SUPPLIER OF CUSHIONS
This textile manufacturer employs 400 men and women, of which 260 are cottage workers. Employees receive ES insurance to get free medical treatment for all the family, provident fund for pensions and interest free loans for various health problems or marriage. They support SOS Children Village India, Save the Children and Oxfam as their favoured charities. Traditional techniques involved include hand-weaving, hand embroidery, kantha work, sequins, cutwork, tiedye, block and screen printing. Materials used include wool/ jute, jute/cotton, seagrass, wool/cotton and recycled materials are recycled cotton, recycled denim, sweet wrappers and saris. They have an excellent team of young people who are energetic and committed, giving a new vision.
The process of producing a cushion consists of three major parts: Yarn sourcing and processing, weaving, and cutting, stitching and finishing. Cotton is the most popular material for making cushions, rugs and carpet because it is strong, soft, long lasting and beautiful. Once unprocessed cotton arrives at the workshop the cotton flower is separated by hand from the cotton plant. The strands are then mechanically spun into yarn. We source our yarn from the cities of Jaipur, Panipat, Bikaner and Bhagalpur. Once procured the yarn is then washed to remove the dust and grease thoroughly. The process involves submerging it in a detergent bath, wringing it out several times, and then washing it with clean water to remove the detergents. Then the washed yarn is dried in the sun for two to three days. Once dry the yarns are then dyed into respective colours to make them ready for weaving.
The dying process happens in the city of Jaipur in the districts of Lavaan and Sitapur. In this style we use pigment dye To allow the dye to work its way into the yarn, it is heated to a near-boiling temperature for a specific period of time. The longer the time, the darker the hue. The dyed yarn is then put out in the sun to dry. Once dry, it is ready to be woven into a panel. First, an artist draws a design on a special graph paper. A frame is then prepared by stretching columns of thread, called warps, vertically down the loom. Warps are usually made of cotton. The weaver then weaves the yarn knot-by-knot on the loom using a knotting method. They use a scaffolding system that allows them to raise and lower the warp along the entire length and a specialised tool to push the yarn back and forth - this is the easiest and least expensive method but it is still a time consuming and labour-intensive process. Once woven the panel is sent for stitching and finishing.
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“Hand-made cushions represent a unique and centuries old craft. The best antique cushions and pillows are always those that were made by hand, and with all natural ingredients. Indeed, there is something very special and unique about hand-made cushions, in that the people who weave them and the vegetables and plants that yield the dyes, all live harmoniously together. This tight-knit relationship between the producers of fine cushions and pillows and their environment is part of what makes such pieces so special.”
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