of placemats and coasters
Sling on an artistically created bag to suit your style
Accessorise your look with exquisite handcrafted handbags
Choose from a delightful selection of handcrafted decorative pillows to suit your home decor
Welcome to Spun. Threads with a soul.
An initiative by Welspun to change the lives of women of the Great Rann of Kutch by co-opting them into the revival of the dying arts and crafts of the region.
When you buy a Spun product
you don't just buy an exclusive work of art. You help save tradition and you help in women empowerment all at once.
They find their self-expression in their native sense of design. They rejoice in the beauty of the arts they have helped rejuvenate. They are the seamstresses who have saved some of the finest traditions from extinction. When you buy a Spun product, you don’t just buy a rare one-of-a-kind piece. You buy a page in the hallowed history of enriching and enduring craftsmanship.
They are the daughters of the desert. The unsung heroines of the far horizon. The creators of the resilient gene. And the threads that link their lives to ours are delicate, handspun and rich with tales of triumph over the odds. When you buy a Spun product, you don’t just buy a thing of exquisite beauty. You buy a fistful of happiness shared generously by women who find it so hard to come by.
They are women who have begun a journey to an optimistic tomorrow. They are a hardy tribe whose prosperity impacts the family and the society they live in. They are mothers of invention, sisters in survival, success stories that are waiting to happen. When you buy a Spun product you don’t just buy home couture that is refreshingly unique. You help feed a family, build a thatched home, provide healthcare and sanitation, educate children and adults and change the future forever.
They leave behind the reality of their harsh existence as they lose themselves in the intricate patterns they create. For the hours they spend among the colourful strands, the dull brown miles of the desert sands are forgotten. As the needles weave the multi-hued skeins through the vibrant cloth, this sorority basks in the sheer pleasure of art. When you buy a Spun product you don’t just buy an ethnic objet d’ art. You buy into the fascinating stories and the unsung lives that form the warp and weft of the very fabric of Kutch.
They are born with an innate love of a vibrant palette. They have the rustic skill that translates into the intricacy of design. Their deep appreciation of the rich earth, natural yarns, pigments and dyes, tints and tones all get embroidered into their every effort. When you buy a Spun product, you don’t just buy a great addition to your home decor. You buy a means of livelihood for someone who gives you a labour of love.